Gateway to the Narrows.
The Riverside Walk is the closest you can get to the Narrows of the Virgin without getting your feet wet. Hiked as a prelude to the Narrows or on its own itself, this two mile round-trip hike is a must-do, even for the visitor with only a few hours to spend in Zion. As the path take you deeper into Zion Canyon's squeezing walls, the temperatures drop, the plant life changes, and you being to enter another world.
The squirrels on this hike are often especially aggressive, tearing into unsupervised backpacks and bags. Please, DON'T FEED THE SQUIRRELS. No matter how cute they look, it is illegal to feed animals in any National Park, and it's also bad for their health.
This path is wheelchair and stroller accessible. That, along with the wide availability of shade, make it the most accessible trail in the Park for families.
Easy, non-technical hike
About an hour
Year-round, with occasional winter closures when ice is present
2 miles (3 km) round-trip
60 feet (17 m)
Starts and finishes at the Temple of Sinawava trailhead, the last trailhead / shuttle stop in the canyon
Most of the hike is in shade.
Sturdy hiking shoes & ample water. If you are planning to delve into The Narrows, you may need more supplies.
Water and bathrooms are located at the trailhead
Head up canyon! Take the free Zion shuttle (mandatory April - October) or your own car. From Springdale, travel 8 miles up canyon along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive to the very last trailhead, the Temple of Sinawava. The Riverside Walk is the only trail here, so you can't miss it. This trail sees a LOT of visitors, so please use the bathroom and trash facilities before you venture forth.
You may see a lot of folks at the trailhead with ridiculous-looking black and yellow shoes and enormous hiking sticks. These absurd-looking hikers are well prepared to enter the river at the end of the Riverside Walk and explore the Zion Narrows. If you want to have the same equipment, look for it at Zion Adventure Company in Springdale.
The mile-long hike has many highlights, including dripping springs, hanging gardens, desert swamps, riverside wildlife, and fun cascades. It is a very popular hike, often crowded during busy months of the year. If you'd like to escape the crowds, getting here before 9 AM will get you far; the earlier you arrive, the more serene it will be.
There are nice lunch/break spots along the river at the terminus of the hike, where you'll find a nice "patio" with historic rock steps leading to the river. From here, watch hikers head into the water and upstream on their way to see the Narrows.