What to Bring When Hiking The Narrows in Zion

When hiking The Narrows in Zion National Park, you need to be prepared for a hike through cold water. You will need to wear quick-drying synthetic clothing, sturdy shoes with good traction, and bring plenty of food and water. Zion National Park requires a permit for all overnight hikes, and The Narrows requires a special permit. You can obtain permits at the visitor center.

If it does in fact end up raining, try Zion lodging for a great place to take shelter and relax.

Some common things you might want to bring include:

  • Sunscreen and hats
  • Sunglasses
  • Chapstick
  • Bug spray
  • First Aid kit
  • Hiking poles

Here is a complete list of what to bring on your hike:

Keep Close Watch on the Weather

Before you head out on your hike, be sure to check the weather forecast. The Narrows is a slot canyon, which means that it can flood quickly if there is any rain in the area. If the forecast calls for rain, it is best to postpone your hike. Water levels can rise almost instantly during a rainstorm, and hikers have been stranded and even killed by venturing into the narrow canyon during rainy weather. The hike is not recommended if there is a chance of rain in the forecast, so be sure to check the National Weather Service’s website for flash flood information before you head out.

Waterproof Phone/Camera

You will want to bring a waterproof case for your phones and cameras, as you will be hiking through water for most of the hike. This is a must-have item if you want to take any pictures or videos while on the hike.

Water Depth Varies Throughout Trail

The water level in The Narrows can vary depending on the time of year and the amount of rain in the area. In general, the water level is highest in the springtime melting snow and rains, and lowest during the winter months. Water levels can also rise quickly if there is a storm in the area, so be sure to check the weather forecast before your hike. You’ll encounter different water depths throughout the journey — they can range from as shallow as 1 foot to 3 feet deep. Keep in mind that it will be more challenging to swim against a current in deeper waters. Additionally, the rocks lining the river bottom will be less visible under deeper waters.

Closed-Toe Water Shoes and Walking Stick

You will need to wear closed-toe water shoes on this hike. Sneakers or sandals are not sufficient, as you will be hiking through cold water for most of the journey. Wear shoes with good traction to avoid slipping on wet rocks. Walking sticks can be helpful in keeping your balance while walking on slippery surfaces. Neoprene socks will also keep your feet warm with the ability to dry quickly.

Synthetic Quick-Drying Clothes

You will need to wear synthetic, quick-drying clothes on this hike. Cotton clothing will not dry quickly enough and will leave you cold and wet. Synthetic materials such as polyester or nylon will

Dry Bags/Ziplock Bags for Your Clothes and Electronics

You will need to keep your clothes and electronics dry during the hike. Be sure to pack extra clothes in case you get wet along the way. Ziplock bags or dry bags are essential for keeping your things dry.

First Aid Kit

You should always bring a first aid kit on any hike, but it is especially important on this hike due to the remote location. Be sure to include items such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and insect repellent.

Map of The Narrows

It is a good idea to bring a map of The Narrows, as the trail can be difficult to follow at times. You can find maps at the visitor center or online. Don’t plan on using your phone as a sufficient map due to choppy cellular service.


A compass can be helpful in keeping you oriented if you get lost on the hike.

Sunscreen, Sunglasses, and Hats

You will need to wear sunscreen and sunglasses on this hike, even if it is cloudy. The sun reflects off of the water, which can cause sunburns. Hats can also be helpful in keeping the sun out of your eyes.

It’s important to have a Complete Guide to The Narrows for an amazing experience. It is important to be prepared before you go. Be sure to check the weather forecast and water levels before you head out, and bring the proper gear to keep you safe and dry. With a little planning, you can have an unforgettable journey through nature.


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