An extravaganza of photos from Jon’s hike up the Narrows of the Virgin River at Zion National Park, September 2010.

For those interested in doing the hike next summer, the NPS website has information here.  Know that the water is snowmelt, and that you will likely want a wetsuit or drysuit.  NPS says November to May for that, but in my experience, many of us will want the insulation during the warmer months as well.  [Ths hike is a fabulous one for the day after you’ve demolished your legs on some brutish foray into the backcountry.  Scenic icing.  Can’t beat it.]  But you don’t need to bring your own, there are several outfitters in town that will equip you for the day.  Call ahead to verify before you start packing.   Good deal for those of us who go long stretches in between our canyon hikes.

And FYI, the cautionary notes on the NPS website are not legalese:

At least 60% of the hike is spent wading, walking, and sometimes swimming in the stream. There is no maintained trail; the route is the river. The current is swift, the water is cold, and the rocks underfoot are slippery. Flash flooding and hypothermia are constant dangers. Good planning, proper equipment, and sound judgment are essential for a safe and successful trip.

Yes to all of that.  Fabulous hike.

narrow passage with sharp cliffs


greenery, leaning walls, and a glimspe of sky


narrow narrow


trees against orange rock with hanging gardens


calm water, trees, and so much rock


a curving overhang at the base of the canyon wall


wide view of shore, water, hikers, rock