Posted by: martinworster | April 19, 2018

Hiking The Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah

Hiking through a river in a deep gorge / slot canyon in Zion National Park, Utah? Go on then….

We hiked four miles upstream in the Virgin River as part of the famous ‘The Narrows’ hike. I’ve been on quite a few adventures in my life but this one is really up there in terms of phenomenal natural beauty and awe at the sheer scale of the slot canyon you are walking in. Every turn around a bend shows another breathtaking sight – the colours of the rocks, the sheer faces of the canyon and the flow of the river.

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We hiked from Zion National Park upstream – I think you can go up to five miles in but we turned around after four miles as it was late afternoon and we didn’t want to get caught in the canyon as it got dark. There is also an option to hike ten miles down stream but that’s a more involved adventure than what we had time for (next time). It’s a wonderful journey – we did this in early April so we all had to hire dry suits as the water is colder from the winter melt. It wasn’t that cold. In summer you can do it in shorts and a robust pair of waterproof shoes to cope with the rocks. It was pretty busy when we did it – although the further you go in the less crowded it becomes as people drop off. It’s worth persevering to get as far as you can. I am sure in summer the place is absolutely packed.

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It’s definitely a geologists wet dream, amazing shapes, colours and formations to the rocks.  I also thought of what the Romantic poets – Wordsworth, Keats, Shelley et al -would have made of this scale of natural beauty. If the Lake District inspired such poetry what sort of sublime creativity would this place inspire? It really is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.

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For a sense of scale look at the size of the humans in the photos above and below.

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