A backpacker in The Narrows in Zion National Park.

David Gordon backpacking The Narrows in Zion National Park.

One of the most uniquely magnificent and coveted hikes in the National Park System, The Narrows of the North Fork of the Virgin River in Zion squeezes down to just 20 to 30 feet across in places, with sandstone walls that rise as much as a thousand feet overhead. On this 16-mile, top-to-bottom hike—typically done in two days—you’ll walk in the shallow river most of the time, spend a night camped beside the river in this magical place, and marvel at the constantly changing canyon and natural oddities like a waterfall pouring from cracks in a sandstone wall, creating an oasis of greenery clinging to a redrock cliff.

Zion’s Narrows ranks unquestionably among the top two or three backpacking trips in the Southwest—arguably number one—and one of the most scenic and unique multi-day hikes in America. While there are many great canyon hikes in the Southwest, The Narrows is the archetypal “great canyon hike.” This e-guide covers everything you need to know, including expert advice on the ideal time of year, how to obtain a popular backcountry permit and dress properly for the canyon, travel logistics, gear, water-level and flash-flood concerns, and safety, and it lays out a two-day itinerary.

Watch the video below and read my feature story “Luck of the Draw, Part 2: Backpacking Zion’s Narrows” for many photos from this trip, which is described in much more detail in this e-guide. (Reading that story requires a paid subscription to The Big Outside.)


Purchase this e-guide NOW to begin planning your backpacking trip through the amazing Narrows in Zion National Park!

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