Chamberlain's Ranch Trailhead
Chamberlain’s Ranch Trailhead (also called North Fork Trailhead) provides the primary access to the North Fork Virgin River Wilderness Study Area and is the starting point for top-down hikes into The Narrows in Zion National Park. The 16-mile hike to the Temple of Sinawava Trailhead in Zion National Park is generally done in two days, as cold water and rounded, submerged river rocks make for challenging footing. Groups hiking into the park must obtain a Zion Wilderness Permit and adhere to the National Park’s rules and regulations.
The route into The Narrows from Chamberlain’s Ranch Trailhead is undeveloped, with no designated trails or amenities after leaving the trailhead. The route generally follows the river, although it is possible to follow BLM93 as it parallels the river for the first 3 miles or so. Roughly 3.5 miles from the trailhead, the route enters the North Fork Virgin River Wilderness Study Area and the sandstone walls of the canyon become increasingly narrow and dramatic. The river passes through the Deep Creek Wilderness and two sections of private land before entering Zion National Park for the remainder of the route.
Please do your part to protect the North Fork of the Virgin River and The Narrows by following Leave No Trace principles:
Plan ahead and prepare to ensure that you have detailed route information as well as proper skills, equipment, and permits. Bring all the supplies you’ll need, including a way to purify water. Be self-sufficient and don’t expect others to rescue you in an emergency.
Dispose of waste properly and packing out what you pack in.
Protect soils and vegetation by traveling and camping on durable surfaces.
Leave what you find, and leave the canyon in a natural state; don’t mark rock faces with graffiti or muddy handprints, build rock cairns, or disturb vegetation.
Minimize campfire impacts – fires are not allowed anywhere in the Zion Wilderness.
Respect wildlife by maintaining your distance and not harassing or feeding wild animals.
Be considerate of other visitors by respecting their experience and keeping noise down.
Know before you go:
The Zion National Park website and visitor centers offer additional trip-planning resources and information about wilderness permits, rules, and regulations.
Amenities at the trailhead are limited to a vault toilet, informational signs, and a parking area. Overnight camping is not allowed at the Chamberlain’s Ranch Trailhead.
Portions of the hiking route cross private land; be respectful of private landowners.
Narrow canyons are extremely flood prone and passage through them should not be attempted if there is a risk of rain or flash flooding. Zion National Park does not issue permits when the river’s flow is 120 cubic feet per second (cfs) or greater. However, the BLM does not restrict visitation to the BLM-managed portion due to weather concerns or flood risk; individuals are responsible for deciding whether to enter the canyon.
Attempting to access Chamberlain’s Ranch Trailhead by passenger car is not recommended. The unpaved portion of North Fork Road is clay based and quickly becomes impassable to even 4-wheel-drive vehicles when wet. Snow closes the road in the winter.