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Riverside Walk in Zion National Park

Updated on September 5, 2014
ArtByLinda profile image

The author is an amateur artist and photographer that loves to travel with her husband of 35 years.

If you do nothing else in Zions, the Riverside Walk is an absolute must

This was the advice we received from the Ranger as we entered Zion National Park. It is now advice that I will pass on to all of you, because it was right on the money! The Riverside walk is one of the easier walks, although it is 2.2 miles long it is an nice easy walk on a paved surface. It takes about an hour and a half to two hours to make the trek, but you will not regret every step you take.

The first night we entered the park in the evening and decided to ride the shuttle all the way to the end of the park to where the Riverside walk takes off at the Temple of Sinawava. The Riverside walk goes right to the very beginning of the Narrows of Zion Canyon. Which is still on my Bucket list because the water in April is icy cold.

The Riverside walk takes you into this deep and narrow Red Rock Canyon that is filled with beauty at every turn, we saw wild turkeys, lots of squirrels, beautiful flora and fauna all around.

Taking this walk would be a wonderful way to both begin or end your day at Zion National Park.

Curious as to what it looks like and if you will want to do it? Follow me and I will take you with us on our hike beside the Virgin River in Zion.

The entrance to the Canyon, with these tall beautiful trees - Breathtaking isn't it

The entrance to the Canyon, with these tall beautiful trees
The entrance to the Canyon, with these tall beautiful trees

Photo © by Photographer Linda Hoxie

Just to set the mood as you enter the Trail into the Riverwalk you pass by this absolutely gorgeous view.

I am not sure but I believe in my heart that this is the Temple of Sinawawa. It feels like a place for silent reflection, a very peaceful place to be.

Riverside Walk at Zion National Park

Riverside Walk at Zion National Park
Riverside Walk at Zion National Park

The light sinking below the rocky cliffs above - I love the play of light and shadows

The light sinking below the rocky cliffs above
The light sinking below the rocky cliffs above

Photo © by Photographer Linda Hoxie

As a photographer, I love when the shadows fall in the foreground, which allows the sun to highlight the beauty behind the shade. Makes that mountain "pop" doesn't it.

Have you been on the Riverwalk trail?

Have you been on the Riverwalk trail?

See results

The river winds slowly through the canyon but is icy cold in April - Between gorgeous red cliffs

The river winds slowly through the canyon but is icy cold in April
The river winds slowly through the canyon but is icy cold in April

Photo © by Photographer Linda Hoxie

The river winds slowly through the canyon but is icy cold in April. I had to test it our even though the Ranger recommends for people to avoid the Narrow hike during this time of year because of the temperature of the water. He was right the river is icy cold. So we need to plan another visit for later in the summer or early fall perhaps when it starts to cool again as the temperature creep up during the summer months in Zion.

My daughter has similar water shoes and loves them. - She says they are very comfortable to hike in, they breathe and they can get wet.

Teva Women's Omnium Sandal,Abbey Stone,8 M US Women's
Teva Women's Omnium Sandal,Abbey Stone,8 M US Women's

My daughter has water shoes that are like these shoes and absolutely loves them. They are great for hiking in wet or dry.

 

Beauty Abounds - Drinking it in

I just can't get enough of the contrast of the light, the red rock and the beauty of the water
I just can't get enough of the contrast of the light, the red rock and the beauty of the water

Photo © by Photographer Linda Hoxie

I just can't get enough of the contrast of the light, the red rock and the beauty of the water.

Fallen Rock - from the sides of the sheer cliff.

You can see where a large rock fell from the sheer red cliff at Zion
You can see where a large rock fell from the sheer red cliff at Zion

Photo © by Photographer Linda Hoxie

You can see where a large rock fell from the sheer red cliff at Zion.

A squirrel poses for a picture - The first of many

A squirrel poses for a picture
A squirrel poses for a picture

Photo © by Photographer Linda Hoxie

Oh my gosh, the squirrels are so adorable and friendly. They pose for pictures and just when you think that you have gotten as close as you can to the squirrel, before you know it they are sneaking out from between the rocks lining the pathway and walking right beside you.

They have warnings all over not to feed the animals, but I think some people may not have heeded those signs for these squirrels to be so friendly.

Spirits in the Rocks - Can you see them

Can you see the spirits in the rock that walked here before
Can you see the spirits in the rock that walked here before

Photo © by Photographer Linda Hoxie

Can you see the spirits in the rock that walked here before. If you look at the wall on the side of the path here you can see faces in the rocks themselves and in the colors created by water, sandstone and perhaps lime deposits?

Do you see the spirits of the rocks?

There actually has been many deaths in this river because there is a lot of flash floods. They advise everyone to check the weather before entering the river in the Narrows because once the rain starts the flash flooding begins. So if you do decide to make that hike, make sure you check a weather report and check with the Ranger at the entrance to be sure it will be safe.

I haven't verified the fact, but I heard that years ago there was a whole troop of boy scouts that were swept away in a flash flood. So sad!

The Trail is easy and paved, a very nice walk - You can't ask for nicer paths

The Trail is easy and paved, a very nice walk
The Trail is easy and paved, a very nice walk

Photo © by Photographer Linda Hoxie

The Trail is easy and paved, a very nice walk.

This was such a nice trail. Though they say that wheelchairs may need assistance, I think most of them will. It does get steep and narrow in spots.

This little Squirrel just loved his photo taken - Strike a pose

Squirrel
Squirrel

Photo © by Photographer Linda Hoxie

This little squirrel was just so friendly, closer and closer until he just popped out at my feet. I had to put together a little collage of his picture, in his memory.

You find the beauty above the river - and you will find it on the side, and below your trail

You find the beauty above the river
You find the beauty above the river

Photo © by Photographer Linda Hoxie

It doesn't seem to matter where you look as you walk down this trail, it is so pretty everywhere. You just can seem to get enough of it all.

