Do I Need a Dry Suit for the Narrows?

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Person splashing water in The Narrow - Do I Need a Dry Suit here?

To know if you need a dry suit for the Narrows, you’ll want to determine the water temperature when you visit. The average water temperature in the Narrows is 40-50°F during the winter. 

At this temperature, one would benefit from the attributes of a dry suit as opposed to a wetsuit. Generally, dry suits are geared toward diving in extremely cold water conditions. 

They are loose-fitting to allow for the layering of warm undergarments and are constructed airtight to keep water out of the suit. Hence the name “dry” suit. You will benefit from wearing a dry suit in the Narrows, even though you won’t necessarily be diving in the Narrows. 


Why Do You Need it?

You would need a dry suit to protect yourself from extremely cold waters, which you can encounter at the Narrows. By and large dry suits are used by cold water divers. The construction of dry suits allows for layers of insulating clothing to be worn under the suit. 

The suit itself is made to keep the wearer completely dry. This is perfect for diving in cold waters, but how would they function on a hike through Narrows? Perfectly the answer is they would function perfectly for the Narrows hike. 

The dry suits will ensure that your whole body remains protected from the frigid temperatures of the Virgin River. On average, you will be hiking through less than 70 CFS that can be between knee and waist deep. 

However, in case of a slip and fall into those cold waters, a dry suit will protect you from the chilly water.  


Do You Need a Dry Bag as well? 

Anytime you are near water or will be interacting with bodies of water, it is a good idea to have a dry bag. Dry bags can provide many different benefits. Hiking can be an exhausting experience, especially if you’re also fighting water currents during that hike. 

Could you imagine anything worse than getting mid-way through your hike, sitting down for a much-earned snack only to find it soggy and ruined? That catastrophe could be avoided by using a dry bag. 

If you aren’t the snacking type, you must have some sort of electric device you’ll want to bring along. 

A dry back can protect your electronics in case of a tumble in the water. Aside from soggy snacks, a water-damaged phone or camera would be a big downer after such a beautiful hike. All in all, a dry back is the perfect hiking accessory for hiking the Narrows.  


Can You Buy it Near the Narrows?

You might not want to purchase a dry suit unless you have already been planning on purchasing one. There are a few adventure outfitters located around Zion National Park. They offer all types of mountaineering and canyoneering clothing and equipment. 

Not only would you want to buy the dry suit, but you would also need supporting equipment as well. Canyoneering shoes would be a must. They ensure that the hiker can gain proper footing in the rushing waters and on the slippery rocks. 

Neoprene socks are a must as they protect the feet from blisters and help keep them warm as well. Yes, buying is an option, but renting may be a more economical choice. The good news is Zion National Park offers rentals specifically geared toward the Narrows hike. 


How Much Does Renting a Dry Suit Cost?

There are multiple options for gear rentals near the Narrows. Rental prices will vary depending on what packages you choose. 

On average, outfitters offer packages for $75. This includes a dry suit, neoprene socks, canyoneering boots, and a wooden walking stick. This is a small price for the proper equipment to safely get you through the hike. 


Do You Need a Dry Suit During Summer?

Dry suits shouldn’t be necessary during the summertime. By this point in the season, the water would have enough time to warm up and be somewhat comfortable. However, proper hiking shoes and stocks will still be necessary. 

Hiking through water can do a number on your feet if you aren’t wearing the right equipment. The good news is that many of the outfitters in the area offer summertime rental options. 

While a dry suit may not be needed, it is always important to check with the park to confirm weather conditions and water conditions. 


Final Thoughts on Do You Need a Dry Suit for the Narrows

Our big takeaway here is that no matter when you choose to hike the Narrows, you must always prepare. Checking weather reports and conditions at the Narrows will guide you in which type of equipment you will need to bring yourself or want to rent. 

Quite a few outfitters outside of Zion National Park offer packages according to the season in which you visit. As long as you are prepared properly, this hike proves to be exhilarating and awe-inspiring.