Zion Narrows Trail to Imlay Temple and Big Spring

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Zion National Park

Zion Narrows Trail to Imlay Temple and Big Spring is a 8.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Springdale, Utah that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from April until October.

Distance: 8.6 miles Elevation Gain: 4,163 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

partially paved

river

views

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

off trail

no dogs

This is the full bottom-up day-hike route of the Zion Narrows and you MUST turn around at Big Springs. Access after Big Springs is by permit only and continuing onward without a permit intrudes on campers and can incur a citation by Rangers. The Narrows is one of the most iconic day hikes in Zion National Park named for being the most narrow spot in Zion Canyon. As you hike through the blue water in the gorge, you will look up at rocky canyon walls a thousand feet tall as you walk through the Virgin River. Water levels can vary from ankle deep to chest high, and as with all slot canyons, caution should be used and the weather forecast should be checked. The most popular time to hike the narrows is late spring and summer when the water temperature is warm and the levels are lower. However, even at this time of year storms can cause life-threatening flash floods. Always check in with the rangers before hiking in a slot canyon. The Narrows may be closed during the spring when snowmelt raises the river too high. Fall will leave you with less crowds, but be aware of shorter days and cold water. You will want to bring sturdy shoes with good ankle support that you don't mind getting wet, a walking stick or hiking poles, extra clothing layers for temperature changes, and a dry bag in order to make this hike an enjoyable experience.

hiking
bugs
fee
18 hours ago

Unbelievable hike. I’m a solo hiker and this was an extraordinary experience. It wasn’t difficult but not easy. It is strenuous due to the strength and flow of the running water. By the time I parked, it was 6:10am and the lot was full. I wore thick leggings, hiking socks and an old pair of hiking shoes (closed toe shoes will protect your feet). My trekking poles were a life saver, as well. Truly an amazing experience.

hiking
bugs
off trail
scramble
1 day ago

amazing hike. we lined up at 5:15 am and were 30th in line. Rangers said there's roughly 90 parking spots.

Highly recommend a hiking pole if you want to go all the way. Don’t wear sandals - trail runners and socks worked great. Awesome trail. The end is nothing special so feel free to turn around if you get really tired.

hiking
3 days ago

This was a great hike. Not your typical “hard” hike as it didn’t have much elevation gain, but it was very technical and took balance to make it through. We pulled through the park at 6AM on a Friday morning and were unable to get a parking spot at the trailhead, but able to snag a spot around the first bend off the side of the road. Definitely recommend the poles and rental shoes as they were a life saver. I also recommend a dry bag if you’re planning to make it to the spring. The water hit just a bit below my collar bone (I’m 5’6’’for reference), at the deepest point where the spring and cave were. Also, the canyon forks at the point where you hit Wall Street (to the right), but there’s also a slot canyon (to the left). Definitely recommend checking out the slot canyon if you have the upper body strength to hoist yourself up over a rocky wall.

hiking
5 days ago

Magical. Best hike ever. Be prepared w shoe rentals, socks, wooden pole to tolerate the cold and rough ground. Zion outfitters. 25$/person. Hiking tracking poles aren’t strong enough. I didn’t think water pants or bib were necessary. It is cool at first but feels great when the sun comes out. We had to be there at 530am to get a parking spot by the narrows. It opens At 6a and fills up fast. Worth it!! Bring lots of food.

hiking
flooded
rocky
6 days ago

hiking
rocky
7 days ago

This was my favorite route I’ve ever done. We rented canyoneering shoes + neoprene socks and a hiking staff from Zion Outfitters - which was absolutely worth it. Gotta have a stick, or you’re gonna fall down. We also rented bikes and rode up to the trail head because the road was closed (parking lot was full) - we got a late start. The bike ride up was tough in the heat, but the ride down in the cooler evening was deeeelightful. The hike itself was super rad - unique in a few ways. Specifically fording the River (the majority of your time is spent in knee to waist deep water) AND being in shade the entire time. It took us about two hours to reach Wall Street, and then about an hour back to the trailhead. Coming back with the current was much easier. I’d recommend this hike to anyone with good knees, ankles, and sense of balance.

