On Monday morning I speed-hiked down the West Rim Trail (see the post from July 24, 2011). On the canyon floor, I shuttled to Watchman campground, set up camp, and filled my belly with a delicious Beef Ravioli MRE – one of the best yet! I crammed all electronics and paper documents into waterproof bags and stuffed those bags into my backpack. Today I would hike The Narrows. The trail would be wet, very wet. The following trail description of The Narrows is from the Zion National Park website:
The Virgin River has carved a spectacular gorge in the upper reaches of Zion Canyon,16 miles long, up to 2000 feet deep, and at times only 20-30 feet wide. In The Narrows, walking in the shadow of its soaring walls, sandstone grottos, natural springs, and hanging gardens, can be an unforgettable wilderness experience.
It is not, however, a trip to be underestimated. Hiking the Narrows means hiking in the Virgin River. At least 60% of the hike is spent wading, walking, and sometimes swimming in the stream. There is no maintained trail; the route is the river. The current is swift, the water is cold, and the rocks underfoot are slippery. Flash flooding and hypothermia are constant dangers. Good planning, proper equipment, and sound judgment are essential for a safe and successful trip. Your safety is your responsibility. Weather forecasts, flash flood potential ratings, and stream reports are available at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center. Permits are not issued when the flow is greater than 120 cubic feet per second.
The following video is a collection of short movies captured in my four hour, out-and-back hike of The Narrows. In this slice, you may receive a better overall picture by viewing the video first.