The Narrows. One of the most iconic hikes in the world, and for good reason – it is absolutely stunning. However, it’s not a hike that we’d recommend doing without a little bit of planning. In fact, by following these 3 tips, you can make your trip to the Narrows amazing.
In recent years, The Narrows has become infamous for its crowds. As the most popular hike in the 2nd most popular National Park in the US, you can see why this is the case. Crowds of visitors to the Narrows begin arriving by 7:00 AM and continue until about 2 PM. Visiting the Narrows during these times can still be enjoyable, but going early or late can make it amazing.
For example, leaving very early in the morning, by 5:30 or 6:00 AM allows you to get a headstart and beat the majority of the crowds. Being among the first allows you to enjoy the Narrows mostly by yourself as you move north through the canyon. The soft, ambient morning light is also amazing for photography.
On the other hand, going to the Narrows in the late afternoon, you can enjoy less crowds, particularly on your return trip back to the trailhead. If you rented an ebike, and you don’t have to return it by a certain time in the evening, you’ll have the freedom to not have to worry about catching the last shuttle out of the canyon. This will allow you to maximize your time in the canyon during the golden hours of the evening.
During the summer months, the shuttle schedule is expanded to allow for early arrival and late departure. You can view the updated shuttle schedule here.
An alternative and much more fun way to get up the canyon is to rent an ebike. Renting an ebike that allows you to leave early or return late gives you much more flexibility. Riding an ebike in the canyon is also the absolute best way to see Zion. It will make your Narrows experience that much more amazing.
There are a number of places to rent eBikes in Springdale. Here at Ride Zion Adventures, we provide mobile delivery of eBikes direct to you or a convenient location at the park entrance and can accommodate either overnight or early morning rentals.
If there is one thing that you do for your Narrows experience, it should be this one. So, what is the right gear for the Narrows?
The right gear starts with the right footwear. For the Narrows, this isn’t sneakers, water shoes, or even regular hiking boots. When hiking the Narrows, it’s very important to wear canyoneering boots. These boots combine excellent grip on their sole, they have stiff ankle support, and they are made to use in the water.
One of the most common injuries (it happens every day) in the Narrows is twisted or sprained ankles due to not wearing proper footwear. So, wearing canyoneering boots not only helps you to go farther, faster, but it also helps to prevent an injury that can derail your entire Zion experience.
Besides proper footwear, it is also very important to have at least one trekking pole. A trekking pole not only helps you to keep your balance when hiking, but it also helps you to determine the depth of the water where you are about to step.
Since you’ll be walking and wading in the river, it’s also a good idea to bring a waterproof backpack and/or place any valuable items or electronics in a waterproof bag. Even if you don’t wade through chest-high water, there’s always a chance that you could take a tumble and fall into the river.
In the spring and fall months, you might also wish to wear waders. These waterproof overalls help to keep your legs and torso dry. When the temperatures are cooler this can help you to focus on the hike and not be distracted by discomfort.
Lastly, in the winter months, you should consider wearing a dry suit to prevent you from getting wet at all. A dry suit also helps to preserve body heat and can help to prevent hypothermia.
All of the above can be rented from our friends at Zion Guru. If you rent ebikes from us or take one of our Private Tours, we are happy to pick up your gear the night before and deliver it to you. This saves valuable time the morning of your trip to the Narrows.
About 1.5 miles into the Narrows from the end of Riverside Walk, you’ll notice a tributary on the right that is emptying into the Virgin River. This is Orderville Canyon. If you’re looking for a bit of adventure, head up through this canyon. It’s an amazing canyon that is much less traveled and has a number of gems for you to enjoy.
Since it is a more narrow slot canyon than the Narrows, you’ll experience more obstacles. This is due to the large logs and boulders that have become wedged in place from the flash floods that have rushed through over the years.
When moving through, over, and around these obstacles, be very careful not to jump down into the water. This causes many twisted ankles and even broken bones each year. It’s hard to judge the depth of the water you are jumping into and thus it’s easy to injure yourself when you land.