What is the Virgin River Narrows?
The Narrows is the narrowest section of Zion Canyon. It is an 18 mile gorge or canyon filled by the Virgin River just upstream from the part of Zion where the roads and trails end. This gorge, with walls a thousand feet tall and the river sometimes just twenty to thirty feet wide, is one of the most popular areas in Zion National Park. You can see the bottom section of the Narrows by hiking along the paved, wheelchair accessible Riverside Walk for one mile from the Temple of Sinawava. If you wish to see more, you will be walking in the Virgin River. Travel upstream in the Virgin River Narrows is allowed for the first 5 miles (until Big Spring) at which point travel is restricted to down canyon, permitted travelers only.
How far is the Virgin River Narrows Hike top to bottom?
Most resources out there (including the Park Service brochure) like to say the Virgin River Narrows is a 16 mile hike from top to bottom. It is not! This number is based on old information, back when hikers used to be able to start at the end of the dirt road at Chamberlain Ranch. This is now against the rules, and hikers must start two miles sooner at the toilet facilities and parking lot above Chamberlain Ranch. A sign is posted saying “authorized vehicles only”, which forces hikers to hike the two mile dirt road making the entire hike from parking lot to parking lot 18 miles.
Distances Map of the Virgin River Narrows
download a pdf printable version of the map here.
Interesting Geology Sites in the Virgin River Narrows
coming soon. Why Big Springs exists. What makes all the springs in the wallstreet section. Kolob Creek. Joint Systems.