Sunday, March 13, 2016

Zion Canyon - The Narrows

After my hike through The Narrows

Zion Canyon - Utah
The Narrows
Spring Break 2015 - Adventure #8
Tripometer: 3+ miles  *  ~+/-50 Feet  *  1.5 Hours

Buffalo - Different than a Bison
We left Bryce Canyon early and headed to Zion.  The drive took longer than expected.  In part, there is a pause when you have to drive through and pay for the rights to drive through the red tunnel.  If you are in an RV, you may want to check restrictions.

Entering Zion was insanetianol - yes - a made up word.  The rock and road was paved red.  Although it did not have the Hoodoos, rock formations like Bryce Canyon, the geology was quite sensational.

One thing about Zion though - it's too touristy!  It reminds me of Yosemite.  However, there is a free shuttle that drives you through the canyon and offers you many places to step off and begin your journey.  We chose, The Narrows:

The hike begins on a paved path and perhaps goes on for a mile.  I don't quite remember but the trail is fairly level.  Eventually, the trail runs out - which is where the adventure begins...

From here, put on your wet suites and start hiking through the barely above freezing waters.  Perhaps the waters warm in the summer months, but this water today was ice piercing to the skin.  In fact, Ayden bailed out and Jess didn't try at all.  Fortunately, they were good sports and let me explore for about an hour more...

Come'on Man - Everyone is doing this!  Many rent gear from the visitor center.  Not a bad idea.  The cold water did dampen the mood, pun intended.

I was wearing old man sandles.  Good enough to fend off the rocks but offered no escape from the water.  In the first half mile, there are many sand/rock islands to escape the freeze.  You will find yourself running from island to island - ankle deep.

At times the water deepens to thigh depth.  Also, the islands gap further away per stop.  Brave it as long as you can and then think about your wife and kid waiting for you.

I turned around shortly after this.  With no island in site, the cold water became too much!

Big Bend - another stop on the route

In summary, The Narrows are a spot that I do hope to explore again one day.  I guess they go on for 27 miles or so.  Permits are needed, camping may require anchoring in to a cliff; and watch out for flash floods.  This is a challenge and many people have died back here.  For the novice, splashing in for a half mile or so is a must do for every one.  If you have not done this yet in your life, I don't care if you are 80 years old, go to Zion and head to the Narrows.  Easy hike, light elevation, cool water.

***This was an all day adventure, driving from Bryce to Zion and the one hike.  They are relatively close in proximity but time wise, not so much.  Consider that in the summer months when it is busier, if you don't leave very early, you may not get to any destination.  Plan accordingly...

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