Plan Ahead and Prepare
Sixteen mile trips through the Virgin River Narrows, from Chamberlain's Ranch to the Temple of Sinawava, can be done as a very long single-day hiking trip, or as a single overnight backpacking trip. Multi-night backpacking trips through the Virgin River Narrows are not permitted. While preparing for your trip, consider your interests, time, and the ability level of your group. Come up with backup plans in case your first and second choices are not available. The Virgin River Narrows may close at any time due to high water, flash flooding, and/or cyanobacteria toxins.
*If 16 miles is too strenuous for your group, you may want to consider hiking the Narrows Bottom-Up route instead.
Always have a backup plan in mind. Use the pages below to help plan your experience:
Day Trip or Overnight Trip?
Single Day Hiking Trip
- If you plan to complete all 16 miles of the Virgin River Narrows in a single day, then you will only need to obtain one Wilderness permit for your group, for the date of your trip.
- This Wilderness permit will allow your group to start at the Chamberlain's Ranch Trailhead, hike 16 miles through the Virgin River, and exit at the Temple of Sinawava on the same day.
- Although the route through the Virgin River is non-technical, permit reservations for the single day trip are listed under "Canyoneering Day Trips" in our online permit system.
- Online reservations can be made through Calendar Reservations. Once all the Calendar Reservations are full, the Last-Minute Drawing lottery will become available. The Last-Minute Drawing only opens if all the Calendar Reservations have been reserved for that day. If you do not see your preferred date for the Last-Minute Drawing, check the Calendar Reservations page.
- *If 16 miles is too strenuous for your group, you may want to consider hiking the Narrows Bottom-Up route instead.
Overnight Backpacking Trip
- If you plan to complete all 16 miles of the Virgin River Narrows as an overnight backpacking trip, then you will only need to obtain one Wilderness permit for your campsite in the Narrows for the night of your trip.
- This Wilderness permit will allow your group to start at the Chamberlain's Ranch Trailhead, spend one night in a designated Narrows campsite, and then exit at the Temple of Sinawava the next day.
Check Availability of Reservations Online
*Calendar Reservations can be made for a one-day through hiking trip or an overnight backpacking trip.
Reservations are available online during a two-month time frame. On the 5th day of every month at 10:00am mountain time, reservations for the next month become available. If available, reservations can be made until 5:00pm mountain time, the day before your trip. Please be aware that most spaces will become fully booked for the next month within minutes of reservations opening on the 5th of each month.
Before making a reservation, check to determine which campsites and/or dates are available.
Check Availabilty for: 16-Mile Virgin River Narrows Through Day Hiking Trip
Check Availabilty for: 16-Mile Virgin River Narrows Overnight Backpacking Trip
Available dates will appear in green, and you will be able to click on the date in the top right corner. Dates that have already been reserved by another party will appear in red. The number in the bottom left corner is the group size limit for that site or area.
Apply for a Calendar Reservation
Make a reservation for your trip by going to the Zion Wilderness Reservations Login page. Click Create Account and enter your information. If you have an existing Zion Wilderness Reservations account, log in.
*Password should be exactly eight characters and include: an upper case letter, lower case letter, number, and special symbol (i.e. & % * ! $ #)
Once you are logged in to your account you can then make a reservation for your trip. Carefully read through and complete your reservation application. You will be required to pay a non-refundable $5.00 fee for your reservation. An additional fee will be paid when you obtain your Wilderness Permit.
Apply for a Calendar Reservation for: 16-Mile Virgin River Narrows Through Day Hiking Trip
Apply for a Calendar Reservation for: 16-Mile Virgin River Narrows Overnight Backpacking Trip