Roadtrip to Zion: Part IV – The Narrows

Good morning!

Today we’re sharing our trip through the Narrows, one of the most iconic places at Zion National Park!

We planned to be on the trail to the Narrows from the Grotto parking lot by first light, about 7am.

Our plan was to hike out to Wallstreet, see how we were feeling, and decide if we wanted to turn back or go farther. Since we were doing the Narrows bottom-up instead of top-down due to weather (no shuttles able to take us to the top) we would only be able to go as far as Big Springs if we made it past Wallstreet.

The first mile or so was fully paved and a quick easy walk.

The boys waited to suit up completely until we were down to the point of getting in the water. This was probably smart, Jewels and I were worried about being cold but we heated up pretty quickly in our suits.

Ready to go!

We struck out into the water, finding our footing and relying on our walking sticks to keep our balance.

The weather ended up being pretty perfect, with a high in the upper 50s. We were just warm enough in our dry suits and our feet stayed warm too.

We had to stop for plenty of photo ops.

And of course to photograph the amazing scenery.

Once we reached the end of Wallstreet, Jewels and I were tired and ready to turn back. The guys wanted to push on, however, so we headed a little further into the canyons. Jordan really wanted to make it to Big Springs, the furthest point hikers coming from the bottom can go. The going definitely got pretty rough past Wallstreet, and we were tired by the time we reached the springs.

We stopped and ate our packed lunch of turkey sandwiches and trail mix, and then headed back down the river. Going downstream was definitely easier than upstream.

We didn’t see many hikers above Wallstreet, but as we got into the afternoon and got closer to the paved portion of the trail we started to run into more people. A nice pair of hikers took our photo.

All together the hike ended up being about 12 miles, and we were very tired at the end of it. I will also add it was very tough on our knees and ankles due to all of the stabilizing as we walked over the rocks in the river.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention that we were especially careful with our planning due to the recent death on this trail just a week ago. Two hikers attempted to do a top-down hike in a single day (this was our original plan, although we planned to camp overnight and do the hike in two days) and became severely hypothermic as they were caught out in the elements unprepared. Details are still pretty minimal, but it sounds like one of the hikers passed due to hypothermia on the trail, about a mile and a half from the paved portion. The other hiker made it out but had to be treated at the hospital due to his condition.

Because of these recent events, we shortened our hike and decided not to camp in the Narrows. Even so, we still had a phenomenal time in this gorgeous place.

That concludes the pre-planned portion of our journey! From here everything was organized on the fly. We’ll share our favorite moments from the rest of the trip soon!

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