Zion Narrows Trail to Imlay Temple and Big Spring

HARD 537 reviews
#7 of 94 trails in

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, walking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from April until October.

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

backpacking

camping

hiking

walking

partially paved

river

views

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

This is a an extended route of the Narrows. 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
5 days ago

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.

hiking
8 days ago

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!

hiking
blowdown
8 days ago

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

8 days ago

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.

hiking
9 days ago

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.

hiking
9 days ago

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.

hiking
12 days ago

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.

hiking
12 days ago

beautiful trail. absolutely amazing.

hiking
rocky
scramble
14 days ago

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.

hiking
rocky
15 days ago

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

hiking
16 days ago

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.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
17 days ago

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.

hiking
18 days ago

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).

hiking
23 days ago

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!

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.

hiking
rocky
scramble
29 days ago

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.

backpacking
29 days ago

Awesome hike! Unreal views that do not quit! Make sure your pack is prepared to get wet!

hiking
1 month ago

Trail says 8.7 miles total, my dads Fitbit logged in 16.9 miles...most likely because you are zig zagging throughout the narrows trying to find the lowest water areas. Deepest the water got was to nipple line, but also avoided some deep spots with some elusive climbing. Trail pretty much ends at the a small spring just past Wall Street. Wall Street was amazing. Most unique trail in Zion and perfect compliment to a climb like angels landing or observation point.

hiking
1 month ago

My boyfriend and I did this in early July with no sticks and we used our old trail running shoes. Because the water levels weren’t too high and we weren’t in any big rush, we didn’t really have any problems navigating the footing. We went a little past Wall Street and into the slot canyon, where we scrambled up a few small water falls and had a little picnic lunch on a large boulder. Absolutely perfect! I think if the water levels were any higher, sticks and dry bags would’ve been necessary but we were fortunate and never got more than waist deep. Would definitely do this again!

hiking
1 month ago

make moderate by going just to the split

hiking
1 month ago

Loved it from the beginning to end. Just gorgeous surroundings and the water felt so good on our hot day! Met so many wonderful people and everyone was so friendly!

hiking
scramble
1 month ago

The trail lives up to its reputation as one of the best in the National Park system. I’d suggest starting as early as possible, on the first shuttle up the canyon. Later in the day the lower section of the trail is so crowded it feels like Epcot. I rented the boots and walking stick from Zion Outfitters, and I think it’s a good investment. The rocks in the riverbed are so loose, the stick was a huge help in not falling into the river. I chose not to rent a dry bag, but it could’ve helped in deep sections. If you’re planning to do the entire trail, I think it’s worth it. There was only a couple of parts where the water rose above waist level. If you keep your eyes open, there are often paths on the side to avoid wading in the river. But there were two parts where there was no avoiding a dunk in the river. Don’t forget the sunscreen too. When the sun is up, you’ll feel it as you’re finishing the hike. It’s a beautiful hike and best to enjoy it in relative quiet. So head out early and take your time. Those rocks can be slippery.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Amazing! My buddy and I did the Zion Narrows from the bottom up just to big springs. The views of the canyon walls are incredible. start early to beat the crowds and wear sturdy shoes and bring a walking stick. there are parts where you have to go chest deep and if you want to get to big springs you'll have to swim at a certain part. Then you'll have to scramble around some boulders. it got dicey in some spots but big springs was worth it. If you don't have the proper footwear you can rent canyoneering boots and a pole from Zion outfitters right outside the park. highly recommend. Incredible hike!

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