With all this rain and the current flood Watch, we are reminded of a trip that we took this summer.
We were fortunate enough to get to go with 4 of our nieces, Delise’s brother Mark and sister Donyal and her husband Michael to Zion National Park in Utah. Zion is one of the most beautiful parks we've ever been to. (Ever heard that before?)
We so wanted to hike the Narrows which is a narrow, deep ravine cut by the virgin river that runs through the gorge. You should not hike the Narrows if there's any chance of rain because it can flood very rapidly and there is no easy way out.
We decided that the easiest way for our group to experience The Narrows is to Ride the park shuttle to the Temple of Sinawava, walk 1 mile to the end of the paved Riverside Walk, and begin wading up the river. Zion Park has become so popular you no longer can drive into the park except for certain areas so to get to where you need to go, you have to ride one of the buses.
There is no formal destination, and you return the same way you came in. We checked the weather for the days that we were going to be there and picked a day that we knew would be rain free to hike the Narrows. One of the first things you need to know about the Narrows is that you will be in the water at least 60% of the time. This means you must have appropriate equipment. This time of year the river looks much like light colored chocolate milk. That means you can't see the bottom of the river so you definitely need a good Walking stick to feel your way around..
First thing was to stop and rent some water shoes, neoprene socks and walking sticks, then catch the bus and head to the Narrows. On all of our hikes we would pack water and some snacks or sandwiches. Before we headed down the 1 mile walk to the river we stopped and had a few of our sandwiches this made the backpack a little lighter.
In a lot of places the river is from wall to wall, and you are walking between 2000 foot Canyon walls and only 20 feet wide in some spots.
As we headed in we knew as far as we hiked in we had to hike out so if you go 1 hour in count on 1 hour out. At first it was a little tricky, since you could not see the bottom, you weren't sure how deep it was or how slick the rocks would be, so we started out very slow. And the water was a little cold at first. But then it became a Rhythm put your foot down, check your balance and step and repeat.
It was so neat in the canyon, you could see how the water had been eating away at the walls over millions of years. One side of the canyon was shade and the other was in the sun, so if you walked in the sun the cold water was great, the Girls even swan in the river to cool off. About 2 hours and 15 min in we stopped on the rocks to have a snack and make the decision to start back.
We were amazed at how many people from other countries were trying to walk in the river with flip flops and no walking stick, but they will go home and say they did the Narrows. As we made our way back, the Girls were so good, making sure us older folks were doing ok.
We rented our equipment from Zion Adventure Company. They helped us with the fitting of our equipment and showed us the required safety movie. When we got out of the water our toes were killing us, we were a little Afraid to take our boots off. If you don't have special water socks and boots it would be very hard to do.
We have never done a hike like this, and I hope we can do it again one day. But to get to Experience this with our family was a dream, a memory that we will cherish forever.