The Zion Narrows

Location: Zions National Park
Rating: Basic Canyoneering 2C IV -V
Length: 8-16 hours
Longest Rappel: None
Start: Chamberlain Ranch
End: Temple of Sinawava
Permits: Required
Wet Suit: Not needed | Recommended in cold weather.
Shuttle: Yes

** Permits can be obtained from Zion National park through an online lottery system. The lottery is 2 days, 7 days or 3 months in advance. Mystery and Subway are the only canyons with a lottery 3 months in advance. Click here for site lottery.

Overview:  From the top, the Narrows is a 16 mile hike in a river. Sure, the first several miles can be on dry ground but why wait? There are campsites along the way and many take the opportunity to make this adventure in 2 days. Biggest concerns: ill prepared, flash flooding, and slippery river walking on a smooth cobble stone river bottom. This is a long trek where twisting an ankle is easy. Hot/Cold: toIt might start out as a hot blazing day but once deep in The Narrows it can get chilly. And, of course flash floods are unpredictable and often unforeseen. Be prepared! Bring appropriate footwear, clothing, poles, etc. Open toed sandals won’t cut it. My brother one year wore Vibram FiveFingers footwear because he left his shoes at the camp. He didn’t lose any toes, but had extremely sore feet afterwards. Not recommended! Anyone can hike up The Narrows to get a taste of what a full adventure might be, but you will be stopped a few miles ahead unless you have the appropriate permits.


Head East out of Zions National Park to North Fork Road. Follow North Fork 16.8 miles. After 5.4 miles the road becomes dirt. The further you drive the rougher it seems to become. At the ‘T’ and after the only bridge along the road turn left and left again. Follow for .25 miles to Chamberlain Ranch. You begin by following the small dirt road along the North Fork River, (which seem to be more of a stream). Don’t be fooled the river will double in size soon enough. Simply continue to follow the river downstream.


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