The Riverside Walk is a stunning, family-friendly, and mostly accessible trail to get to the base of the spectacular The Narrows. See this post for more on hiking The Narrows.
Zion Shuttle System
The shuttles in Springdale and in the main canyon make for a great experience to be able to hop on and off the shuttle and not have to fight for parking. For this hike you want to go to the very end of the line, stop #9, to the Temple of Sinawava.
At the entrance there are restrooms and a delicious water filling station. There is information about the conditions in The Narrows. When we were there in early June 2023, the water was still going fast enough that The Narrows were closed, but I expect them to open soon. Flash floods can happen anytime there is rain anywhere in the vicinity, so be aware of the forecast.
This trail is beautiful and partially shaded. It feels cooler than many other parts in the park, so is bearable even on a hot afternoon. I saw someone propelling themselves in a wheelchair, but there are a few spots where having someone help push would make it a lot easier.
There were lots of squirrels along the Riverside Walk. Be sure not to approach or feed wildlife.
There is water seeping along some of the canyon walls, which creates beautiful hanging gardens!
There are a few signs along the way explaining how the landscape was created and pointing out features.
There are also several access points to enter the Virgin River. It is visible near the trail for a lot of the hike.
The Riverside Walk trail has towering cliffs overhead, large rocks, the flowing river and lots of greenery. It’s a beautiful trail!
There are spots along the Riverside Walk to rest along the way and at the end.
Gateway to The Narrows
Water flow changes dramatically between years and seasons depending on snow pack and rainfall. 2022/2023 had a lot of snow and spring 2023 had regular rain, so the river was raging. Now that it’s June is slowing down, but still doesn’t compare to other visits. Here are a few examples in April 2014, September 2015, July 2022 where they all have pretty low water levels.
If you want more information on hiking into The Narrows, click here. Here are a few more of the stunning Riverside Walk.
Stats: Distance – 1.9 miles round trip
Approximate hiking time – 30-90 minutes
Elevation gain – 193 feet
Difficulty – Easy
Trail – paved and packed dirt
Bathrooms – At trailhead
Seasons to hike – Year-Round
Permits needed – $35/vehicle for 7-day pass or National Parks Pass
Pets allowed – No