Zion Narrows: Bottom up to Big Springs
The Narrows Hike is one of the most popular destinations in Zion National Park. The Bottom-up to Big Springs Trail follows the Zion riverside pathway to a constriction, where hikers must get in the water and wade their way through the narrowing of the canyon. Gorgeous views and epic photo-ops await those who make their way through this iconic section of Zion.
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Route Description for Zion Narrows: Bottom up to Big Springs
The Narrows Hike to Big Springs is an epic adventure through the narrowest section of the main canyon. This trail requires hikers to wade through the Virgin River, so proper gear, such as quick-dry clothing, a drysuit, waders, or a wetsuit is important. Hiking poles or a walking stick is also recommended for route finding and for balance as you wade through the water. The Narrows in Zion is susceptible to flash-flooding, so check in with one of the Rangers before heading out, and do not do this hike if there is rain in the forecast. This hike is one of the most popular hikes in the park, so we recommend that you start early in the day to beat the crowds.
There is a very good reason that the Zion Narrows are one of the most popular hikes in the park. This trail is ripe with adventure, and the scenery as one ventures through the narrowing of the main canyon will leave you speechless. Do not forget a camera on this hike (a waterproof one would be best). Please note that any sort of vandalism, including leaving mud-handprints on the canyon wall is illegal. Be respectful of the space you are in, do not build cairns, carve names, or make mud-art when you visit the Narrows. Let’s work together to keep this natural wonder beautiful for future generations.
From the shuttle stop, follow the riverside walkway as it heads north. This section of the trail is paved and well signed and is a popular stroll for families and folks of all ages and abilities. As you reach the end of the pathway, the crowd will begin to thin out. Now it’s time to get in the water! Wade through the river upstream as the canyon walls narrow. Approximately 0.3 miles in, the cascading Mystery Waterfall tumbles into the canyon. Continuing onward, hikers enter the area known as “Wall Street”. This is the start of the narrowest section of the canyon where the canyon walls tower above, darkening the river below.
Approximately 2.4 km from the Narrows entrance, hikers will pass by Orderville Canyon to the east. A walk down this canyon can be a fun little addition to the Narrows hike. The Narrows continue on for another two miles before coming to Big Springs. This section of the trail can be bouldery and tricky to navigate. Big Springs is worth the effort; here a stunning series of springs and waterfalls flow out of the canyon wall. This is the turnaround spot for day hikers. Travel beyond here is only available to those with a permit.
The hike out follows the same path as your hike in. Take your time on the hike back and revel in the beauty of this exceptional area of Zion.
Frequently Asked Questions
How should I dress for the Narrows?
The answer to this question is dependent on the time of year you decide to hike the Narrows. In the heat of summer, this hike can be done in quick-dry clothing, but in the fall or winter, a drysuit, wetsuit, or set of waders is recommended. Close-toed shoes with a good grip are essential no matter what time of year you do this hike.
Do I need a permit to hike the Narrows?
No, you do not need a permit to hike the Narrows up to Big Springs. To hike beyond Big Springs or to camp in the Narrows, you do need a Zion Wilderness Permit.
How cold is the water in the Narrows?
The water temperature in the Narrows ranges from approximately 40-60 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the season.
Insider Hints for Zion Narrows: Bottom up to Big Springs
- Close-toed shoes with good grip are essential for this hike.
- Waders, wetsuits, or drysuits are handy on this hike- especially if you are going in the cooler months. These can be rented for a day rate at Zion Outfitter in Springdale, UT.
- Hiking poles or a good walking stick is helpful for balance and route finding on this hike.
- This hike is susceptible to flash flooding- check in with the Rangers before embarking.
- This is a very popular hike, start early in the day to beat the crowds.
Getting to the Zion Narrows: Bottom up to Big Springs Trailhead
Catch the Zion Canyon Shuttle at the Visitor’s center near Springdale—this is a free service that operates almost year-round. Hop off the shuttle at the 9th (last) stop: Temple of Sinawava. The trailhead is just down the road from the shuttle stop.
Zion Narrows: Bottom up to Big Springs Elevation Graph
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