Tag Archives: Narrows hike

Zion Narrows Hike Limit Raised to 150 CFS

Shelley called the Park this morning and confirmed a rumor that the Bottom-Up Hiking limit for the Zion Narrows has been raised to 150 CFS. Woohoo! That’s a big deal! But what does that mean, exactly? Until the early 2000s, The Narrows was ALWAYS open, making it a do-at-your-own-risk activity: You looked at the river, maybe you got some advice from the rangers, and then you decided to hike or not. About ten years ago, however, the Park’s lawyers decided the liability of this policy was too great, and ZNP should take measures to protect unwitting Narrows hikers. The Park implemented a system that uses Virgin River water volume (measured in cubic feet per second (CFS)) to determine whether the Zion Narrows is open to hiking or not. The Park set the Top-Down limit at 120 CFS, and the Bottom-Down limit at 140 CFS; if the current CFS is ABOVE the limit any time in the last 24 hours, the hikes are closed accordingly. The upside of this closure system is very few people enter The Narrows when it is unsafe. The downside, however, is The Narrows is closed at levels where athletic hikers could have a lot of fun enjoying … Continue reading

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October in The Narrows Video

One of my very favorite things about hiking The Narrows this time of year is the incredibly clear water. Unlike April through September, when the Virgin River can be silty or muddy from recent rains, the fall/winter season typically features crystal-clear, blue-green waters… you can see straight through to the myriad river rocks below. The above video, sent to us from a couple recent Narrows clients, shows a glimpse of these conditions, as well as great examples of the deep wades, river crossings, and general splendor a Narrows hike brings. Enjoy!

Posted in Autumn, Canyoneering, Hiking, Seasonal, Videos, Zion, Zion National Park | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Narrows Injury Highlights Importance of Good Equipment

Picked up this story from Narrows hiker Glenn Jones (below) on the Yahoo Canyons Group. Though Glenn wasn’t intentionally advertising for us, his story tells a convincing story about why proper footwear and a sturdy hiking stick are so helpful in The Narrows. “Do we really need the rent equipment to hike The Narrows?” We hear this question often in our store, and our answer is always the same: No, you absolutely don’t need to rent equipment to hike The Narrows, but investing in gear innovated specifically for The Narrows hike helps you accomplish three key goals: 1. Greatly reduce the likelihood of injuries from tripping and falling. Sprained ankles are the most common injuries in The Narrows, followed by sprained wrists, dislocated shoulders, all resulting from tripping and falling due to poor traction and ankle support. 2.  Hike The Narrows comfortably. Spend your time and energy enjoying the breathtaking landscape, taking pictures, and enjoying your companions instead of staring at the ground, picking rocks out of your shoes, and fixing broken show laces. 3. Save your hiking boots and/or sandals from destruction. If you’re in Zion, chances are you have many more hikes on your vacation agenda. As Glenn’s story reflects, … Continue reading

Posted in Accidents, Canyoneering, Gear, Hiking, Outdoor Leadership, Reflections, Safety, Summer, The Narrows, Trip Reports, Zion, Zion National Park | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Trip Report: Zion Narrows Top-Down Thru Hike

I ran (ok, trotted) through the Zion Narrows from the top last Sunday (7/13/2011). Here is what I found: 1. I had never done The Narrows from the top in highish water. It was MUCH more difficult than I expected. There are many obstacles in the upper part of the Narrows (above Big Springs) that require quite a bit of hunting around to find a reasonable route. With water high, plunging into the river was not always an option. 2. There were maybe five required stream crossings that were thigh-waist high with strong current (i.e. where being swept away was a real possibility). 3. I ended up taking about five swims. I would say two were mandatory. The water was nice and warm-ish, so shorts and (Sport Science) tee shirt was fine, and the air temps were high enough to not require stopping and warming up. 4. I was somewhat concerned about the other 11 hikers on the 6:30 am Chamberlain shuttle. But, I guess they did OK. It is a BIG DAY, I hope they all realize it. I was hoping to match my time of 15 years ago, six hours. No way! About 15 minutes of breaks, moving reasonably well, … Continue reading

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Zion Narrows Now Open for Bottom-Up Hiking

At 9:00 a.m. this morning, Zion National Park temporarily suspended the “24-hour” rule to allow hikers into The Narrows via the Bottom-Up hike. Kudos to the Park Service for allowing hundreds, if not thousands, of people to hike the Narrows while the Virgin River flirts with the 140 CFS level for a few days, en route to its normal summer volume. Had the Park decided to strictly enforce the “under 140 CFS for 24 hours” rule, many, many people would have missed a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see one of the most stunning hikes in the world. While the Bottom-Up Narrows hike is now open, those wishing to hike The Narrows in its entirety, from the top-down, must wait a few more days. The Park predicts issuing top-down day hike permits beginning Thursday, 6/30, and overnight backpacking permits Saturday, 7/2. If your group is planning a top-down Narrows hike soon, be sure to make a Chamberlain’s Ranch shuttle reservation soon, as we are likely to book up quickly. On a related note, now that the Bottom-Up Narrows is open, the technical canyoneering route down Mystery Canyon should also be open – if you can get a permit. ZNP allows 12 people … Continue reading

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