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The Narrows

posted Nov 10, 2017, 4:35 PM by Justin P   [ updated Dec 17, 2017, 1:33 PM ]
Tuesday, for Halloween, we headed to the Zion Narrows.  After breakfast at the hotel, we drove to the Zion National Park visitor center and took the shuttle all the way to the last stop at Temple of Sinawava.  From here, we hiked the one mile Riverside Walk into the canyon.  Along the way, a mule buck was grazing along the trail.

The paved trail ended at an overlook of the river and from here, we waded into the water at the gateway to the Narrows.

Starting out, there were two girls also heading up the Narrows, but we didn't really see anyone else besides the occasional backpacker heading out of the canyon.  There were some beautiful hanging gardens growing out of the sheer cliff walls.

In about a half mile, we came to Mystery Canyon Falls.  The water level was pretty low, but it was still quite scenic, especially with the fall foliage.

Continuing on, there were some dry areas and we got well ahead of the two girls and pretty much had the canyon to ourselves for a while.

As we continued on, there were more nice little cascades in the river and it was always easy to get around.

At some points, there were indentations in the cliff walls.

In a little ways, we came to an area with some huge boulders that we had to climb over.  The fall color in this section was just gorgeous.  I was surprised by how colorful it was here in Zion.

We passed a small canyon as we were getting closer to Wall Street.

It was obvious how this area got its name.

At this point, there was a split and we went right to head up Orderville Canyon.  Almost immediately, we had to climb up a small waterfall to continue.

We could go about a half mile up this canyon without a permit.  The water level was much lower in Orderville than in Zion, but there were several tricky spots.  It was relatively flat after the first little cascade for a bit before we came to a more difficult challenge.  The pool of water was deep and the waterfall too high to climb.  Instead, we had to scale up a rock face.  Fortunately, sandstone is very rough and we had good traction.  A little ways further, we got to a point where we couldn't figure out how to go further without ropes and turned around.

The view from here was just beautiful though and it was a nice spot to turn back.  There was a little cascade right here I spotted on the way back.

Just a little further we came to the top of the difficult falls.

It was quite tricky scrambling down the wet rock, but fortunately the sandstone has good traction.

Once down, it was just a short ways past to return to Virgin River, where we continued upstream in the Narrows.  By this time, a lot more people had entered the canyon, though few ventured up Orderville.  This next section of the Narrows was Wall Street, a section where the river narrowed and the canyon walls went straight up.

The next landmark was Floating Rock, a huge boulder that bisects the river in two streams.  Many people had stopped here.  Sandy and I went a little further until near the end of Wall Street and stopped at a dry spot to eat lunch.

The views from here in Wall Street were just beautiful.  After lunch, we started making our way back.  The going was definitely faster going with the flow of the river.  It was also a lot more crowded on the way back - I was glad we had started early.  At one point, we saw a little mouse scurrying along the canyon floor.

Although the hike was crowded, it was nice seeing the canyon hiking back in the opposite direction.

Back on dry land, we started hiking back on Riverside Walk.  Almost immediately, I spotted a nice cascade on the river and scrambled down from the trail for a picture.

After walking in water all day, the paved trail seemed quite easy and we enjoyed the relaxing stroll back.  I stopped again near the start to get a picture of the river.

Back at the shuttle stop, we used the facilities and waited for the shuttle.  While waiting, I ran across the street for a couple scenic views of the Pulpit, another beautiful rock formation at Temple of Sinawava.

When the shuttle arrived, we headed back down canyon.  We took the shuttle all the way back to the visitor center and headed back to our hotel to change out of the dry suit pants.  Then we went to Zion Adventure Company to return our gear and meet up with our tour guide for the following day.  We chatted with Bill for about thirty minutes, going over gear and getting to know each other.  Since it was just the two of us, we decided to meet up and leave the office at 730 the following morning.  Afterwards, Sandy and I went to Jacks Sports Grill for dinner and drinks and then went to bed early since we had a busy day coming up.