Scenic USA - Utah

Zion Narrows

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The Zion Narrows - Zion National Park, Utah

Photos by Rob Jones
The Wilderness Vagabond Trip Report

   Zion National Park is one of a concentrated group of America's outstanding national parks, monuments and recreation areas in southern Utah and northern Arizona. Often called the Grand Circle, exploring this chain of parks may take anywhere from 10 days to a lifetime. One of the most popular stops in the Circle is the Zion National Park. First time visitors to Zion, tucked into Utah's southwest corner, are overwhelmed by the scale of its massive canyons and sandstone monoliths. Because of its popularity, a shuttle bus system is in place to ease congestion and help preserve some of the tranquility in Zion Canyon.
   This 229 square mile wilderness offers a variety of hikes, anywhere from a ten minute walk, to an adventure packed, multi-day, strenuous 28 mile (roundtrip) The Narrow (some wading required) - Zion National Park, Utah tour of the West Rim. Lying at the end of Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is the Riverwalk, which follows the Virgin River to the entrance of the Narrows. The Narrows, pictured here, is the most popular hike and one of the most challenging undertakings in the park. This route takes the daring along the streambed of the Virgin River. Much of the hike is in and out of the rock-strewn water, requiring a permit, a hands free approach, special shoes for the icy water and loads of stamina. Before attempting this 16 mile trek, a stop at the park Visitor Center is required and danger levels assessed, as flash floods in this narrow slot would certainly spell disaster. Enjoying the Narrows doesn't always require a full commitment (Hiking upstream as far as Big Spring does not require a permit), as many visitors follow the Narrows for a shorter distance.

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