6.9.11

Zion, Utah- The Narrows Hike

This is the second year in a row that our family has done the Narrows hike at Zion National Park and I believe that for us it is a spiritual pilgrimage.  The hike is strenuous and seemingly never ending.  There are countless obstacles and the farther you hike the less people you see.
I posted about our hike last year and offered a lot of logistical information and links.
There are waterfalls, areas of white water rapids and slippery rocks.  This year we hiked for two hours longer than we did last year- making the hike just over six hours.
The water levels were much higher this year and there were several areas where the water was above the monkeys head and that Dr J and I were walking with our packs held above our heads.



The Narrows is one of the most unusual hikes on the Colorado Plateau. Hiking is done largely in the river, as for a third of the route, the river runs canyon wall to canyon wall. The walls are vertical and sheer, and often red in color. While water levels change from season to season, most hikers will wade at least waist-deep, and many will swim a few short sections. The hike is 16 miles (26 km) long and is very tiring because it is in the river itself. Permits are required before hiking the Narrows from the top and can be obtained at the Zion National Park Backcountry Desk. Hiking in the river is strenuous. The water is often murky and the bottom of the river is covered with round, basalt rocks about the size of bowling balls. This makes foot protection and use of trekking poles or a walking stick essential. In the spring, The Narrows might be closed due to flooding while the snow melts off the upland areas to the north if the flow rate is higher than 120 cubic feet per second.


Walking sticks are a necessity for crossing the strong current areas and maneuvering the slippery rocks

The monkeys enjoyed catching tadpoles.

This moment was one of my highlights
Monkey number one took the jump

This was the exact spot were we stopped last year
We did it! And look forward to next year! 
There is a strong sense of togetherness with the hikers you meet along the trail.  Advice is always being passed along regarding water depths and paths to maneuver.  Despite this community the real dangers create a sense of survival mode that is very exciting.  I could not imagine doing this hike with children who are not strong swimmers.  The reality is that it is dangerous and far from help.


21 comments:

demie said...

very exciting! the picture of the dive is amazing : )

stephanie said...

That sounds like a lot of fun! We have a few areas around here that are fun to hike like that, but I never seem to get my act together enough to go do them. Maybe I'll try to do that this month, before the weather turns.

Sara said...

Looks awesome. Backpacks lifted above heads, jumping into water, rocks... I would love to do something like that... Will have to wait until wee one is bigger.

dotblogg said...

you are such a brave family! I would be affraid of taking little boys with me for such a long and demanding walk:)
I'm proud of you!
hugs
J

Crystle said...

Oh man! I'm so anxious to hike in Utah. The photos are always so glorious. Looks like you had fun :)

Your Mother said...

Sounds exciting AND dangerous!
Reading this post caused dizziness,
shortness of breath, heart palpitations and hot flashs.
Your MOTHER

la petite coquine said...

What an incredible hike! It reminds me of how my parents felt after climbing Machu Picchu!

Nikki said...

So beautiful! Zion is on my bucket list. Gosh you guys are having a wonderful summer.

Lady Grey said...

Oh I LOVE Zion! Beautiful photos - such a magical place.
xo

David Toms said...

I have always wanted to visit! The monkeys are certainly enjoying themselves. Some of the rock formations remind me of a place in Australia (on a smaller scale) which we also used to hike in!

lis said...

hi ren! AMAZING hike and awe-inspiring rock formations. very nice to "meet" you as well! i gotta get myself out west one of these days to hike in that terrain :)
glad your family enjoyed it. i know what you mean about tough hikes as spiritual experiences ... i have had that feeling before. it is incredible, hard, and perfect. bless!

sherri said...

wow! scary, exciting and beautiful!

Fashion, Art and other fancies said...

I've just fallen in love with giant rocks; what grand nature!

Nuit said...

so beautiful!!!! love nature :)

a new girl in vienna said...

wow! what an amazing experience that must be.

Brissa said...

I LOVE ZIONS!!!!! there's nothing i love more than red rock. i went down last spring and it was the best.

Mo Pie, Please said...

Man, you guys are always making me envious with your incredible adventures! I can't wait to make annual treks with the husband and future children to mammoth cave and other red gorge here in Kentucky! I can't wait!

The Annachrist said...

Acckk I'm so jealous! I love hiking.

Vintage is for Lovers said...

Wow! Another breathtaking trip captured so beautifully in your photos!! I am in awe and amazement with Mother Nature. You personify her so beautifully in all that you do with your family! xo Samantha

Andrea said...

You do have some great holidays! Fab photos :)

Freedom Three said...

so awesome! i regret not having made it to this park when i was in Utah.

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