This is fording a river with great views. Be prepared to be wading

hiking
10 days ago

Amazing hike with wildflowers in full bloom now in the lower sections. Views are spectacular and different the whole way. On Memorial Day weekend the park was crowded and buses were closed so if you want to find parking at the trailhead be in your car at the Scenic drive start by around 5:40 am. Water levels are high so walking is a bit slower than usual. Only a couple of us made it all the way to Big Spring. This will take most 4-6 hours just to get there, although the return is a bit faster. The water is shoulder deep in a couple places and some boulder climbing is needed. Bring plenty of water for a long day and a waterproof backpack if available. Recommend a lower wetsuit or dry suit. Walking pole is essential.

hiking
11 days ago

Very cool, unique hiking experience. Can go out and back as far as you like. Pay attention to flooding concerns, and plan to get wet.

hiking
13 days ago

Fucking awesome. Takes some preparation like renting gear in advance. But my first time every hiking through water and it was so magical, I fell in love instantly. Such a scenic, ethereal, and definitely challenging journey.

hiking
16 days ago

Hiked this trail a few years ago in August after a rainy summer and the river went almost to our knees and was very muddy. Slow going because of this and not being able to see the bottom. Only went probably a mile in and back but still one of the coolest hikes I’ve ever done!! Bring hiking sticks and wear shoes that you aren’t worried about getting muddy and filled with sand in the river! Can’t wait to do the whole thing someday!

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked and camped this in college! Great memories

hiking
1 month ago

My mom and I hiked this “trail” (river) in early February. We rented waiters from the Zion outfitters. Water will get into your boots and it is cold in early February (obviously) but it is bearable and SO WORTH IT! This hike is through the river... we hiked about 2 miles then headed back. Hiking the whole thing is definitely on my bucket list now

hiking
2 months ago

A very fascinating beautiful “trail”. Tip: don’t be impatient. I tried to go past a large group of people and fell into a pit the brought the water up to my neck.

hiking
2 months ago

Rent some waterproof boots and walking sticks if you don’t own your own. You might say “it’s not worth the money”... but don’t be like me. You will go further and see more, and your tennis shoes won’t be wet on the car ride back to Vegas.

hiking
2 months ago

The best hike I’ve ever done. I’ve done both the 1 way hike from the ridge and also the out and back from the bus stop. If you ever have the chance to do the full 20 miles one way, I highly recommend it. The best scenery is in the section that most day hikers never see!

hiking
2 months ago

Very nice. It was lightly raining for most of the hike, which I think added an extra layer to how cool this hike was. Hiking in a slot canyon through a creek while it's raining sounds like the worst idea a person can have, but there were no flash flood warnings and it was always forecasted to just be an overcast light rain kind of day so a decent number of people were still out there. Once I went past Orderville Gulch though I only saw one other person until I turned back, it was pretty surreal being alone in the rain in such a tall and narrow portion of the canyon.

hiking
off trail
rocky
2 months ago

Unique hike! We rented dry suits/shoes/hiking poles from Zion Outiffers and it was worth it. You can rent them the day before if you go after 3pm, so you’ll already have them in the morning. We were on the first shuttle out so we beat the crowds and it was great for pictures. Bring a dry pack for your stuff! We hiked at least 8 miles but you don’t have to go that far to get the full experience. We did it March 6th.

hiking
muddy
off trail
rocky
3 months ago

I recorded from the parking lot and back. I didn’t find it to be as miserable as a lot of the reviews stated but it’s true that the end payoff isn’t that great. The magic of this trail is that you’re hiking through a canyon. I also think the trail could readily change difficulty depending on the height of the water. I rented waterproof overalls, neoprene socks, and water shoes from Zion Outfitters. I wish I had gotten a waterproof shirt too since I had to swim about 10 feet or so at one point. I figured out a way to avoid the swim on the way back but was already soaked. The temperature was around 50s and if I hadn’t gotten wet I would’ve been fine. A walking stick is imperative.

hiking
3 months ago

great trail! rented the split suit from zion outfitters. didnt really need the top on the way up but was great having it to float down the deep parts on the way back. water was cold but suit was warm. next time we will buy cheap floaty rings to inflate for the return journey!! also wish I had gloves, although they probably would have got wet. still recommend this trail!!!

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