Day 14 - The Narrows - Day 1

Zion National Park , (UT)


 
 
 
 
  
Today was a non biking day, my friend Rick had arranged for us to hike the Narrows in Zion National Park. He had got together hiking gear for me to borrow for doing an over night hike. We got up early and drove from St george to Zion National Park.
We dropped off Rick's suv at the National park and then Rick's Wife very kindly drove us all to the top of the virgin narrows. The drive up took quite a while due to lots of road works on the road heading up out of the park. There was also over 13 miles of dirt road to get to the start of the trail head.
You get your feet wet almost straight away as you cross the Zion river. Then there is a 3 mile hike through private property along a pretty boring dirt track, until you enter the river and start the hike proper.
As well as Rick I was hiking with his bother and one of Rick's friends. Rick had recommended I buy some Neoprene socks and gaiters , as we would be hiking in the river almost 80% of the time. We all had hiking poles which were very useful for preventing you from falling over on the slippery rocks, and keeping your balance.
As you can see in the pictures it was a glorious blue bird clear day. We followed the trail down through the river and the canyon walls gradually rose up around us.

 

Apart from this Dipper we didn't see that much in the way of wildlife while hiking down through the canyon.

 

We stopped off in this neat side canyon, and had some food on the way down the canyon, and Rick and his brother used their water filters to refill out bottles.

 

The total distance of the hike is 16 miles, Rick had arranged for an over night camping permit , so just over half way down we would camp over night.
 

Whilst the canyon does get very high it never turns into a very narrow slot canyon along the way.

At about the 7 mile mark we came across a 20 ft water fall, the only one along the narrows, there is a narrow slot to the left of it which you go down to get past the fall.

Shortly after the fall is the the confluence of Deep Creek and the North Fork of the Virgin River at about the halfway point of the hike. The new water from the side canyon almost triples the flow of water into the river.

We arrived at out camp ground number 8 at around 18:00 and pitched our tents me rick and and rick's brother had a tent each and rick's friend just had a sleeping bag. The camp ground had enough romm for use all to pitchour tents. I had a rather tasty turkey terreaki meal in a bag.

The hike so far had been quite tiring and my back was sore from carrying a rucksack which I never normally do.

Unfortunately as we were deep down in the canyon you couldn't really see the night sky. When the moon came out it lit up the canyon walls.

Our camp also had a mouse that ran around, but it didnt bother us in the night.

I didn't get on too well with sleeping in a tent as if I laid flat on my back, how I like to sleep my lower back would start to hurt, so I spent the night being like a rotisserie chicken turning from side to side.

But the experience so far was well worth this minor discomfort.

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