Is The Zion Narrows Hike Open? A DIY Guide

Every day now, we hear one question more than any other:

“Is The Narrows hike open?”

We are always happy to answer this question for our store visitors, but we’d also like to help you answer this yourself at home, on the road, or wherever you may be. If you want to see whether The Narrows is open, just check the USGS website. The data you’re looking for is in the areas highlighted in the red boxes below:

USGS Narrows Stream Flow Data for the Virgin River Narrows

USGS Narrows Stream Flow Data for the Virgin River Narrows

The upper red box (the graph) usually shows continuous cubic feet/second (CFS) data. (For some reason, the data has large gaps over the last few days; this is not normal.) The Narrows is OPEN, if the CFS level has not exceed 150 CFS for the past 24 hours. Even with the gaps in this current graph, we can see the CFS level was around 165 yesterday morning, so The Narrows is closed today.

The lower red box indicates the current CFS level. While the data is current listed as “unavailable,” there is typically a CFS number here indicating current conditions. Remember, however, that the current CFS level is less important than the 24-hour high, which you find in the upper red area.

If the above description is confusing in any way, please leave a comment to let me know. I really want to offer an easy-to-understand explanation, as many folks find it difficult to interpet the USGS info and the Park rules. Thanks!

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About Nick

Nick Wilkes found ZAC in 1996, working first as an outfitter, then a guide, then as webmaster. An ardent adventure enthusiast, Nick's recent exploits involve laying down roots in Wisconsin, chasing his kids around the house, working as a Madison, WI photographer and growing his Wisconsin climbing business. Connect with Nick on Facebook, Google+, or directly via email.
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