Explore the most popular Backpacking trails in Zion National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

August 15, 2019 got on the Virgin at 8 am with half a bus load. Water was never more than waist deep. Lots of dry land, about 30%. Made it too Wall Street by noon, took lots of photo breaks including doubling back with lots of GoPro shots. Got back at 3:00. Definitely one of the top five hikes of all time for me.

15-16, August, 2019 Unlike any other trail. Water levels were safe, weather was warm, campsite was excellent. I've heard a lot of footwear advice about this trail. I used amphibious trail runners, and they were excellent. Maybe a touch soft for the rocks at the end, but otherwise excellent. I switched from thick standard ankle socks on the first day, to neoprene socks on the second; this was a HUGE mistake. Neoprene catches every bit of sand and rock, and holds it. Within the first mile, my shoes were full of sharp grit. Thick normal socks might not work in the winter, but for late summer, for sure the way to go. 4 stars rather than 5 because the final mile or two are tourists hell. They fill the river, lay all over the banks, jump in front of you, push you out of the way, stand in the middle of the trail, break up obvious backpacking groups, and leave detritus all over the place. At the end of a hike like this, I cannot imagine a worse re-entry to civilization. Absolutely horrible. I had such a dichotomous experience on this trail; the beauty was beyond compare, and the tedium was grueling.

Start early! We were on the trail at 7am which isn’t too early but I think we caught the second bus. Bring hiking poles and we didn’t rent the canyoneering boots but instead bought merell water shoes which were great - we also bought neoprene socks which are an absolute must. The further you get the less people there is - also you won’t be able to get GPS signal in the canyons for the most part so if you’re like me and use the map a lot, be prepared for that. This hike is harder than it seems due to wading through water for 60-70% of it, it took us about 9 hours round trip. Absolutely incredible though, just get to the narrows if nothing else before turning back!

Leave early if not give up. We started at 8:30 it was already too late. So many people that it's maddening. We walked back and forth for 4:45 without reaching the end. Count at least 6h in my opinion. On the return the river is black of people who only seek to wade and makes progress difficult But what happiness in the narrows. The more we progress and the more people give up. We find ourselves almost alone. Plan on good shoes that do not fear water and especially a stick. The current is so strong that a support is useful. Put in waterproof pouch all that fears the water. We finish at least once in the broth. I'll be back. Last info: 40 mn shuttle between the visitor center and point 9

One of the best hikes I have ever done. If you want to forget work, money, wife, exgirl friend, work, bad boss this is the place because for 6-7 hours you have to completely focus on the walk and stepping on and over rocks that are like greased bowling balls. If you goof off you’ll sleep and fall in the water. Because of the focus and staying present for 7 hours you’ll be so relaxed you won’t believe it. I go every year just for this hike from Atlanta. It’s Zen-like. Don’t be an idiot and wear Sandals or old sneakers. Wear boots. Rent them - they will make your day. They rent them at the foot of the park. Like only 8 buck$. Rent the walking stick too. Trust me. I’m cheap. But I wouldn’t go without them. There’s a blog by Joe (no relation) that tells you more about Zion and this hike than I could ever. Double bag extra clothes in back pack in plastic trash bags. Bring snacks and three bottles of water each. Go all the way up to the waterfall. Lots of people for first mile then they all fade away because they’re not wearing boots or they’re goofing off.

This trail was epic !! Great views, come comfortable, rent water boots at Zion Mount School $ 36. Having support with the stick helps a lot. It took us two hours and thirty minutes to reach the small waterfall and hour and forty to return to the bus (shuttle) We arrived at the park at 3:30 in the afternoon (15:30). It wasn't hot or very cold. And not rows like Disney.

Loved this trail. The River was cold but bearable. We used walking sticks ( so helpful) we hiked from the bottom up to Wall Street and then back out. We started hiking in the water at 9am and got back out at 3:00. It was very crowded on our way out. I highly recommend going early. We wore Keen water shoes with the rugged soles and bumper toes. They were great. Hiking in we were in the shade so dress in layers. Coming out there was a lot more sun. We had just enough water. My husband had 2 1/2 liters and I had 1 1/2. I would bring more water next time. We had snacks as well, a definite must

WATER you waiting for?!?! It was an amazing aqua-hike! With 3 kids (ages 8, 9 and 11) and rented boots, socks and poles, we caught the 6:45am bus from the Zion Visitor Center. We started hiking around 7:30am and it was cool (high 60s). Once we were walking in the water, the kids were cold even with one long sleeve wicking shirt. So layers would have been good, but we were all warm and in tank tops and tees on the way back. We walked through the end of Wall Street and all of it was pristine, cool waters and stunning. We stopped for snacks a few times, esp. when we found a sunny spot. On the way back, it was definitely crowded and we had to maneuver around lots of hikers. We are not morning people, but worth doing this one early! The round trip took us about 4.5 hrs. Favorite hike ever.

