Hiking the Narrows Top/ Down Overnight is one of those trips that is special and takes preparation and planning. A 16 mile hike with beautiful scenery, the trail weaves in and out of the water through slot canyons.
You need to reserve a camping spot usually about 3 months ahead of time. You will pay for your permit when you pick it up at the visitors center.
Reserve A Shuttle
Be sure to book a shuttle ahead of time, there are two different shuttle times up to the top of the trail with the Zion Adventure Company. For me the earlier the better, if your a slow hiker or at one of the camps further down the trail then take the 6am shuttle. You will park your car at the outfitters and then get it the next day.
A overnight backpacking trip from top down I packed my stove, tent. sleeping pad, sleeping bag, clothes, hiking stick (for anchoring yourself in the water) flashlight, food, and dry sacks to keep items dry.
Where To Get Last Minute Gear Rentals
After getting our permit we checking into our hotel and headed to Zion Adventure Company to get dry suits and water socks. (the weather was good both days so I didn't use my dry suit and it felt confining). However I ended using the water socks along with my Keen Water Shoes.
Pick Up Your Permit
We got to the Kolob Visitors Center an hour before closing to get our permit (check the hours; this area is on Mountain Standard Time). You'll need to buy a wag bag at Kolob or get one ahead of time. The ranger is sure to explain all the risks once you get there but be sure you know ahead of time. (you can also pick up your permit at the main visitors center).
The first day took an exhausting 11 hours to complete 11 miles to get to camp #7. We stopped to take lots of photographs along the way and for a long lunch making it to camp just before sunset. Day two was much easier even though we had to swim across at one point, the last 5 miles took us about 7 hours.
Challenging and worth it, I'm glad I finally made this long awaited trip. The final challenge is ending your day packed into a shuttle with tourist, finally getting your car and stopping for local brews and pizza.
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