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Thread: Zion Narrows top down

  1. #1

    Zion Narrows top down

    Ok, this trip was reported by my hike partner, but I’ve finally sorted my photos and I took so many that I couldn’t help but find around a dozen favourites that I thought were worth sharing on the site, so I’ll give my take on the hike, but keep the words fairly short.
    Thinking it’s always a good idea not to do long hikes alone, I appealed for a hiking partner to take up my spare Narrows pass and struck lucky when Byron said he was up for it.
    After some transatlantic emails, he was clearly a reliable partner as true to his word he appeared at my motel the night before to confirm our early shuttle rendezvous, and I soon realised I’d landed good and experienced company for the hike.

    We went at a fairly brisk pace but still with time to admire and take photos of the awesome canyon which never let up in its awesome scenery.
    Unfortunately we hiked past the confluence of Kolob Canyon earlier than we expected with the result that we realised too late that the side canyon we’d passed was Kolob, and so we missed out on our plan to explore a little way up it.
    Zion’s canyon walls kept changing in height, width, colour, and formation, and I wouldn’t have wanted to miss a mile of the constantly stunning canyon, so I couldn’t help wondering if I’d missed any extra “eye candy” up Kolob. I know people canyoneer from the top but can anyone tell me if the final 3 miles looks any different or better than the Zion Narrows, and would it have got my camera clicking for more photos?
    Anyway, I suppose I was a little tired when we eventually finished our hike so another 6 miles might have started to feel a little less enjoyable.

    Having seen very few people on the first half of the hike we finally started bumping into a few of the faster more determined bottom-up hikers. Clearly some know very little about where they’re hiking as we were asked “how much further is it?”, without them really knowing what the “end” point going up was, and having made no arrangements for a shuttle down – plus it was too late to beat darkness. We made it clear they’d have to turn round at some point well before the top of the Narrows.
    There was a little panic when dark clouds appeared overhead and then we had some drizzle – bearing in mind all the Park Service warnings you get about flash floods. Fortunately I was with someone who had a lot of experience of Utah weather who reassured me that unless things changed it wasn’t flash flood weather. Other tourists however did prove a little panicky as we saw them speed up, and one couple who’d said they planned to overnight clearly abandoned the plan to hurry onwards. However, the rain relented and we were able to enjoy the rest of the hike and I completed an ambition held ever since, on my first trip to the South-West around 15 years ago, I was transfixed by a picture in a Las Vegas gallery of the Narrows’ orange walls. On two previous trips from Britain when I had permits for early summer I had been thwarted by heavy rain but it was third time lucky.
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  4. #2
    Great pictures Ross!!!! Now I know why you were so fussy with that camera of know how to use it. Kinda had you moving quick, eh? Come back next summer and we'll do it again, and this time I promise not to blow by Kolob.
    It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking 13.

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