Tag Archives: narrows closure

Zion Narrows Hike Limit Raised to 150 CFS

Shelley called the Park this morning and confirmed a rumor that the Bottom-Up Hiking limit for the Zion Narrows has been raised to 150 CFS. Woohoo! That’s a big deal! But what does that mean, exactly? Until the early 2000s, The Narrows was ALWAYS open, making it a do-at-your-own-risk activity: You looked at the river, maybe you got some advice from the rangers, and then you decided to hike or not. About ten years ago, however, the Park’s lawyers decided the liability of this policy was too great, and ZNP should take measures to protect unwitting Narrows hikers. The Park implemented a system that uses Virgin River water volume (measured in cubic feet per second (CFS)) to determine whether the Zion Narrows is open to hiking or not. The Park set the Top-Down limit at 120 CFS, and the Bottom-Down limit at 140 CFS; if the current CFS is ABOVE the limit any time in the last 24 hours, the hikes are closed accordingly. The upside of this closure system is very few people enter The Narrows when it is unsafe. The downside, however, is The Narrows is closed at levels where athletic hikers could have a lot of fun enjoying … Continue reading

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Virgin River Falls Below 140 CFS, Narrows Hike to Open Soon

The light at the end of the Narrows tunnel draws nearer. Yesterday, and again this morning, the Virgin River fell below the magic 140 CFS-mark, the Park benchmark used to determine whether The Narrow is open or closed. Once the River remain below this 140 CFS mark for 24 hours, the Park will open The Narrows to bottom-up hiking. Unfortunately, those wishing to hike The Narrows top-down as an over-night backpacking trip or a single-day thru hike will need to wait at least a few more days. All top-down Narrows hikes require a backcountry permit, and the Park will not issue permits until the River is below 120 CFS for 24 hours. If you are in Springdale and hoping to hike The Narrows this week, stop in to our store anytime to check on the Narrows forecast. We are happy to inform you about current conditions, and can help you reserve equipment so you’ll be ready to go as soon as the Park gives the green light on The Narrows.

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