Zion: Part 2 – Water and Waders (The Narrows)

 

The main reason we’re in Zion National Park is to hike The Narrows, one of the most popular hikes in the park. It’s pretty similar to the Wadi Mujib hike we did in Jordan.

The plan is to begin our hike from the Temple of Sinawava and hopefully make it all the way up to Big Springs and back. The employees at Zion Outfitters did not make it  sound too promising… but they don’t know our perseverance!

Hiking the Narrows

Riverside Walk

This hike is estimated to take roughly 8 hours, so we rise with the sun to get an early start. We don our rental gear (waders, neoprene socks, water boots, and walking sticks) before heading to the trail.

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No set of gear is complete without a smile! πŸ˜ƒ

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The first portion of the hike begins on a wide, fairly flat path with the river flowing down on the side.

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It is not long on the path before we are startled by creatures of the forest. πŸ¦Œ

These are a lot cuter than the tarantula we encountered at Angels Landing.

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Water Hits The Toes

It’s not long before the path ends…

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and our hike upstream begins.

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First steps in the water!!
How cold is it!?

We’re a little concerned at first, but the water in our boots quickly warms, acting like a wetsuit.

Even for February, it’s not bad at all!

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Into The Narrows

Before long, we are hiking in the water that now has begun to reach our knees.

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Immediately we’re smothered in the canyon and it’s clear to see why they’re called The Narrows.

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Kali takes some time to enjoy a nice Slim Jim for breakfast! πŸ˜›

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Looking at the side of the canyon, we can see that there is a beautiful little waterfall.

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Tommy practices his procedures for if there happens to be a flash flood by finding higher ground in the canyon.

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…. either that, or we’re lost already!!!

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Canyon Splendor

As we look up inside this canyon, we see colorful, monstrous walls, swallowing us in their splendor!

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Meeting new formations and colors of rock with each turn fills the scenery with artistry!

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We come across our first opportunity to test the limits of our waders…

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and take it!!!!

We quickly learn that the green water can get pretty deep… and that it’s neat to feel the compression of the river against the waders. πŸ˜œ

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After all that fun, we continue to make our way toward Big Spring.

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Rock formations and patterns are ever evolving, alluring us further into the canyon.

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Hiking in such a enchanting canyon has kept our hopes high of the possibility of making it to Big Spring!

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The sun does not reach us for too long while deep in the canyon, but it does cast some attractive colors on the canyon walls.

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Another chance to test the depth of our waders? Why yes! We’ll take it!! πŸ˜

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Looking up allows us the opportunity to gaze upon the towering canyon looking over us.

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The flowing river continues to swarm around our ankles and knees as we hike this marvelous canyon.

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Some spots are a little tricky, but thank goodness for our walking sticks to provide further balance!

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Other parts are quite a bit easier!

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For some reason, this rock looks as though it fell off of a gigantic statue and into the canyon.

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A Rush To The Head!

Canyon walls continue to enthrall us as we wade through the rushing rivers.

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Although… suddenly, as we’re in the deepest section of The Narrows we hear a distant rumble… PaNiC sets in!!

Our minds quickly remember the warning posted at the hike’s start, signs of an imminent flash flood.

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The rumbling continues!! and is growing louder and LOUDER!

There’s no access to higher ground behind us, so we begin to rush forward, hearts pounding, with hopes of some escape from the rushing water bearing down on us!!

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When suddenly….

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It stops…

Not all at once, but the rumble just… fades away.

It was an AIRCRAFT!
Flying low enough for it’s echo to carry through the canyon.

Emerging around a corner, we find the higher ground we searched for… and think about how things could be different…

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A fellow hiker finds us while heading the other way and shares a similar story of terror and his panicked escaped from the incoming flash flood.

He warns us of an impassible rock ahead, but encourages us to give it a try!

Saying farewell, we continue on our journey!

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Further Up The Canyon!

We come across this neat little mossy waterfall.

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Of course, we have to test out the fog filter on the camera…. aka breathing into the camera….

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The Boulder of Doom

What is this ahead here?

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A large boulder…. in the middle of the path….

We find the wet foot prints of our fellow traveler and follow suit.

This is as far as he made it.

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It’s easy to see why:

Waaaay too deep to the left….

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…. and too deep to the right!

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Might this be the end for us too?…. πŸ˜₯

It takes a little time… climbing skills, and advice from semi-professional rock climber who happened by…

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But we make it to the other side! Now… just to figure out how to get back πŸ˜‰

Big Spring, Here We Come!!!!!

It’s several hours into the hike and the scenery continues to astound us!!

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A few more obstacles…

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One more log crossing…

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a little further and we hear the sound of falling water…

Big Spring!!!!!

After about 4.5 miles and 5 hours of upstream hiking, we’ve finally arrived and are pretty proud of our victory!

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The spring is more beautiful than we could have imagined and well worth the hike!

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Looks like a splendid place to have lunch… since we haven’t eaten anything other than a jerky stick and some (a lot) Hi-Chews.

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Tommy steps away to…. explore…. and asks me to watch his food from critters….

Scoops found he was hungry too and I could not resist sharing with him!

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We finish our lunch, then head back down the river to the start of the trail.

The Trek Back

The hike back, we come across even more scenery that we missed on the way up.

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We climb over the troublesome boulder, and reach the paved path.

It takes only three hours (two hours less) for the return hike.

Our time in the river was fantastic, but we’re pretty exhausted and gaze on the path we just completed.

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We make it back to the van to remove our gear and clock out for the day.

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Thanks for sharing this with us!! πŸ˜€

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