Day 343: September 3, 2005 - The Zion Narrows

by Christian Williams
I had spent a lot of time in the Narrows before, but I had yet to hike the entire 16 mile stretch. Karen was pregnant at this point and didn't feel up to it, so I brought along my hiking buddy Randy. Note to self, when choosing a hiking buddy in the future, don't go with someone who runs marathons for fun.

The Narrows is one of the most amazing places, with rock walls towering high above you and nothing but the river in between. Naturally, during the rain season or high-water periods hiking is restricted.
To hike the Narrows requires a day permit. To save on time, we picked the permit up on the previous day, and started the hike at dawn from the trail head at Chamberlain Ranch. The beginning of the hike is very interesting as the trail starts along flat ground with a small stream running alongside. As you walk, the stream gets larger and larger, and the canyon walls climb higher and higher. This waterfall is one of the earlier sights along the hike.
Orderville Canyon connects into the Narrows. We took a short detour hike down the canyon and back to the main section, which added a few miles to our trip. Hiking in a river is extremely tiring by about the tenth mile, the constant water resistance on my feet really stressed the tendons in my ankles.
This waterfall is called Big Spring, a year round fresh spring. It's a stunning sight to be rounding the corner and have this oasis appear in the middle of the river.

Epilogue: The hike took all day. We didn't get home until past night fall (because we had to shuttle back to pick up our car at the top of the trail head). From the fatigue and constant water exposure my body was shivering continuously as I drove myself the one hour drive home. I probably had mild hypothermia. I remember being so cold when I got home, I walked straight into the shower, turned it on hot and passed out for about 3 seconds! Then I got back up and was fine. The next day my legs were quite sore (Randy on the other hand wasn't phased at all). But it was an awesome hike.

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365 IN ZION

365 Days in Zion is a photo experience by Karen and Christian Williams. Together, we spent an entire year in Zion National Park amidst snow, rain, flash floods, brush fires, and the beautiful sunny blue skies that typify Southern Utah in the United States of America.

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