Top Down Narrows for a first time backpack?


Oct 1, 2012
I'm planning another trip with my nieces this coming June and was wondering if the top-down Narrows hike is a good first backpacking trip? I've never done it myself. They loved the Narrows from the bottom up, but neither has backpacked. Last time one loved camping, the other one didn't but loved the Narrows. Advice?
I've never done the narrows all the way through. If you're prepared it might be a great one.

I usually advise new backpackers to start small and maybe hike in a mile or two from the car, then set up for the evening. That way if you forget anything super important, or if something happens, you can make it back to the car in under an hour. That's not to say the narrows won't be great, I just like to ease my friends in to it.
I think I would advise against it as well. I took two friends with very little experience on it several years back and they didn't enjoy it that much. They loved the scenery, but just thought it seemed long. (River walking with big packs will do that.) The kicker was when they were really tired and worn down... we run into ALL the day hikers in what is arguably the most scenic part of the canyon. "You mean we could have just day hiked to this part?!" they asked. :(

Maybe Death Hollow instead? Still in a lot of water, but easier walking and less people. Also some different ways to do it to dial it up or down in difficulty based on how the trip is going.

- Jamal
Glad I asked! Thanks everyone, I'm going to scrap this idea. I want to turn them on to backpacking, not make them hate every minute.
X2. Utah' s national parks are great, but we have some hidden gems that are every bit as good as national parks without the crowds.
Or Willow Gulch area, Davis gulch area, Coyote as mentioned

Zion Narrows is a long trip and can be really wet as well.
my first thought was also coyote gulch for a first time trip. that was my girl friend's first. and i think even doing lots of miles there isn't bad. and you don't have to do lots of miles any way.
Great ideas, but not for June. June in Coyote Gulch was where I got overcome with serious heat exhaustion. But that's an awesome idea for a first backpack in a cooler time of year (we're stuck with June because they're both in school now).

We're doing Zion because we're taking more canyoneering classes, and it's easy there. If they seriously get into the outdoors (the younger one probably will) then we're off to Escalante!
We did Coyote Gulch last year end of June. I was a bit hesitant first because of the expected heat, but it was pleasant down in the canyon.
Anyway, expect a lot of heat in Zion in June. I would consider another area for a first time backpacking trip and do day hikes instead in Zion in June.
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