Hiking the Narrows at Zion

Zion National Park is one of my favorite places on earth. I love the scenery and the hikes. It’s a place people come from all over the world to see, and that I have access to it with just a short drive.

So when my cousin Ben (I’d link to his blog, but it’s one of those annoying private ones) asked me if I would like to join some other family members on a hike down the Narrows, I was in.

The scheduling worked out just right and I was able to take the whole family down to St. George, where they hung out with Grandpa Gary while I hiked down a river for 16 miles.

The Narrows hike is probably the most famous hike in Zion National Park, and proved to be pretty grueling. We chartered a shuttle to drop us off at the trail head (in the middle of nowhere), and we were just expected to follow the Virgin river through it’s impressive slot canyons and not get killed by a flash flood. Easy right? There is no maintained trail, you just walk though the river. I’m glad I had neoprene socks to help insulate my feet, because some of the canyons don’t get much sun and the water was pretty chilly.

Sixteen miles on slippery rocks made for some sore knees and ankles for the next couple days, but we managed to make the hike without getting injured. The water level was pretty low (usually there are some pools you have to swim across, but I didn’t get wet above my waist) so we made really good time and finished in nine hours.

So, the Narrows at Zion National Park definitely ranks among the top five hikes I’ve ever done. I’m already looking forward to doing it again next year.

Photo Credits: Ben’s camera — I’ll post mine when I get them developed. Yes, I used a camera with actual film, just a cheap disposable (but waterproof). Genius.

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