The Art of Mom Hacking

5 Quick Tips For Hiking The Narrows: A Surreal Adventure In Your Utah Backyard

Before moving to Utah, I never knew anything about the place.  I held something in the far reaches of my memory about Utah being a destination for good hiking, but that was about it.  It wasn’t until my husband suggested we move to the state for a new career opportunity that I started to explore the internet for activities.

That’s when I realized that some of the most stunning photos I’d ever seen were taken right here in the USA.  They were taken in friggin’ UTAH!  Strangely green waters and eerie painted canyons rising up all around you.  It’s truly breathtaking.  The best part is that no matter how painfully hot is, and it’s really hot, the river you’re walking through keeps you perfectly comfortable the entire time.

  1. Don’t get a guide if you’re planning on doing a Bottom-Up day trip, which is what I suggest for hobbyists like us.  Go for the guide for Top-Down.  All this bottom-up, top-down business just means whether you start walking with or against the flow of the river.  When you start at the top, you start from much further up the river.
  2. Rent gear from Zion Adventures.  They also play an introductory video for you with some handy information.  It’s worth it and isn’t terribly expensive.  You’ll be thanking me in less than an hour for those goofy shoes and stick.
  3. Plan to be there all day.  Depending on how far you intend to go, this can be a 10 hour trip for the bottom-up hike, especially if you want to take some pictures, and you will.  This place makes everyone look like a professional photographer.  You’ll want to invest in a comfortable pack to carry and take along some Ziplocs to waterproof everything, or you can pay an arm and a leg for a waterproof bag.  It’s up to you.  Don’t forget…
    • Snacks and even a light lunch.
    • Camera.
    • Change of clothes.
    • Flip-flops, or some other light shoe that you can carry easily.
    • A light jacket.  I know it seems weird, but if you’re going to be there late afternoon it can get chilly in the shade.
  4. Start super early to catch the shuttle if you aren’t planning to get lodging inside Zion National Park.  The line can be very long and it takes a while to get to the drop-off point.
  5. Take your time.  Since this is an out-and-back hike, you can decide exactly how much you want to put into the experience and choose your own difficulty level.  A word of warning, though.  The water can give you a false sense of ease and you may actually be a good bit more tired than you realize.

Bonus Tip For Visiting With The Whole Family – There’s no reason not to visit with the entire family.  A very easy, paved walk leads up to the entrance of The Narrows.  The mouth area is stunning and has great places to picnic, beautiful blue pools of water and some deeper (a few feet) sections of water that the younger kids can splash around in.  This is a wonderful opportunity for the kids to cool off and see a jaw dropping wonder of nature.

Now go out and enjoy one of the most gorgeous waterscapes you’ve ever imagined!



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