What an incredible hike. A few suggestions, start early to avoid the crowds, ensure that you have the right boots and a good walking stick. We started early, 6 AM, and hit the end of Wall Street. It was one of the most memorable hikes.

beautiful trail. absolutely amazing.

favorite all time backpack trip

Great hike. A must if you are in Zion. Take the 6am bus. Well worth it. We went for 8 hours up to the first campsite and back. For 6 hours we were alone. The last two... well, i ignored the people. We had a long sleeve shirt on in the morning. Sun came around 11. So be prepared for that. Rent the shoes, socks and pole. A must have. And if you think that you will get on the 6am bus when you arrive 5 min before, think again. We were there at around 5.40. Still there were tons of people in front of us. Most of them went to Angels Landing. We went with kids, 13 and 16. Had to swim in one part, and were chest deep in the water few times. Best hike ever. And the water is not too cold. Completely doable.

Absolutely gorgeous! My husband and 3 kids (ages 3, 7 & 13) made it as far as Orderville canyon before heading back. Definitely doable with kids, just depends on the kid I suppose. We did not rent any gear, instead we opted for a pre hike investment. I purchased 4 trekking poles and neoprene socks on Amazon. We all wore our Keen Newports and our feet were comfortable from start to finish. The river was flowing at 50 cfs and about 60°. I highly recommend the trekking poles, it would have been slow going without them. I carried my youngest with one arm through the deeper parts and I needed that pole. We parked at the visitors center and were on the Zion canyon shuttle by 7:15 a.m. It was chilly out in the morning. Even in mid July. We wore board shorts/running shorts over our swim suits and light athletic jackets that would fit in our dry bag along with our food. We all had Camelback packs (except for little man) and drank about 2 liters of water each. The kids about 1. Our phones we carried around our necks in waterproof cases for easy picture taking. We spent 12 hours total at the park (although I would have lived out my days there, that's how amazing it is). If you have little ones and want to cover any distance go early! Be prepared for balancing on uneven rocks all day. Be prepared for whining if you haven't fully prepared your children for what's in store. Be prepared for your 3 year old to poop on a paper plate (twice), fold it up and ziplock it out of the canyon (a story I will later tell at his wedding). Just be prepared. That is the best advice I have to give. Check the weather, check the river's flow rate and plan this awesome hike. (hiked 7/18/19)

The best experience ever! If you want to complete this all the way to the waterfall: Bring 2 liters of water at least Bring trail snacks Bring hiking poles Bring a dry bag for your phone and electronics Buy or rent the water boots that way your feet don’t get beat... speaking of experience lol

Such an amazing, unique experience! Caught the 7:15am shuttle from the visitor center. We saw a few dozen people through the first mile or so, but found ourselves much more isolated by the time we got halfway through the river. HIGHLY recommend going early -- by the time we got back to the start of the river, it looked like a pool party more than a trail.

Reasons for 4 STARS- get to the visitor center/shuttle pick up early- by 7 am or you have Disney theme park line- it took up 2 hours before we ever made it to the trail. It was about a 35-45 minute ride once we were on. This being said, the other reason it’s lower scored, the amount of people is insane. It almost wasn’t as enjoyable and people from all over the world (which is great) but seriously lacked hiking etiquette and I would almost rate this difficult because of the people, not the terrain. Getting to the shuttle at first call would probably help ease the people situation. Also, the pictures hyped my expectations but it was very much a lot of the same scenery, and again hard to get pictures due to amount of people. 5 STARS- I mean, duh, it was was still absolutely incredible. We hiked way further than the rest of the people and families (there were two of us) in hopes it would thin out. And it did... eventually... and it also got more technical the further in we went. We ended up doing about 12 miles (couldn’t get a recording - no GPS signal, maybe download the map before hand) but the further in we went is what made it worth it. Also hiking through a river is pretty legit. We had our regular hiking shoes and camel backs with snacks, no poles, but I could see the advantage to having poles, but we were fine without them. When you expect to get cold & wet, it’s not as antagonizing when you actually get in. Waters were mostly ankle to knee deep, some spots waist and chest deep, and one spot I treaded water with my pack over my head. It actually helped keep us cool and we didn’t drink as much water as we expected to.

