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Hike the Narrows with Kids

by Audrey Lee

Jul 6, 2021

Photo: Audrey Lee

North America

Visiting Zion National Park attracts millions of visitors from around the world each year. The stunning sandstone cliffs surround travelers in colors of pink, red, beige and cream, with a contrast of bright blue sky above. One of the most famous and most photographed parts of Zion National Park is The Narrows.


Enter the park for a fee of $20 per person. For families of four or more or for families who visit national parks regularly, opt for an Interagency Annual Pass for $80. This pass will save you money after visiting any national park throughout the country.


Unlike most national parks, Zion has visitors board a shuttle bus to visit various spots. This aids in preserving the land, along with minimizing accidents and traffic that congestion can cause. Getting to the park early is a must to not waste time in long lines to board the shuttle. Once aboard, sit back and enjoy the ride to the last stop. This brings you to the trailhead of Temple of Sinawava. Take the one-mile, paved path to the beginning of The Narrows. You can indicate this by other travelers walking by you completely drenched.


Fun for all ages, The Narrows is a hike through the Virgin River. Yes, you will get wet so wear shoes and clothing you do not mind getting wet and place electronics, cameras and important items in a waterproof bag.


Once the paved path ends, step down into the sandy area where your journey wading through the river begins. To your right, against a wall, fellow visitors typically leave walking sticks to help you balance on river rocks. Grab one of these for extra support.


Most families travel for 30 minutes up the river until they reach a small waterfall for photos, to relax and to enjoy swimming before heading back toward the paved path. The depth of the water depends on rainfall or snowmelt, but is typically around 3 feet deep. The park will close this section of trails if the current is too strong or the water becomes too high.


While wading through the water with your family, keep an eye on small children as they can drown, get swept up in the current or get lodged between river rocks.


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