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mini location map2014-06-24
10 by photographer avatarautumnstars
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Zion NarrowsSouthwest, UT
Southwest, UT
Backpack avatar Jun 24 2014
autumnstars
Backpack16.00 Miles 90 AEG
Backpack16.00 Miles2 Days         
90 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
It was a delight to enjoy this hike over two relaxed days, instead of one long day as I have before. A slower pace provided plenty of time to look around, take pictures, and soak up the surroundings. Two of our group of six had never been backpacking before, and this is a nice introduction in my opinion - amazing scenery, only one night, and no need to carry huge loads of water. Flow in the North Fork was even lower than usual for late June and the water temperature was almost 65 F, so no need for anything fancy. Just water shoes with a decent wool sock.

I didn't remember the bathroom at the trailhead, but after a terror-inducing shuttle ride :scared: (driver was late to pick us up and trying to make up time), we were all happy to use it before getting started. With new backpackers in the group, we used the old road at the beginning of the hike to get them used to hiking with the pack and make any minor strap adjustments. Once we reached the water, it was interesting to see who tried to keep dry feet and who just got straight in.

As the walls slowly grew higher and closed in on the river, we spotted a number of American dippers on boulders. No one else had ever seen one, so we spent quite a bit of time enjoying their quirky behavior. Even with 102 degree temps, the shade and water kept things pleasant, and silence fell over the group as we hiked through the first narrows section. The pool below the waterfall looked pretty low, so no one risked jumping, but we all made sure to get nice and wet anyway. :D

As usual, the flow level doubled where Deep Creek joined the main canyon. This is where the hiking starts to get more fun if you enjoy hiking in water - more flow, less visible and certain footing. Most of the campsites are after this confluence, and the two newbies were counting sites as they began to tire. A deer greeted us just before our campsite, and we saw him again the next day near Big Springs. We stayed at Site 9, which was nice. Far enough off the water not to be bothered by other hikers, and right up against a rock wall that echoed the sounds of the flowing water back at you. We relaxed with Yahtzee and a few adult beverages in camp.

We opted for the luxury of sleeping in the next morning. Most of our group had arrived at the campground quite late the night before starting, so we had only gotten something like 5 hours sleep beforehand. A late start was no problem, though, since we had ~6 miles for the day. This last section is the most scenic part of the hike with the longest continuous narrows, and we took our time enjoying it. The deepest unavoidable pool wasn't even waist-deep. Soon, however, we started to encounter the usual hoards of people near the mouth, and knew our trip was almost at an end. Odd to walk the last mile on pavement - I'll never get used to that.


We used a commercial shuttle service, and saving the 4 hours retrieving your vehicle at the end of the hike was worth it to me. However, the road to the trailhead was in the best shape I have ever seen it, and a car (driven slowly) could easily make it without damage.

The winner for Most Inappropriate Footwear easily went to two people hiking up the water in really fancy off-road motorcycle boots. :o But, what a way to ruin your expensive boots!

Funniest thing asked of us by a day hiker, hiking upriver in the narrows section:
"How much further until I see something interesting?" :doh:
Named place
Named place
The Narrows
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Mimulus and columbine flowering at the springs and seeps provided a welcome bit of color. Also a few penstemon flowering along the road near the trailhead.
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