Zion Narrows

Stephen Fischer Photography

Rating: 2B-II/III

The Narrows is one of those must-do hikes for those exploring Zion National Park that should be on everyone's bucket list.  Hiking up the Virgin River with dramatic canyon walls that tower hundreds of feet above you is quiet dramatic.  The classic approach is take this hike in the late summer in shorts and water sandals with a hiking pole, after the water has warmed a bit.  Many opt to use a wet suit bottom or dry pants that you can rent locally in Springfield.  If you want to photograph fall colors, then you will need to time your visit for the October timeframe and be prepared for colder weather and something to protect your camera from being drowned in case of slipping or stepping into a deep pot-hole.

I ended up exploring the Narrows from above via a longer hike through Orderville Canyon with two friends: Don Van Dyke and Randy Campbell.  Orderville canyon is a more difficult class 3B-IV route that dumps out into the Narrows about half-way up.  This trip was in early November with freezing temperatures at the beginning of the hike. Thus we did this in full dry suits that we had rented for also exploring some other canyons on adjacent days.  I found the Narrows to be more dramatic with the running river and very tall canyon walls, while Orderville to have a bit more variety, dry canyon portions, and areas of more intimate beauty.

More background details of this route can be found here.


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