My sister and I completed the hike from 8/4/19 to 8/5/19. The water flow rate was 43. I got a walk-in permit for campsite 10 by queuing up at 6:30 AM on 8/3. The ranger told me the campsites had not been filling up the past few weeks. The flash flood warning was "Probable" which is second highest and the ranger discouraged us from hiking (rightfully so). I watched 3 weather sites very carefully before making our decision. The most helpful was AccuWeather Doppler Radar where I could see the storm fronts and by 5:00 AM the morning of the hike the storms had all moved west of the park. The weather for both days was beautiful and the virgin river flow rate was 43. We hit the trail by 8:30 AM and I wouldn't recommend the latter shuttles unless you are a super fast hiker. It took us 9 hours to reach campsite 10 and it was hard to know where we were on the map until we reached campsite 1. The first obvious marker which states that you are entering park property was not on the map. On our first day the water was no higher than mid-calf and we crisscrossed the river to avoid the deep parts. The first two springs were dry and Gobbler Creek? was a trickle so do hike in with plenty of water. The second day we hit the trail by 8 AM and had a good 2.5 hour hike before we hit the first day hikers. The second day we wadded through a lot of waist deep water and we even took several swims where water was 8 to 10 feet deep. Packs made for good flotation. I stumbled 4 times and scraped up my shins and knees. Make sure you have iodine and Neosporin in your first aid kit as the water has cows up stream. We even shared the path with some on the first day. The second day took us 5 hours to reach the paved trail at the end. There will be tons of day hikers for the last 3 hours so enjoy the solitude while you can. The constant rock walking makes this trail strenuous but the views are worth it.

Hiked August 4th- Amazing hike with some wading in water waist high. In most places you can find a route that keeps you in shallower water . Highly recommend proper footwear and poles if hiking more than a few miles past the paved path. Also, beware that All trails app doesn’t do a great job of keeping location once in the slot canyons. I uploaded a pic showing where it dropped our position and relocated us into the next canyon. Our actual distance was 12.2 miles. We did this as a family hike (14yr old, 12 yr old and 11 yr old. Spent 7.5 hours hiking, relaxing, floating and just being . Start early. Trail is mostly shade until the end of the out and back. Beautiful and magical experience. IF you hike past the crowds (at least 4 miles in).

There is a National Parks sign at the start of Stave Spring Trail, where this begins, that says the East Rim Trail is closed due to rockfall. Based on the map posted here on All Trails, the trail is on East Rim Trail. So we bailed and went just North of there to East Mesa Trail, which is a much shorter hike (about 7 miles vs 11.5), and I don't think as scenic....but still ends at Observation Point. I think would give 5 stars had we been able to do East Rim Trail. Either way, Observation Point is Spectacular!

Great hike - expect lots of people until you get to Wall Street. Iconic views. You will be hiking in a river bed on wet river rock so wear good shoes to prevent falling. Make sure there is no chance of rain!

Love this hike - start early before the heat comes on. This is not for a person who is scared of heights. But you can hike far up before you have to use cables and chains. Great views of the valley!

The scenery is gorgeous- but very crowded in the summer.. You have to get past the floating rock to get a quieter more contemplative scene. The mileage count of this recording is way off, we hiked about 6.5 miles as we were going at a meandering pace.

Fantastic hike! Took the first bus and were the second to race up the hill. We got to a split near scouts landing and went the wrong way putting us on the west rim which was great because we had fantastic views from a different vantage point however.... we lost our place and by the time we realized we were descending not ascending we turned back and the crowds caught up. The chains across the (don’t let go) ridge aren’t too bad until you’re sharing with 5 others. I opted out for the scramble to the top but my husband went and said without crowds it wouldn’t be so intimidating. By the time we ended our hike we’d met another couple and our adrenaline was so high we ran down. So fun! Not for someone afraid of heights. Walters wiggles was my highlight! If you stop there it’s still a worth it adventure.

