Overview of Zion Narrows Hike

Zion National Park is located in southwest Utah and known for their steep red cliffs. There are many hikes in Zion National Park, but the Narrows is one of the most popular ones. You are hiking through the Virgin River (in water), and it is absolutely beautiful and so much fun to do. 

Now it can be a little confusing, there is the Bottom-Up Narrows hike (no permit required) and also the Top-Down Narrows (permit required, more strenuous) hike. This post is only about the Bottom-Up Narrows Hike.

Zion narrows

There are limited options as there are ZERO Tesla Superchargers nearby. I highly recommend checking the PlugShare app to find EV chargers.

  • Zion Canyon Visitor Center
    • 2 J1772 plugs, required to purchase charging code from Bookstore (active for 3 days) for $5
  • Hotel (if available)
    • Several hotels (Hampton Inn & Suites Springdale Zion, Cable Mountain Lodge, etc) have J-1772 and / or Tesla Destination chargers
  • St George Tesla Supercharger
    • 43.6 miles away (1 way)
    • *This was our method of choice as we did not stay at a hotel with a charger available. We charged our long range Tesla model Y to 100% (320 miles), drove to and around Zion National Park to ~70%, and returned on the way back to St George Tesla supercharger arriving with ~20%.
zion ev charging
EV Station at Visitor Center
zion ev charging
Code Required

Cell Reception

There is NO cellphone reception in the Zion Narrows as you are deep in the canyons. If you need to communicate, you’ll need special walkie-talkie and requires a permit. 

Distance of Bottom Up Zion Narrows Hike

The maps say 9.4 miles from the Temple of Sinawava to Big Springs. However, my Apple watch measured 12.26 miles.  It is an out-and-back hike, so you can turn around anytime! The first mile is paved, the rest is in the river. The further you go, the crowds thin out.

zion narrows map
Zion Narrows Map (picture taken at Zion Guru)

Duration of Bottom Up Zion Narrows Hike

1-8 miles. It took us 7.5 hours to go all the way to Big springs and back to Temple of Sinawava.

How Deep is the Water?

It depends on the flow rate. My wife is  5’3 and the water from ankle to mid-thigh level.

There is 1 tiny section towards the end (past Wall street), that you have to “doggy paddle” for a few feet, but it is very do-able. If you don’t know how to swim, don’t worry!

zion narrows hiking
Water level is usually ankle to mid-thigh
zion narrows swimming
Small section of deeper water

What to Wear for Zion Narrows Hike

I highly recommend renting Narrows rental equipment because you are hiking in a river and the ground is full of slippery rocks that make it very easy to fall. There are several stores, but I recommend Zion Guru  because you can pick up the equipment the evening before with no charge, so the next day you can start the hike bright and early! 

Depending on when you go, you’ll need different outfit, that Zion Guru can recommend. If you decide not to rent equipment, then at least bring a hiking pole, neoprene socks, and waterproof hiking shoes. 

  • Summer: Dri-fit shorts and tanktop, lightweight waterproof rain jacket
  • Winter: Thermal layers,  Jacket, Beanie, Gloves
zion winter gear
Narrows Attire in March
zion in summer
Narrows Attire in July

What to Pack for Zion Narrows Hike

I created a comprehensive Tesla Roadtrip Packing List that you purchase on Etsy. Specifically for The Narrows, you’ll need: 

Where to Pee

In the river. Seriously, Zion actually states that you are supposed to pee in the water. There’s also no “hidden areas” that you can pee in. For #2, bring human disposable waste bags.

There are bathrooms at the start of the trailhead (Temple of Sinawava) and Zion Visitor center. 

Tip for periods –  My wife and I have done this hike 3x, and she had her period 2 out of 3 times. She recommends using period panties for this water-filled hike. She got the Period Panty Shorts from Victoria’s secret, wore them underneath her Lululemon shorts, and had no issues with chafing or leaking.  She used a tampon before on this hike, and was completely miserable. 

 

What to Look out for

There’s a risk for Flash Floods at Zion national park. Be sure to check the forecast beforehand and be aware of the warning signs

Do not drink the water from Virgin River, as there is a toxic cyanobacteria.

Zion Narrows Hike

From the Temple of Sinawava, you’ll take the Riverwalk (paved 1 mile) to get to the Gateway to the Narrows.

riverwalk
Riverwalk (1 mile paved)
gateway to the narrows
Gateway to Narrows

About 0.5 miles in, you’ll see Mystery Falls on your right.

mystery falls
Mystery Falls

Shortly after, you’ll reach Narrows Alcove.

narrows alcove
Narrows Alcove

 At mile 3, you’ll reach the intersection between Orderville Canyon and Wall Street. For a shorter hike, you can turn right towards Orderville Canyon

intersection orderville
Intersection between Orderville and Wall Street
orderville
Orderville Canyon

If you stay left, you’ll go towards Wall Street. While it is a little more challenging, especially if the flow rate is high, the views are breathtaking as the canyon wall is extremely high. 

wallstreet
Wall Street

After you past Wall Street, you’ll reach an area with a huge rock that you’ll need to decide whether to go right or left. Either way you go, this is the deepest part of the Narrows Bottom Up hike.  If you go right, you have to climb a rock first, then slide into the deep water. 

I’m 6’3 and there was a small section that I had to doggy paddle through. It is so much fun though!

zion deep
Left side = Deep water ; Right = Climb over rock
zion swim
Deepest part ofthe Narrows

Now you’ll be about 1.5-2 miles away from Big Springs.

Finally you’ll reach Big Springs!  This is the furthest point you can go without a permit, so turn around and head back!

Big Springs

Conclusion

We love The Narrows at Zion National Park. It is such a unique and beautiful hike that we keep wanting to go back! Just be sure to plan accordingly. Safe Travels! 

I also created a “Tesla Roadtrip Packing List,” so if you’re interested, be sure to check that out! It is also available on my Etsy shop

DISCLAIMER

The opinions and views expressed on this blog are solely personal by Everyday Chris.  Everyday Chris is not affiliated with nor endorsed by Tesla. It is neither inferred nor implied that products recommended by Everyday Chris nor recommendations given by Everyday Chris are authorized by or in any way connected to Tesla.  This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. See Terms & Conditions below for further information.

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