Poverty Wash is a tributary of the East Fork of the Virgin River just east of Zion National Park. The lower end includes a scenic section of narrows and is strongly suggested as a diversion for anybody hiking The Barracks. It only takes 30-45 minutes roundtrip to hike up through the narrows to a dryfall/grotto and then return to the river. It is possible to bypass the narrows/obstacle and then hike up to the dry upper portion of the wash, but this guide only focuses on the lower portion.
Poverty Wash meets the Virgin River just above the Rock Obstacle in the Barracks. At the confluence there is likely to be just a trickle of water coming in from Poverty Wash and no real hint of the scenic canyon upstream.
After about 5 minutes of walking up the canyon one enters a nice portion where the streams flows over slickrock and forms a few small small pools.
In this section is looks as if the narrows may begin to form. But, soon after the walls begin to constrict, the canyon opens back up a bit instead.
Then, after another 5-10 minutes of walking, the canyon begins to narrow again and then abruptly transforms into a slot.
The slot is really scenic, though it doesn’t last very long. If the daylight is right, the colors are amazing as the sun bounces off the canyon’s upper red walls.
Once one passes through the darkest part of the narrows, he/she emerges into a small grotto. This is the end of the road where a small waterfall blocks further passage directly up the canyon.
Turn around and retrace your steps back down to the Virgin River.