If there is one part of this whole road trip that I have not stopped talking about it’s this one. In fact I think more than one person has told me to shut up because they are sick of hearing about Zion. Let me just say one thing: if you love hiking and/or beautiful landscapes…GO TO ZION NATIONAL PARK!!!! forget the the Grand Canyon, its overrated compared to this absolute gemstone! There are so many hikes for all fitness levels and all of them are beautiful. The ones that require a lot more fitness are hikes that are life changing and unforgettable.
I first heard of this park on Pinterest when I saw a picture of the “Subway”, a famous hike here in Zion. It involved rappelling, swimming and hiking through rivers and caves. It looked like something out of a dream or another world.
Sadly, this is another one of those hikes that requires months of preparation and planning in advance and I didn’t get to hike this amazing cave system. But before you become sad for me, don’t. Because I didn’t get to hike this one, I discovered my new favorite hike instead… The Narrows. Here’s a link to the google images of it: https://www.google.ca/search?q=the+narrows+zion+national+park&client=firefox-a&hs=IKr&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=fflb&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=fRC3U6-OLOPD8QGjyoGIBg&ved=0CB0QsAQ&biw=1600&bih=789
The Narrows was rated #5 in the National Geographic ranking of America’s 100 best Adventures, and I can easily understand why. This hike is 16 miles (26km) long one way, can be done as a one day hike or a two day there and back trip. Before you start thinking, I could totally do there and back in one day, let me tell you why it is my favorite. The entire thing is hiking up a river. The entire hike you are in rushing water to at least your knees if not your waist, and at one point, your neck. The rocks underfoot are all shapes and sizes, shift suddenly underfoot or are covered in slick moss that makes for treacherous footing. The water is cold and the sheer, high and narrow canyon walls don’t allow for any warm rays of sun to hit the canyon floor. The current gets pretty strong in some places too and you will suddenly find yourself backed up against a cliff wall with no where to go except to swim through a swirling whirlpool in front of you. Reading the river and currents is of utmost importance as there are places where the cliff walls are undercut by the water and the current could potentially drag you under the rock.
Both me and Cat grew up on the Kicking Horse River and the Columbia River in British Columbia. Both rivers are known for their crazy currents and undertows, so we were experienced river hikers who easily navigated the ever changing face of the river. We didn’t discover the narrows until later in the afternoon, so we didn’t get as far up the river as we both would have liked, but as it was, we pushed pretty far up. Perhaps farther then was wise because we suddenly looked up and realized we were loosing the light quickly and we had a three hour hike back out the canyon, and the temperature was dropping quickly. We didn’t panic though. Both of us were built for adventure and we loved every minute of the race against the light to make it back before dark.
There are many other amazing hikes to be done at Zion. Angel’s Landing is a hike a friend of mine did that is quite literally breath taking as it is all the way to the top of a mountain on narrow mountain goat paths with a sheer cliff on either side. We also checked out the emerald pools which has some amazing views of the red stone cliffs and a friendly cactus bush that I became uncomfortably familiar with. We didn’t even discover the tip of the iceberg when it came to this place and I plan to come back when I can spend a solid two weeks here hiking everything. Here’s a link to google pics of Angel’s Landing as I don’t have any to show you: https://www.google.ca/search?q=the+narrows+zion+national+park&client=firefox-a&hs=IKr&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=fflb&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=fRC3U6-OLOPD8QGjyoGIBg&ved=0CB0QsAQ&biw=1600&bih=789#channel=fflb&q=angels+landing+zion+national+park&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&tbm=isch
Enjoy the pics, and happy trails!
The Medical Diagnosis
Transportation: Within the park there are buses that go up and down the road stopping at all the major trail heads, instead of driving and trying to find parking (which is impossible), we just hopped the bus and jumped off at the different trail heads.
What to see: The Narrows, the Subway and Angel’s Landing… Or anything else here… pick a direction and just start walking!
Have you hiked here? What was your favorite hike? what are some of your favorite places to hike other than in Zion?