Posted by: Cross Country Couple | October 24, 2010

Day 35 … Hiking the Narrows at Zion

Matt had read online about a hike at Zion National Park that would take us through the tightest part of the canyon by means of the Virgin River. The Narrows is known for being one of the best hikes in all of the national parks system. The commentary described the hike as strenuous seeing as over 60% of the hike is spent wading through the river.
We emerged from the river wet, tired and hungry. Luckily, there was a bus pulling up just in time to take us back to the visitors center. At the car, we cooked up some mexican stir fry and rearranged the car. As we were setting up the bed, a ranger pulled up and told us about an area of public land just a few miles down the road where you can camp (and park) free. We made our way to the public land and settled in for the night.



The drive from Wal-Mart to the main entrance at Zion was about 45 minutes. Once in the park, all visitors park at the main entrance and ride the free buses on a tour of the park. The buses make 7 stops along the way from which the visitors can get off and explore the park. We rode the bus to the final stop at the Temple of Sinawava. The trailhead for the Narrows was a mile into the canyon where the paved trails end and meet up with the Virgin River. Without hesitation Matt and I marched right into the 54 degree water. We eventually got used to the water which was a good things because as it turns out, we spent more like 80% of the time in the water. As we maneuvered our way through the narrows we admired the 2000′ vertical sandstone walls on either side of us. We were traveling against the strong current the entire way to the split where we would turn around and treck back to the Temple of Sinawava. Matt wore his water shoes and Danielle wore her hiking boots. The water shoes which originally seemed like the better bet were light weight but offered no ankle support or toe covered so Matt ended up stubbing his toes on the slippery rocks multiple times. After the miles hike to the trailhead, another 4+ miles in the river, and the last mile back to the bus stop we were exhausted. Overall, this was the most exciting and adventurous hike so far. It was challenging to say the least, but we loved it!




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