Thursday, July 5, 2012

Road Trip Day 6: Zion National Park--The Narrows

We had planned on hiking Angel’s Landing, but because the wind was so insane, we decided to change things up and hit the Narrows today instead. The Narrows is a hike along the Virgin River that goes deep into the narrow slot canyons. If you have a permit, you can hike the entire 16 miles route down from Chaimberlan Ranch, but since we just wanted a day hike that we could control, we went the tourist route.

We took the shuttle up to the last stop, hiked one mile to the opening in the river. We then hiked about 3.5 miles up the river. At some points we had to swim through the river because the water was so deep. It was 5 miles to Big Springs, which was as far as day hikers were allowed, but we knew that we had to make our way back and there was another short canyon hike that we wanted to do.  So we had a snack and dried off a bit in the sun, and headed back downstream. When we got to the fork in the river, we headed back about half a mile to Veil Falls. There was a series of small waterfalls with pools below each one. Once you get back to the falls, you have to do some scrambling to get to each level. We went up a few, took some pictures, and then headed the half mile back out to the main river.

By this time, there were a ton of people in the canyon which made our exit rather difficult at times. We made our way back, finishing our entire 10 mile trip in just under 6 hours. It was a great hike that I would highly recommend to anyone. Just be prepared with the proper footwear, a dry bag for your cameras and gear that you don’t want to get wet, and know that although the distance doesn’t seem bad, walking through the river for 6 hours and having to make your way across rocks the entire time, will wear you out. We are definitely both a bit sore now!

Once we got back, we changed and headed back into town to find something for dinner and return our walking sticks and Jen’s water shoes. We grabbed some sandwiches at a bar and grille, grabbed some more ice, and headed back.

The best thing about our campground, besides the view, is that the Virgin River runs alongside it and you can wade down into the water to relax. Both nights we have sat down there with our feet in the river, just enjoying the scenery and letting our sore feet a nice soak.  We then went back to have some wine, wind down with our books, and prepare for bed. We are planning another strenuous hike for tomorrow to round out our visit…fingers crossed all goes well!

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