Hiking The Narrows in Zion National Park, Utah
In the fall of 2013, three of the arbiters at JAG, Dick Dana, Bill Meyer and Lee Anderson, along with Dick’s son, John and Lee’s son, Max hiked The Narrows in Zion National Park. The National Park service describes the terrain as follows (with a few parentheticals added):
The Virgin River has carved a spectacular gorge in the upper reaches of Zion Canyon: 16 miles long, up to 2,000-feet deep, and at times only 20 to 30-feet wide. The Narrows, with its soaring walls, sandstone grottos, natural springs, and hanging gardens can be an unforgettable wilderness experience. However, it is not a hike to be underestimated. (As we found out)
Hiking The Narrows means hiking in the Virgin River. At least 60 percent of the hike is spent wading, walking, and sometimes swimming in the river. (Whether intentional or not) There is no maintained trail because the route is the river. The current is swift, the water is cold, and the rocks underfoot are slippery. (Hence, the unintentional swimming) Flash flooding and hypothermia are constant dangers. Good planning, proper equipment, and sound judgment are essential for a safe and successful trip. (We had at least 2 of the 3, you guess which ones)
Click here to view additional images of the trip.