Hiking The Narrows at Zion National Park during COVID
We spent three days at Zion National Park, you can see why we couldn’t get enough, I mean the views are just stunning. We hiked through Pa’rus trail, Angel’s Landing (blog post coming soon), and The Narrows at Zion National Park all during COVID.
The Narrows at Zion National Park is rated as one of the top hikes in the world. And if you ask anyone who has been to Zion they will say The Narrows was their favorite hike.
I’ve put together some general information and tips for your next visit. From what to wear, what to expect, and how to get shuttle tickets especially during COVID.
Beware: There is a current warning of toxic bacteria in the water, so please enter at your own risk.
Also note, be kind and courteous to others and wear your mask. We were surprised to see a lot of people wearing their masks when the trail got smaller and there wasn’t enough space to social distance.
General Information- Zion National Park during COVID
City: near Springdale, Utah
Location: Zion National Park
Parking: Zion has a parking lot or there is paid parking at Zion Canyon Village, which has an entrance to the park. Shuttle tickets are needed as Zion only allows shuttles inside the park.
Length of The Narrows: 10 miles roundtrip but you can turn around at any point.
Time to hike The Narrows: 1-8 hours.
Best Time to visit The Narrows: Year round, but make sure to wear the proper gear.
What to bring: Bring closed toe lightweight shoes and clothes you can get wet and a waterproof dry bag. We rented waterproof boots, neoprene socks and a walking stick from Zion Outfitter for $25. You can pick these up before 10am on your hike day or pick them up the day before. Don’t forget snacks and a hydration backpack as well.
Fee: Entrance to Zion National Park is $35 or use your America the Beautiful Pass National Park Pass click here to purchase.
How to get there
Due to COVID, shuttle tickets are currently hard to book or get booked up fast. If you didn’t book ahead of time no worries, as private shuttles are allowed and can be booked last minute.
We booked 2 different shuttles, both were booked a day or two prior to arrival and we had no issues. I did like that the Jeep was completely open, and we were asked to wear our masks at all times for both private shuttles.
We booked a private shuttle with St George here and used Zion Jeep Tours another day and parked at their pickup locations. From there, they drove us into the park and needed a park pass to enter. We picked a drop off time of 10am and they gave us a pick up time, which is enough time to do any of the hikes.
In addition, if tickets aren’t available, you are able to walk to the beginning of The Narrows Hike from the park entrance but you will be adding an extra 2.8 miles roundtrip to your hike.
What to wear/bring
We hiked The Narrows early October and yes the water was chilly. I wouldn’t say it was unbearable though. We started our hike around 10am and it was still chilly, I wore my waterproof jacket and workout shorts. I highly recommend renting the waterproof boots, I didn’t have any issues with slipping, or blisters. Although, I probably didn’t tighten them enough because I did feel water get in but my feet were never cold.
There are some spots during the hike where the water gets to your waist, so it is advised you put all your stuff in a drybag. There is also a possibility you could lose balance and fall, I won’t say who fell, but one of us did and had their phone in their pocket but luckily it survived. I couldn’t have done the hike without my walking stick, I depended on it so much.
In addition, make sure to bring some snacks, and a hydration backpack, click here for the one we have.
About The Hike - The Narrows
There are two ways to do The Narrows. From the top down which is 16 miles and requires a permit, or bottom up which is 10 miles and doesn’t require a permit. We decided to hike the Narrows about 3 days before so we did the bottom up route.
For the first mile of the hike you are walking along the river. Enjoy this as this will be one of the few times you are on dry land. For most of the hike you are in the water hiking through slippery rocks. We hiked about 2 hours in until the walls became more narrow. We had a shuttle to catch so we turned around.
I would say on the way there you are excited and amazed by the views. We started early around 10am so it wasn’t as packed. By the time we headed back there were more and more people and I was getting tired of hiking through the rocks and just wanted to be on dry land.
Do note that there is no prior hiking experience necessary. As long as you have an okay balance and get a walking stick you are able to do this hike. Also note, you can go as far in as you want. If you only want to do two miles and turn back around you are able to do so.
Do I recommend this hike? Definitely, but hike The Narrows at Zion National Park especially during COVID at your own pace. Most importantly, wear the proper gear as it can make such a huge difference on your experience.
If you are looking for other hikes in Zion check put Pa’Rus Trail here which happens to be the only dog friendly hike at Zion. I also suggest Angels Landing for some more adventure, which I will be writing a blog post about soon.
Zion National Park is just stunning and you really can’t go wrong with any of the hikes.
Overall, yes you can do The Narrows last minute, if you book a private shuttle and rent your gear online. Please be aware of flash flooding and bacteria inside the water, hike at your own risk, especially during COVID. Don’t forget to wear your masks and social distance!