Key Preparations for a Watery Hike at Zion’s The Narrows

Planning a nature hike for summer should start several months ahead. Now is the best time to seal a Zion national park tours booking because you have numerous decisions to make. It may take time to find a suitable suite of rooms for the entire family in Springdale, and if you start late, you might have to venture further to St. George. That’s already too far for comfort. Moreover, the park offers hectares upon hectares of natural wonders. Perhaps, we can convince you to prioritize one particularly twisty escape in the park. Are you ready for a virtual tour of The Narrows?

Zion Canyoneering

In southwest Utah, there is one place where red cliffs stand tall from the bedrock of the Virgin River. There are forest trails within, but it would take a first-timer a few minutes of gawking to take in the towering cliffs. Zion Canyon is impressive indeed, but one particular section draws hordes of tourists and nature lovers alike. The Narrows is a tall gorge towering over a living river. There are sections where the riverbank is just twenty feet wide. Walking along the river, which can grow to a size at any moment can be pretty harrowing if you think about it. However, canyoneering at The Narrows is safe even if you decide to spend the entire day.

No trail

The Narrows is an exciting bit of adventure at Utah’s premier national park. There is no trail, which means you and your companions would have to be ready to get wet. Most of the hikers come to The Narrows in the summer, but some intrepid explorers choose to start in late spring. These periods are best for the section of the canyon because the river is relatively low and warm. You want the water level to drop before you venture out into the river itself, right? Late spring and summer are good options because of the low water level, but a guide would still caution you against flash flooding. A storm may brew without warning somewhere upstream, and the river could swell in record time and be a dangerous place to be. Because rock is all there is, the water will gush down and fill the riverbanks. Not enough soil in the area absorbs the water, and vegetation is scarce for the most part.

You can choose to explore in wintertime, but the park rangers may not allow you to stay in the cold water long, or at all. For sure, snowmelt on the river would cause the water level to rise. That means closing up The Narrows in early spring.

A caution against flash floods

We’ve already mentioned the danger of flash flood in The Narrows, but you must understand the risk. The funneling of runoff into the narrow section of the gorge can happen in a few minutes. The rise of the water level is rapid. Some stranded hikers were caught in a sudden water level rise. You need to know that flash floods have taken some hikers’ lives in the canyons. To avoid putting yourself at risk, prepare for the trip well. Consult with park rangers, and never venture out alone.

Preparing for the hike

Preparing for a hike

Even in high summer, when the water is warmer, you’d better wear the right kind of clothes. You’d be in the water for most of the hike, so protect yourself from the cold. The conditions may warrant the wearing of canyoneering shoes instead of your trusty old sneakers or a favorite pair of sandals. You’ll be bringing a camera or your smartphone to document the hike, so remember to place them and other valuables in a plastic bag or a waterproof container. You might get soaked, but you will surely recover. Your valuable electronics may not survive a dipping, though.

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