Just putting together this webpage to share with you it makes me want to go back.

You constantly find yourself looking up until your neck gets sore in Zions - Remember to look everywhere

You constantly find yourself looking up until your neck gets sore in Zions
You constantly find yourself looking up until your neck gets sore in Zions

Photo © by Photographer Linda Hoxie

I love this photo of my husband as it shows how you find yourself walking through Zion's. Your neck starts to hurt because there is such beauty above.

You have to remind yourself to look down, and to the sides. Give your neck a rest once in a while because most of us are not used to walking through our days with our necks cranked upward!

Hanging gardens and colors in the rock on the riverwalk

Hanging gardens and colors in the rock on the riverwalk
Hanging gardens and colors in the rock on the riverwalk

Photo © by Photographer Linda Hoxie

There are hanging gardens on the Riverside trail, as well as other places in Zion.

Hanging Gardens are basically plants and flowers that grow directly on the side of the rock in places where the underground rivers in the rocks are escaping.

I wonder what makes the colors in the rocks at Zion.

What plants grow in the Hanging Gardens?

According to Zion's nature information.

"The hanging gardens support brilliantly-colored Zion shooting-stars, scarlet monkeyflowers, and Western and golden columbines."

Walking under a huge Boulder - made me feel a little uncomfortable.

You walk under huge boulders
You walk under huge boulders

Photo © by Photographer Linda Hoxie

Though I know in my mind that this huge boulder is not going to roll on me, that it is very stable unless the earthquake happens while I am walking under it.

I still found myself hurrying when I had to walk under the boulder.

Plants and flowers growing right out of the side of the rock - Why do they grow on dry rock like this?

Plants and flowers growing out of the rock
Plants and flowers growing out of the rock

Photo © by Photographer Linda Hoxie

I found it interesting to find plants and flowers growing on rock that doesn't have the water seeping through it. Just a boulder lining the river.

Interesting isn't it? Maybe the rock itself has the nutrition that those plants need.

The Virgin River - flows icy cold in April

The Virgin River
The Virgin River

Photo © by Photographer Linda Hoxie

The Virgin river runs a bit swift and cold for hiking in it in April.

Notice how wide it is in this photo and how narrow it is in the photo below as it goes into....yep, you guessed it..."The Narrows".

Aptly named isn't it?

The Virgin River Narrows at the Mouth of the Narrows - Entering the Narrows

The Virgin River Narrows at the Mouth of the Narrows
The Virgin River Narrows at the Mouth of the Narrows

Photo © by Photographer Linda Hoxie

You can see now why they call it the Narrows.

Beautiful views looking back down the Virgin River - Not sure if I took a breath looking at that view.

Beautiful views looking back down the Virgin River
Beautiful views looking back down the Virgin River

Photo © by Photographer Linda Hoxie

One thing that I know I am good at is finding the beauty in nature. You may think you already know what it looks like behind you when walking on a trail because it is where you have already been. But it changes as much with the curves and you get different views as you move. So don't forget to stop and look behind you sometimes.

My daughter once told me that she never really watched a sunset until she watched one with me as we walked outside. She used to just look at the beauty and enjoy it for a minute or two and she was done, she said she didn't realize that it constantly changes to new beauty as the sun moves lower and the clouds change, the colors constantly changing.

It is like watching a beautiful movie unfold before you, you wouldn't want to miss a moment!

Small Waterfall on the Virgin River at the - Narrows in Zion National Park

Small Waterfall on the Virgin River at the Narrows in Zion National Park
Small Waterfall on the Virgin River at the Narrows in Zion National Park

Photo © by Photographer Linda Hoxie

There is a small waterfall at the end of the Riverwalk Trail just before the narrows.

Rock shaped like a huge fist - in the Virgin River

Rock in the river shaped like a fist
Rock in the river shaped like a fist

Photo © by Photographer Linda Hoxie

I had to share this rock with you because it looks like a huge fist sticking up out of the water.

The End of the Riverside Walk trail and the beginning of the Narrows - So curious as to what is around that corner

The End of the Riverside Walk trail and the beginning of the Narrows
The End of the Riverside Walk trail and the beginning of the Narrows

Photo © by Photographer Linda Hoxie

This was the end of the Riverwalk trail for us, from here you have to enter the river to hike the Narrows. Someday I will return and find out just what is around that corner.

Below I will share a video of someone else hiking in the narrows to give you a glimpse if this is something you might want to do.

This video give you a good glimpse of hiking the Narrows - Someday I will do it!

When Hiking in the Narrows

***Check weather and warnings before you go***

Wear sturdy boots or shoes with ankle support.

Take a walking stick.

Small children should not hike in the river due to strong currents and deep pools.

Carry out all trash: everything you carry in.

Carry one gallon of drinking water per person for a full-day hike, food, sunglasses, sunscreen, and first aid kit.

Take a sweater or windbreaker. It is cool there.

Pack gear in waterproof bags.

No bathrooms.

I hope you enjoyed your trek with me on the River-Walk Trail in Zion National Park.

Please drop a note below.

Thank you!

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    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 4 years ago from Europe

      Wow that's so beautiful, great job on the photographs.

    • profile image

      MaggiePowell 4 years ago

      I LOVE Zion! Great photos... takes me right back.

    • Yamin Joe profile image

      Yamin Joe 3 years ago

      I enjoyed very much your trek and hope to be there some day.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 23 months ago from Oklahoma

      What a beautiful hike. Wonderful pictures.

    • ArtByLinda profile image
      Author

      Linda Hoxie 23 months ago from Idaho

      It really is a beautiful hike, I am happy you enjoyed the photos I took.

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