Zion National Park: Narrows
Who: Sarah and I
Distance: Little over 8 miles round trip
Duration: 6:17 hrs
Here are a few recommendations for this hike:
1) Have sturdy closed toe boots. You step on plenty of slick rock and you need all the protection you can get. There are wading shoes you can rent from the park...but Sarah and I chose to wear our boots instead and felt fine. Do not wear sandals...you will stub your toe over and over again.
2) Poles! They are a must if you want to move at a decent pace. In the beginning of the trail, we saw many hikers without them...and sure enough, they moved a lot slower and did not get as far. The water current is very swift...very strong. I will admit, even with poles, I fell a few times and was completely immersed in the water. I couldn't imagine how many falls I would take without them.
3) Dry bags. You need to protect your camera and gear. Having your stuff in waterfproof sacks is essential if you care about having dry layers, dry equipment (i.e. camera), and not eating a soggy sandwich. You will get wet. There is no avoiding it...and you will remain wet the entire time you are on this trail. You never dry off...
Sarah and I continued upstream...we knew how long we had hiked that day...and knew it would take us the same amount of time to get back. We didn't have any idea how long we hiked...since I was not carrying a GPS. I was trying to do my best to calculate...but had no clue. It felt like we hiked for miles and miles...but reality is, we had only gone a little over 3 miles from the original TH. My usual hiking pace is 3 mph...today it was a little over 1 mph. Wading in water will slow you down...
We did not get much farther than the picture above. Matter of fact, I later learned that we were within a few hundred yards of Big Spring. It's a shame we didn't go that much farther, since there are waterfalls in Big Spring. But Sarah and I had no clue where we were. There are no signs or landmarks once you enter the slots to let you know how far you are going. You also lose sense of distance with all those turns. I felt like there were only so many bends when looking at a map. But when you are in the canyon, every little turn feels like a bend...and sure enough, my count was 2-3X more than what the map indicated. So we turned around...and enjoyed the canyon we came up on.
-We hiked the 1 mile roundtrip trail of the lower Emerald Pools on this day. There was no water flowing this day...so I did not take any pics.
-We also hiked the .5 mile roundtrip trail to hanging gardens of Weeping Rock. This area was lush and the water literally seeped out of the rock. Unfortunately, there was not one picture I took than could capture the beauty of this place. I failed you!
-The next morning, right before we left for Telluride, CO...we hiked the 1 mile roundtrip scenic overlook trail to see the higher peaks of the canyon. I completely recommend this trail. There is a hundered or so feet of elevation, so it's not too difficult. It's located up the canyon, back through Carmel Tunnel and to your left. When you reach the end of the trail...you get a panoramic view of the canyon big walls and their higher peaks. (which I posted in the previous post, but will do again here.)
Up next: Telluride, Colorado...Via Ferrata...and more!!!!