The Narrows

January 09, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Zion National Park - The NarrowsZion National Park - The NarrowsHiking IN the Virgin River IN The Narrows is an incredible experience that is exhilarating, unique, sensory overwhelming, and one of the most amazing things I've ever done.

The Narrows

40" x 22.5" Acrylic - Matte Finish


While I was in Zion National Park in 2018, I had the opportunity to hike in The Narrows. WOW!

The on-land trail ends at the Temple of Sinawava. That is unless you can and are prepared to hike IN the Virgin River. There are no dry land trails past this point.

We were properly geared up thanks to Zion Outfitters near the entrance to Zion National Park. We had waterproof pants, special socks, a sturdy, robust walking stick, and wet suit shoes - these shoes filled with river water immediately, but then our body quickly warmed that water for a unique yet comfortable experience. The soles on these shoes actually grip better when wet; which was a good thing as the rocks were very slippery covered in algae. Good thing we had big walking sticks!

Imagine walking in a shallow river with 45 CFS (cubic feet per second) of water rushing past you while flanked by 2,000' to 3,000' tall cliffs and mountains. It was so surreal and incredible - almost overwhelming.

In 2018, Zion banned tripods on trails with groups - they didn't want any trail blocked with several tripods - which is understandable. But that precluded doing any long exposures, which would've been wonderful in this river. There were individuals in The Narrows with tripods as Zion allowed tripods for individuals. I believe this rule has been modified.

This was one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had. Even though Zion National Park has 5 million visitors every year, only a small percentage experience The Narrows.  That's a shame because it is such a unique experience everyone should have; but that would make this narrow river impossibly crowded. I guess it's just right.

One more thing. The Narrows is subject to deadly flash flooding, so the Park Service monitors this carefully every day. If the flow gets to or above 150 CFS, The Narrows is closed for safety. And they absolutely monitor upstream flood potential constantly. Hiking through 45 CFS was challenging at times, at 70 CFS or higher, it would be very difficult. At 150 CFS or higher, it's potentially deadly with fast moving, deeper water with tree branches and rocks IN the water at high speeds too. And there is nowhere to hide or get out of the way, not with 3,000' foot tall cliffs on both sides. It's exhilerating for sure.

For more images of The Narrows in Zion National Park, please visit my gallery at

This enlargement is an Acrylic Print with a Matte Finish, 40" x 22.5". for $795.00.

This is also available on HD Metal with a matte finish for $594.00.

And in many other sizes depending on your decor and budget.

'Getting the Shot'

As stated earlier, Zion instituted a rule in 2018 that no groups could use tripods on any trail; and the Virgin River through The Narrows is considered a trail. So we all improvised and used our walking sticks as make-shift monopods. This actually helped, even with water rushing by. Of course a sturdy, waterproof tripod would've been superior. Next time!

Getting the Shot - Zion - The NarrowsGetting the Shot - Zion - The Narrows



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