The Top Down Narrows Hike: Strenuous Hikes in Zion for 2023

Zion National Park is home to some of the most iconic hiking trails in the world, including the Top Down Narrows Trail. This challenging trek takes hikers on a 16-mile journey through the heart of the Zion Narrows, following the course of the Virgin River as it flows through a deep and winding canyon. With towering walls of rock rising up on either side, the Top Down Narrows Hike is an awe-inspiring adventure that offers unparalleled views of the stunning natural beauty of Zion National Park.

Fast Facts About the Top Down Narrows Hike

  • Hike Category: Strenuous Hikes
  • Hike Length: 16 miles
  • Estimated Time to Complete: 12-14 hours
  • Total Elevation Gain: 1,068 feet
  • Hike Type: Point to Point

Getting to the Trailhead

The Top Down Narrows Trail begins at Chamberlain’s Ranch, which is located on the east side of Zion National Park. To get to the trailhead, you’ll need to take a shuttle or hire a private vehicle to transport you from the park’s visitor center to the ranch.

It’s important to note that the road to Chamberlain’s Ranch is unpaved and can be difficult to navigate, especially during wet weather. It’s recommended that you have a high-clearance vehicle to make the journey.

Things You’ll See on the Hike

The Top Down Narrows Trail is one of the most spectacular hikes in Zion National Park, taking you through some of the most stunning natural landscapes in the region. As you make your way through the narrows, you’ll be surrounded by towering rock walls that reach up to 2,000 feet in height.

The Virgin River flows through the canyon, creating a series of cascading waterfalls and deep pools that are perfect for swimming and cooling off.

The hike takes you through a variety of different terrains, including narrow slot canyons, open meadows, and steep cliffs. You’ll pass by unique rock formations and ancient petroglyphs, giving you a glimpse into the rich history and geology of the area.


Best Time of Year to Hike the Top Down Narrows Hike

The Top Down Narrows Trail is only open during the summer months, typically from mid-May to early September. This is due to the risk of flash floods, which can be a serious danger in the narrow canyons of Zion National Park. It’s important to check the weather forecast before you go and to be prepared for changing conditions.

The trail can be crowded during peak season, so it’s best to plan your hike for the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds.

Other Hikes to Consider in Zion National Park

Zion National Park is home to a wide range of hiking trails, from easy walks to challenging treks. If you’re looking for other hikes to explore in the area, some popular options include the Emerald Pools Trail, Watchman Trail, and the Pa’rus Trail. These trails offer stunning views of the park and can be completed in a shorter amount of time than the Top Down Narrows Trail.

Our Final Thoughts on the Top Down Narrows Hike

The Top Down Narrows Trail is a challenging and unforgettable adventure that takes hikers on a 16-mile journey through one of the most beautiful canyons in the world. From towering rock walls to cascading waterfalls, this trail offers an awe-inspiring glimpse into the natural beauty of Zion National Park.

While the hike is not for the faint of heart, it’s an experience that is sure to be remembered for a lifetime. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just starting out, the Top Down Narrows Trail is a must-see attraction that should not be missed.