Livin’ In a Land Down Under.
Zion’s Virgin River Narrows
One of my favorite aspects of Southern Utah is that at any given moment, you may be the on the edge of something special. Unlike the Wasatch which features majestic landscape propelled skyward from the earth, the beauty of a slot canyon is found below the surface, and often times goes unseen by the average passer-by. Without venturing into their depths, you would never realize the beauty and mystique held within some of my favorite spots in Utah, which from even a mile or so out appears to be nothing more than barren desert. Case in point the Zion Narrows, which I’m proud to finally be able to check off my list.
The 3 options for hiking the narrows are: 1. Hike from the park as an out-&-back, turning around after you’ve had your fill (gaper-mode) 2. Hike the 16 miles top-to-bottom as a day hike (beast-mode) 3. Hike the 16 miles top-to-bottom in two days with an overnight in the canyon (adventure-mode). Spending the night in the canyon requires obtaining a permit three months in advance, however, if you’re looking to experience the Narrows in all their glory, it’s worth the extra planning to get away from the crowds. After a day-and-a-half of relative desolation, it was a shock running into the hordes of tourists with clown shoes and Joey-sticks.
The Narrows, is one of those other-worldly adventures for which Utah is famous. The top-to-bottom option requires 16 miles of physical hiking, wading, and swimming through water. Unfortunately we’ve gotten lazy from the spoils of car camping and neglected properly planning our packs leaving us over-burdened from the load. A light pack and proper footwear make a world of difference when balancing on loose rocks and trudging through the river.
- Osprey, Gregory, & Kelty Packs
- Chaco Sandals
- NRS Sandal Sock
- Jetboil Sumo Stove
- MSR Aquatabs
- Zeal Optics
- Trekking Poles
- Therm-a-Rest Sleeping Pad
- The North Face Elkhorn Sleeping Bag
All images captured with the Olympus E-P5
Locations: Virgin River Narrows – Zion National Park, Utah
Date: September 13-14, 2014