Zion Narrows Trail to Imlay Temple and Big Spring

HARD 134 reviews
#10 of 84 trails in

Zion Narrows Trail to Imlay Temple and Big Spring is a 8.7 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, walking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from April until October.

DISTANCE
8.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4166 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

walking

river

views

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

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 can 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 water shoes or canyoneering shoes, a walking stick or hiking poles, and a dry bag in order to make this hike an enjoyable experience.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome way to experience Zion. Practically empty in January and the $45 package from Zion outfitters kept us dry and comfortable for the whole trip!

2 months ago

Renting the hiking package is about 40-50 bucks depending on where you decide to gear up.

The shops are adept at explaining everything you need to know and will provide you with gear adequate for the season. Hiking in mid November at minimum meant the shoes, neoprene socks , dry pants and hiking stick.

The dry pants will allow you to hike up to about 3 miles in. After that you will need a wet suit to accommodate the water going up to your neck. But 3 miles is plenty enough to explore the best places in the canyon. Wall Street, the main attraction at about 1.5 miles will provide you with all your instagram needs. Be aware that a permit is required to go past 5 miles.

The shade of the canyon walls and the water makes this hike chilly. Layer up with a puffy jacket for lightweight warmth.

The hike is not very hard, but you'll move very slowly upstream. Hiking sticks are practically necessary to balance on what feels like walking over bowling balls. The river changes depths constantly and isn't immediately obvious where it drops, I don't think children should attempt this hike.

Rad place to come to and definitely shouldn't be missed on a trip to Zion.

hiking
2 months ago

An AMAZING experience! We went in the second week of October and imagine the perfect time would have been a bit later in October if you are into photography and wants some changing leave scenery for more dimension. Even getting there early on a Friday came with a number of people hiking at the same time so it will require patience.

Also, we were two females getting a start at 7:30 am so I was really glad we rented the Zion’s hiking gear in town, including dry pants. Highly recommend the shoes and walking stick at minimum. Between the currant and slippery rocks, I was so grateful for having the gear so many times! I even started off with gloves and a hat because of how cool it is in the canyons first thing but was down to just a long sleeve by the end. This is a hike you won’t forget!

Note, this doesn’t seem safe for small children or people without proper gear.

hiking
2 months ago

according to the Zion NPS website, the furthest you're supposed to go upstream is Big Spring (5 miles) https://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/narrowsbottomup.htm

3 months ago

I found this hike to be more difficult than I expected due to the swift current and not being able to see my footing. However the incredible scenery made it sooooo worth it. Wow! I would strongly recommend renting proper footwear from one of the many outfitters in the area.

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing! We went late October on a chilly morning, water was 50 degrees or so and were in shorts- the initial shock wasn't pleasant but we warmed up quickly after that and made it about 4 miles into the river before we got to the 2 big boulders and the water came up to our chests and we turned around. Amazing sights, nothing like it. We had a dry bag, trekking poles which were enormously helpful, and we wore our regular hiking boots which worked great. No slips or falls!

hiking
4 months ago

Fait 15kms aller retour. Ça use pas mal de marcher dans une rivière!
Pantalon étanche vivement recommandé

hiking
4 months ago

4 months ago

From trailhead to where Orderville Canyon joins the Virgin River is about 4 miles, 1 mile is along the Riverside Walk, then 3 miles in the water, making it an 8 mile "out and back" hike.

A great hike. It's busy, you will seldom if ever be alone in the Narrows - but it's a straight-up fun hike. There's almost no elevation gain but this is no "walk in the park". You're walking through water which is a little strenuous and most of us, after a mile or two, will notice a few muscles complaining that don't usually complain, like the hip flexors for example.

Also you are mostly walking on smooth stones of varying sizes which are harder to see when underwater. Even when you're walking on the river banks, its mostly stones and rocks to walk on or around. So you're secure footing is a constant challenge with every step. Any one step isn't especially difficult, but there's are a lot of steps in 6 miles so you do have to pay attention. It makes it fun actually. We've all crossed streams and small rivers on hikes, this is like a 6 mile wide shallow river crossing.

Early October was a still great time of year for the Narrows. We rented the wet gear. You can get it the night before for no extra charge. Probably the neoprene socks and water shoes are most important. The water was 43 degrees but hikers in shorts seemed to be just fine. You'll want a walking stick or trekking poles for sure. I think the stick is somewhat more advantageous and more fun to use for this particular hike.

There are restrooms at the trailhead, but really nowhere else along the river bank that is accessible and private.

Great hike. One you'll always remember.

hiking
4 months ago

I’m 5’2” and made it 4 miles into the Narrows before the water started to get waist deep. Definitely rent the equipment: boots, thermal socks, water pants, and most importantly the walking stick. You’ll need that for balance. I saw people trying this hike with no shoes. I don’t recommend that! It’s absolutely gorgeous and would love to hike it again.

hiking
4 months ago

Absolutely amazing. You're hiking through the water the entire time. But it is awesome. Met tons of cool people from Australia, France, Canada, and everywhere else.

4 months ago

This was the most memorable hike I have ever experienced. It is difficult yet rewarding. I recommend renting gear or bringing your own. (Water capable shoes, walking sticks, etc) The water went above my hips at times so I do not recommend this for children below 11/12 years old. (I am 5'3) The rushing cold water (it is cold even in the summer) and slippery rocks makes this journey a tough one. I recommend bringing the correct gear, water, food, a jacket, and regular shoes to change into once the hike is over.

hiking
4 months ago

There were lots of people hiking this trail/river in September, which was a little bit surprising. Hikers apparently come from all over the world. Normally I enjoy a little more solitude on hikes, but this presents a great opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.

hiking
4 months ago

This is by far my favorite hike ever! Be sure to bring a walking stick or trekking pole and be prepared to get wet in some very cold water. For most, your feet and legs become numb to the cold after a while, though. It's best to have shoes that are both good in water, but that are also thick enough so the rocks underfoot don't bruise your feet. I wore chacos sandals and they were great. Bring a jacket, even on a warm day. The visitors center rents appropriate gear, as well. I'd say children under 10 shouldn't attempt this, as it gets deep in some places and the current is strong. This was an experience of a lifetime and I can't wait to do it again!

hiking
4 months ago

Overhyped in my opinion. Just a big slot canyon.

5 months ago

hiking on wet bowling balls!

5 months ago

don't under estimate this trail. freaking difficult to walk on slippery rocks and boulders that you can't see!

hiking
5 months ago

Amazing hike through the narrows! Possible flash floods but watch the weather.

hiking
5 months ago

Best hike of my life. Amazing!

5 months ago

Amazing views!!

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