The north fork of the Virgin River, called “The Zion Narrows” is probably one of the most legendary canyons to hike in all of Zion. This was our next hike we chose to conquer in Zion but first we had to rent water boots, neoprene socks and a walking stick to be able to hike up the Narrows in the cold water. We did the day hike from bottom and back, 6 miles round trip. We started early to catch the first shuttle to the Temple of Sinawava, and began the hike at the end of the Riverside Walk Trail. Hiking is done largely in the river, because the river runs canyon wall to canyon wall, with vertical sandstone cliffs on both sides, and there is no way of keeping your feet dry.
Water levels change from season to season and in some places we waded in waist-deep water. Hiking in the water was strenuous because the bottom of the river is covered with round, basalt rocks about the size of bowling balls. After hiking for about two hours, at the intersection with Orderville Canyon, we came to the “Wall Street” section, the narrowest and most spectacular section of the Zion Narrows. The canyon walls narrowed to about 40 feet wide and thousands of feet tall. The early morning light reflected off the water and the canyon walls casting shades of pink and red into the still water of the canyon. We hiked the 3.6 miles to Big Spring where we stopped for lunch and took several pictures of the waterfall. Leaving early was beneficial because we only encountered one other couple on the entire river hike. Eventually we started back down the river, and passed several hikers trying to make their way up the canyon. We stopped to check on a man who was wrapped in a heat blanket not moving but in good spirits. Both his legs stuck between two rocks as he was jumping down and broke both legs. It was going to be a long wait for him before rescue could get there as he was a long way up the canyon. We saw the rescue team heading in as we were leaving the canyon, two hours later. Click on thumbnail to view images
When we reached the intersection at Orderville Canyon we decided to venture up this very narrow canyon but first we had to climb up over a waterfall to get into the canyon. This hike was more challenging as we had a lot more rock obstacles to climb up and over and across narrow bridges made from fallen trees. We went as far as we were able to go without hurting ourselves and then turned around to head back to the Narrows. We finally made it back to our car at the Visitor Center and as we were driving out of the Park we saw Andrew Roberts in his car and we went out for dinner with him at the Zion Canyon Brew Pub. He was guiding a family in the Park for Epic Private Journeys. What a great day!