Monday, September 19, 2011

The Zion Narrows

Hiking in the Narrows is an amazing experience, one will never forget. The Angels Landing trail and the Narrows are the most popular hikes in the park and one of the world’s best canyon hikes.

The Temple of Sinawava, the last shuttle stop in Zion Canyon is the gateway to the Narrows. The first part consists of the Riverside Walk, a mile long walk along the Virgin River. It’s a nice introduction to the beauty of the Narrows.  What makes hiking in the Narrows so unique is that the trail is in the Virgin River. A good hiking pole might be useful to keep balance while moving against the river current. I would also recommend good waterproof footwear and checking the weather forecast. Hiking might not be permitted when the river is high from runoff due to flash flooding.

We visited Zion Park at the beginning of August. Water in the Narrows was a little cold but pleasant enough to keep us going. We were stunned at the special beauty this place has. There was not ending admiration of rocks changing colors upon different angles of light, riverbanks with some plants and trees growing in that harsh environment, and the way the bottom of the canyon was formed by the river. Each river bend revealed another marvelous view.

Courtesy of Marta Goraczniak

We kept hiking until we reached a little deeper area and unfortunately, as I am not a swimmer, I had to turn back. My family continued and they liked it so much that they went for another longer hike a few days later.

Courtesy of Rafal Goraczniak

You can go up the Narrows as long as you wish. Most people hike from the bottom, for several hours and then turn back. More advanced hikers start at the top and try to accomplish the entire 16 miles hike, but a permit is required if you wish to do this.
Joe Braun a great photographer and an enthusiast of Zion National Park has a beautiful website that I would recommend to read.

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