My brother and I completed this on 07/29/19-07/30/19. I am an avid hiker; this was his first. In total, we spent about 11.5 hours hiking. I tracked about the first six miles on day one but stopped in order to conserve battery. My watch died after 7 miles. Campsite 1 should have been fairly close after that, but it felt like we hiked another four miles before reaching it. As another hiker noted below, crossing the river repeatedly (to avoid hiking in deep parts, over large rocks, and to find solid footing) does seem to add up the miles. We reached camp 1 after 6 hours, taking generous photo breaks and a longer break to cook up some Mountain House and coffee. Day 2 started out more difficult, but it feels like you're making more progress because you pass the campsite markers at regular intervals. It took us about two hours to reach the falls from camp 1, and that is where we encountered the first day-hikers from the bottom. Get your pictures in here because the people come out in droves thereafter and the peace and serenity will die. There were a couple of swims on day 2 and, as noted below, you could likely find a route around them, but you will invariably have to get at least chest high. It's much easier to just float down on your back. Recommendations: -Take the earliest shuttle so you can start at 8 a.m. Day 1 is long, especially if your camp is further down, and you will want the time to recoup. -Good shoes are essential. I did day 1 in Salomon Techamphibians and Darn Tough socks, but the sole was not sturdy enough and I felt like I was getting stone bruised. They also kept filling up with little pebbles and sand granules, so I had to stop and empty them every so often. Gaiters may have helped with this problem, but I forgot to pack mine. On day 2, I put on my neoprene water socks and Chacos and felt much better. That being said, given the choice between Chacos and sturdy shoes, I'd take the shoes. My Chacos aren't too sticky and traction was an issue. I would also find my toes or side of my foot being smashed as it slid off a rock and hit another. -Filter your water before you start seeing day hikers. We were told to filter in the creeks. When we reached the second creek, there were about 5,000 people wading in it, so we ended up just hiking day 2 on the 1.5 liters apiece we had starting out from camp. Definitely could have used more water, definitely didn't want to drink the urine of 5,000 tourists. -Carry a waterproof backpack and waterproof phone case. It just makes life easier. My brother didn't listen to me and instead used a regular pack with compression sacks. He spent much more effort trying to avoid deep water that I just jumped into and floated down.

Originally the intent was to do this as a day hike and holy heckles, I’m glad the ranger issuing our permit mentioned there was an open campsite. I can’t imagine doing the whole thing in one day. You won’t come out of the hike without a couple bruises and scratches but it’s absolutely worth it. I will say, when looking for the campsites it felt like we’d be hiking longer than we should have and my group- as well as several others we encountered- thought perhaps we’d been passing them. They’re well marked with yellow stakes showing the campsite number. I lost my GPS signal less than halfway through through but my buddy’s calculations put us at about 22 miles. Before I lost signal my tracker had us at about 8 miles when the map showed us at a little over 6. Crossing the river so frequently definitely adds onto the trail’s mileage. Definitely do your research and come prepared- good shoes, potentially a dry bag, and lots of water. While the rangers said we could filter water from the creeks to drink, our shuttle driver advised against it.

Wow! The Narrows are spectacular! The water was a really nice swimming temperature, and we barely saw anyone as we hiked through the permit section. We took a 6:30 shuttle and started hiking by 8–definitely recommend the earliest shuttle. We had the trail all to ourselves for the first 10ish miles and it was incredible. We didn’t run into any must-swim parts until closer to where the permit section meets the public section, but we still swam just for the heck of it. If you’re not a fan of swimming, you could probably find a way to avoid it, but there are some parts at this level that are impassable without getting at least chest-high. I brought neoprene socks but didn’t end up using them, as the water was warm and clear. I did it in chacos, but I have them broken in really well so I wouldn’t recommend it if you don’t hike in sandals often. Lots of potential for ankle rolls. Slippery rocks and you’re in the water most of the hike, so good shoes are a must. Not a lot of sunlight except for around noon of course. GPS doesn’t work in the canyon. Once we hit the lower 4 miles there were hundreds of people. It was a log, hard hike, took us about 10 hours, but it was so so worth it, especially if you’re a snob like me who likes having the trail to yourself.

Way over crowded, especially in the first few miles. After you get away from the crowds of tourists where you can actually enjoy the serenity of nature it’s an amazing hike.

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