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The Narrows of Zion National Park

The Narrows is arguably the most exotic part of the Zion National Park. The easiest way to explore it is by going upstream along the Virgin River (no special permit is required if you go this way).

The walk starts at the last stop of the shuttle (Temple of Sinawava) and goes upstream along the North Fork of the Virgin River, between the cliffs rising high above on both sides of the stream. The first mile of the trail is paved, and wheelchair accessible. You may continue hiking beyond this point, as far as your time permits - as little as half of an hour or as long as several hours. There are many places where the only way to advance is by walking in the water, up to 4 feet deep; the water may seem cold initially, but your feet get used to it quickly, and soon you will find that wading in the water is the most pleasant way of walking.

The best season to explore the Narrows is summer, when the temperature is around 100F outside, yet the bottom of the canyon is almost always under the shade, and air is fresh and cooled by the running stream, which makes it one of most pleasant areas of the park in summer.

The most important part of the preparation for the trip is getting the appropriate shoes, in which you would feel comfortable walking in the water on the rocky bottom of the river. Find yourself a good walking stick - you would feel much more confident crossing the water with it. And, as always, don't forget to take enough drinking water with you!

Walking in the Narrows
Walking in the Narrows

 

 

 

The botton of the canyon is shaded from the outside heat
The botton of the canyon is shaded from the outside heat

 

 

 

Life among the rocks
Life among the rocks

 

 

 

The tranquility of the Narrows
The tranquility of the Narrows

 

 

 

The play of sunlight on the red rocks
The play of sunlight on the red rocks

There is another way of exploring the Narrows: from the north of the park downstream along the Virgin River. Such a trip would offer the most spectacular views of the Narrows; however, it is for serious hikers only: it's a rather streneous hike, 14 miles long, often waist-deep in the water. Some manage to make it in one day but most spend one night camping in the middle of the trip. Special permit is required if you want to go this way, contact Zion Park for the details and instructions.

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