It’s best to bring a walking stick, clothes that can get wet and water shoes with good traction if you plan to hike. There are definitely areas of the river that are difficult to cross and your clothes will get wet! The Orderville Canyon, a tributary creek 2.5 miles from the Temple of Sinawava, is a popular turn around point up the river. But you can keep going another 2.5 miles past Orderville Canyon to Big Spring, and no permit is required. According to the National Park Service, it’s prohibited to venture up the Orderville Canyon at all and past Big Spring without a permit.
There was fewer people and an absence of dry land to stand on the further up the river we went, especially past Orderville Canyon, but we kept trekking upstream.
Occasionally, we would run into mini rapids and also some interesting rock formations plopped down in the middle of the river.
By the time we had walked about four miles up the canyon, we were ready to head back. It was getting late in the day, and we still had to hop on the bus back to the parking lot at the visitor’s center. Although we didn’t make it all the way to Big Spring, it was a great day hike. As we headed out of the park towards St. George, Utah, we caught the sun reflecting off the orange canyons. Tired but fully satisfied with our hike, it was effortless to appreciate another beautiful example of nature’s playground. There was still a lot to explore in Zion including the famed Angel’s Landing, but it was just another reason to go back.
- What should I know before I hike the Narrows? Be aware of your surroundings. Entering narrow canyons always have associated risks such as flash floods, cold water and strong currents. Always obtain weather and flash flood reports before entering the Narrows.
- What will I need to hike the Narrows?
- Boots or shoes that can get wet with ankle support.
- Walking stick
- Waterproof bag for a camera, food, sweater etc.
- Drinking water – don’t drink unfiltered river water.
- Can I drive through Zion Canyon to the Temple of Sinawava? From April to October, you can only access the canyon by free shuttle bus from the Visitor’s Center. From November to March, you can drive through the park.
- Is there anywhere to stay in Zion National Park? There are three campgrounds (two of which are inside Zion Canyon near the south entrance and one an hour from Zion Canyon on Kolob Terrace Road). There is also the Zion Lodge inside the park. The lodge is open year round.
- How far is Zion National Park from St. George, Salt Lake City, UT and Las Vegas, NV i.e. closest airports?
- St. George, UT – 40 miles
- Salt Lake City, UT – 307 miles
- Las Vegas, NV – 163 miles