Formerly known as The Gateway to the Narrows the Riverside Walk is one of the best family friendly trails in Zion. The trail winds alongside the beautiful Virgin River for about a mile to the mouth of the famous Zion Narrows. This trail is paved and suitable for children and adults of all abilities. Those in wheelchairs will also enjoy this trail but may need assistance.


The Riverside Walk begins at the top of Zion Canyon at the Temple of Sinewava (37.285287,-112.947785), accessible using the free Zion Shuttle. The Temple of Sinewava is the final stop on the shuttle and the end of the Zion Scenic Drive.  

Parking is available at the Zion Visitor Center, but it can fill up quickly. During busy times of the year, it is often easier to park in Springdale and use the free town shuttle to get into the park. The town shuttle drops off at the entrance gate. Enter the park and board the Zion Canyon Shuttle at the Visitor Center (37.20042,-112.986926).

Restrooms and a water bottle refill station are available at the trailhead.

The Hike

The trail follows alongside the Virgin River for one mile before ending at the start of The Zion Narrows. There is plenty to see along the way, including lush hanging gardens, shady alcoves, and soaring sandstone cliffs.

The Riverside Walk is a great place to catch a glimpse of the local Zion wildlife. Lizards, birds, and some unusually friendly squirrels are common along the trail. Mule deer sightings are also common, especially in the evening. Keep a safe distance from all wildlife and never feed them.

The trail ends at a viewing area where the canyon walls close in and the famous Zion Narrows begin. This and several other designated river access points along the trail offer a place to stop and get your feet wet or relax to the sound of the river.

Round trip distance is approximately two miles.

Rules and Regulations

Visitors must pay an entrance fee to enter Zion National Park. The fee is $30 for a private vehicle with up to 15 passengers. This private vehicle fee is valid for seven days. You may purchase an annual pass for $80, which is accepted at all National Parks and many other federal lands.

  • No pets.
  • No littering.
  • Pack out what you pack in.

Special Considerations

  • The Virgin River has high flash flood potential year round. Use caution near the river and always observe trail closures. Check with the Zion Visitor Center for current conditions.
  • Some portions of the Riverside Walk may be closed during winter due to falling ice.


This trail guide is provided by Backcountry Post.