Monday, August 04, 2008

Zion Narrows

Saturday I went on my first hike at Zion National Park, Utah, about 3 hours outside of Las Vegas. Though the park has several hikes, its most famous is the Narrows.

After a 30-minute shuttle to the Narrows and a 10-minute hike to the trailhead, hikers enter the glacier water, which actually in the middle of the summer, feels quite comfortable. The Narrows are about 16 miles long, and if a hiker wanted to do the whole thing, a permit is required, but for this section, the lowers, no permit is required.

The water depth on Saturday varied between ankles and waist deep, though mostly it was just above my knees. A few sections are deep enough to swim in-- those were fun to accidentally discover. The depth wasn't an issue as much as the slippery rocks! Combine those with some parts having strong currents, and people definitely struggled at parts. A few sections had no rocks, but lots of sand-- I LOVE THOSE AREAS. I spent so much time jamming my toes in between rocks that I feared when I finally pulled off my shoes that that my baby toes would jump off my feet and run away. You can rent canyoneering shoes in town, but sneakers seemed to work as well on inexperienced hikers. I didn't use hiking poles, but if I did it again, I would, though I did pretty well without. I didn't fall at all going in, but coming out, I don't know if it was because I was tired, or ready to leave the Narrows after being in there for several hours, but I fell a few times, Thankfully, I had a set of clothes vacuum packed in my backpack as well as my camera double ziplocked. I thought that falling would release my fear of falling, but I admit that it had the opposite affect. But again, I think it was fatigue setting in to my body and mind.

Sand bars on either side are intermittent on the route. I remembering being in a heavy current with the water up past my waist, and I noticed I was alone. I looked to the opposite side of the Narrows and saw people on a walking on sandbar. CRAP!




We took a break inside the Narrows for lunch. My hiking buddy Kiwi, brought sushi. I had a wonderful packed lunch, but all I could focus on was eating the butter beans. I my body and brain was so scrambled at this point, I de-evolved, and I couldn't even fathom using a fork.

Several yellow caterpillars joined us,

but other than them, I didn't see any other animals until outside the Narrows. The ubiquitous squirrel, deer, a bighorn sheep, and this fellow I found next to the walking path.

I definitely want to not only try the Narrows again, but other trails including Angel's Landing that is 3.5 feet way with sheer drops measuring 900 feet on one side and 1200 on the other. However, I want to be a more experienced hiker before I attempt something like that.



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Blogger Angie said...

Holy cow! Those pictures are absolutely amazing!!! I have to say, Utah is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Yes, hotter than Hades in the summer ("but it's a DRY heat") but amazingly gorgeous. It looks like a fantastic hike

2:28 PM  
Blogger Fuji Mama said...

GORGEOUS! I'm so jealous!

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very pretty. What a neat trail! I wish we had some cool trails that involved lots of water. :) Unfortunately, most of ours are in the mountains and cold.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous sibille said...

wow - looks like a great hike!
Is it a new hobby or are you practicing for something special? Do we have to practice, too?

1:33 PM  
Blogger Javajem said...

WOW!! How awesome! That looks like a great trip! I'd love to do that one day.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Pam the Yarn Goddess said...

Isn't it gorgeous there? That's the only thing I miss about living in Arizona - the scenery and proximity to Utah's wonders. I'm really happy you got to hike it.

Thank you so much for all the comments on my blog. I'm glad you loved the picture of my Chapstick holder. Isn't it a hoot? I have it hanging from my purse strap... on the outside LOL. Thank you so much for reading me, even though you're a closet reader and don't tell anybody on your sidebar about me (snort).

9:15 PM  

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