The secret is out on Zion's beauty.
Top down vs. Bottom-up
Top down Pros
A fraction of the crowds
The Upper Narrows are amazing and you'll have them almost entirely to yourself
Camping under the stars in the canyon is beautiful
Experience all of the Narrows in their full glory
No turning back - you have a goal to strive for
Top down Cons
It's a lot of downhill in the water, which can be tough on your knees - bring trekking poles / walking stick
You start in solitude but end in the crowds
Can do it as a short day hike and choose your own adventure (go as far as you want and turn back)
Crowds, it feels a bit like Disneyland, which kind of ruins the experience
Finishing the hike in Wall Street made me really appreciate the solitude we had the first day
Top Down Overnight
Camping in The Narrows was awesome. The way the canyon walls framed the night sky was incredible. I would highly recommend doing this trip as an overnight if you can grab a campsite in advance. Permits are available online 30 days out. Some of the sites have walk-in slots available that may be obtained 1 day prior to the date at the Visitor Center. We went in the end of Sept, slightly past peak season so it was a little cooler but easier to grab a permit online.
We camped at spot 9 to try to break-up the hike a bit more evenly, but we honestly would have taken any of the campsites. Note, you need to get one of the outfitters to drive you up to Chamberlains Ranch
Upper narrows are majestic and no crowds!
We went right after it rained so the current was on the higher end. One part got up to our chin!
Wall Street is definitely beautiful, just crowded.
All of the backpacking essentials plus two key pickups from one of the many outfitters in town:
Walking stick / hiking pole