Hiking The Narrows has been a life long goal of mine. I always pictured a big trip down to Zion with a group of people, taking a guided tour for an all-day hiking experience. Well our schedule got switched around and our Sunday morning was wide open, so when I saw people riding the shuttle in full gear I knew they were hiking The Narrows. I tracked down some gear to rent at a local spot just outside the gate of the park and then reached out to our amazing followers online for some tips. They encouraged me to go for it because of YOLO.
We picked up our gear that morning. I highly recommend a wetsuit or what we got, which was wetsuit socks, waterproof boots, and waterproof pants. The water was to my waist at one point (I'm 5'2"). There were definitely some deeper spots, but there were places that you could go around. So plan on at least waist-deep. We saw several people attempt this hike in jeans or shorts and they either turned back or pushed through and froze to death.
The FREE shuttle takes you right to the trailhead, about a 40-minute drive from the visitors center. Then there is a short mile or so hike along the river before you reach the mouth of the canyon. And another 2.5 miles upriver to reach Wall Street or the slot canyons.
I felt like I should have a tour guide, I don't know what put that thought in my head, I just knew this hike was a big deal so it felt strange going it all alone. But once we got going we made friends quickly and it really isn't as hard as I thought it would be. If you have the right gear and a stick, a stick is a must.
This was the deepest part. The water was freezing but we couldn't feel a thing.
We ended up hiking in about 3 miles before turning back because of time restraints, but the entire hike is about 8 hrs. It took us about 4 hrs. Going upriver is a lot harder and slower than going back down.
We only passed 2 kids during our hike, they were 7 and 9. I feel like 7 was pretty young, but for sure would have taken my 9 year old.
Go early. Less crowded.
Take layers. I wish I had gloves and a beanie.
Dress warm. It is ALWAYS cold in The Narrows, even in the summer. The canyon walls are so tall, we only had direct sun light for about 5 minutes of our entire hike.
Waterproof gear (socks, shoes, pants) is a must during the cold months. We rented for $42 per person that included a stick.
I never fell in, but I did see other people fall, waterproof bag is a good idea.
Take food and water.