The Narrows – Zion National Park

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The Narrows in Zion National Park

We chose to spend one of our days in the park exploring The Narrows. This section of the park is farther up in the canyon. The walls narrow in and the river gets higher as it is forced to wind its way down the narrow Canyon. This “trail” requires you to wade through water that can get quite high. We visited in October. The water was steady, but not terrible deep. We did have times that the water came up to our hips.

Rent some good gear

We rented water proof pants and boots made for extra grip in the water. We also rented neoprene socks and wooden hiking poles. People told us that it was easy to get the tip of our regular hiking poles stuck in a rock and break the pole in the current. So we opted for thick, sturdy poles. They were nice to have for sure.

“Hiking” The Narrows

We spent most of the day “hiking”, if you can call it that. Other names for what we did are fording, wading, etc. You spend most of the time in the river. We had a few small breaks where we hiked on dry land. There isn’t much out there except narrow canyon walls and water. You spend most of the time finding good footing and trying to remember to look up and the scenery. We spent most of our time looking down to find a good footing. But when we stopped to look up, the views were pretty spectacular.

Flash Floods

We hiked into the canyon on a day that had very little chance of a flash flood. But it can happen at any time. Storm clouds form year round in Zion. It’s hard not to think about that when you look up at smooth walls on both sides of you. But if you plan well, the risk is minimal.

All Day in the Canyon

We spent all day in the canyon. It was exhausting. You don’t realize how much energy it takes to walk up stream in a river. Most of the time, the water was up to our knees. And the current is strong enough to give you some good resistance. But the farther we went up, the fewer people there were. And as the sun started to get lower in the sky, we were treated to some pretty nice views.

Made it back out of The Narrows

We ended the day exhausted. We hiked back to camp and got our feet out of our boots. That was one of the best feelings… drying off. After an entire day in the cool shadows of the canyon and the cold river water, we sat in the sun and dried off. I rented a dry bag to keep my camera gear dry in the canyons. But we also brought along a GoPro. I would say the GoPro is the camera I would choose as the best bet for this hike. It’s waterproof and was just one less thing to worry about. Check out our video of our Hike in the narrows.


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