I posted about our hike last year and offered a lot of logistical information and links.
There are waterfalls, areas of white water rapids and slippery rocks. This year we hiked for two hours longer than we did last year- making the hike just over six hours.
The water levels were much higher this year and there were several areas where the water was above the monkeys head and that Dr J and I were walking with our packs held above our heads.
The Narrows is one of the most unusual hikes on the Colorado Plateau. Hiking is done largely in the river, as for a third of the route, the river runs canyon wall to canyon wall. The walls are vertical and sheer, and often red in color. While water levels change from season to season, most hikers will wade at least waist-deep, and many will swim a few short sections. The hike is 16 miles (26 km) long and is very tiring because it is in the river itself. Permits are required before hiking the Narrows from the top and can be obtained at the Zion National Park Backcountry Desk. Hiking in the river is strenuous. The water is often murky and the bottom of the river is covered with round, basalt rocks about the size of bowling balls. This makes foot protection and use of trekking poles or a walking stick essential. In the spring, The Narrows might be closed due to flooding while the snow melts off the upland areas to the north if the flow rate is higher than 120 cubic feet per second.
|Walking sticks are a necessity for crossing the strong current areas and maneuvering the slippery rocks|
|The monkeys enjoyed catching tadpoles.|
|This moment was one of my highlights|
|Monkey number one took the jump|
|This was the exact spot were we stopped last year|
|We did it! And look forward to next year!|
There is a strong sense of togetherness with the hikers you meet along the trail. Advice is always being passed along regarding water depths and paths to maneuver. Despite this community the real dangers create a sense of survival mode that is very exciting. I could not imagine doing this hike with children who are not strong swimmers. The reality is that it is dangerous and far from help.