How to Hike the Narrows with Kids

Hiking the Narrows in Zion National Park, Utah was on our bucket list. Some people suggest not trying this hike with kids. It’s challenging for sure – but totally worth it! Our youngest was 6 years old, and that’s probably the youngest I’d expect to hike here. Younger than that will need to be carried and gear will be harder to come by. It definitely takes some advance planning and investment in gear to enjoy this hike. Below are some tips to make this a great family experience:

Geared up for adventure!

🥾Get a shuttle ticket — these open up one month in advance. They are hard to come by. We saw hundreds of people who didn’t plan in advance and weren’t able to get shuttle tickets. The Narrows is the furthest part of the park and private vehicles are not allowed so plan in advance.

🥾Invest in dry suits and neoprene socks and water hiking boots. The water was 34 degrees, and in some spots went up to our kids chests. We rented these at @zionoutfitters right outside of the South entrance to the park. It cost $217 for our family of 4 to rent for the day. Also snag walking sticks for everyone— they are necessary.

🥾Wear layers under the dry suits. Our youngest had on her winter coat under her dry suit. It was 73 degrees air temp — but the water is freezing. The gear makes all the difference!

🥾Start early in the day if possible. Our shuttle pass was for 1 pm and the outfitters tried to tell us it was too late in the day to start— they were wrong! We have kids. No way we would be hiking for more than 5 hours! They will tell you it takes at least 5 hours— but that depends on what your end goal is. The fact is it is beautiful and you can go for as long or as little as you like. It is an out and back hike. Turn around when you feel like it. We hiked in about an hour and a half and then turned around.

🥾Bring waterproof case for your phone and/or dry bag for snacks. There are spots along the way to get out of the water and take breaks and enjoy the views.

🥾It is very rocky. If you have bad knees or ankles it can be an especially challenging hike. My old knee injury was definitely flaring up after this hike.

Leave a Reply