Category: "Hiking"

09/04/08

  23:36:00 by Joe, Categories: Hiking

Last weekend (Labor Day weekend in the US) I went hiking the Narrows, all 16 miles of it, in Zion National Park in Utah.
I had a campground reservation for Saturday, August 30 (they are pretty hard to come by, you have to make the reservations a couple of months in advance.)
The forecast for the weekend was rather bad, with a 50% chance of thunderstorms on Saturday and a 70% chance of rain on Sunday. Consequently, the ranger at the backcountry office in the Zion visitor center tried his best to discourage me from the hike. I decided to go ahead with the hike, anyway (my backcountry permit has the remark "advised of dangerous conditions"...)
As it turned out, the weather held for the duration of the hike. No rain at all on Saturday, and only some rain on Sunday morning, which didn't result in any significant change of the water level in the river. It was over 100 degrees F on Saturday, but it was cloudy on Sunday, which makes for much nicer hiking weather.
The rain started on Sunday morning right after I tore down my tent and cleaned up my camp site. Just like the other hikers on the trail, I decided to advance to the last campsite, campsite #12, near Big Springs, which is the last place that has safe high ground, and to see how the water flow looks at that point. It turned out that by the time I arrived at campsite 12, the rain had stopped. The water flow was normal, and the water was clear, so I, like everybody else, decided to go on through the long section of the Narrows between Big Springs and Orderville Canyon which doesn't have safe high ground.
I hurried a bit through that section, and I was at the north end of the Riverside Walk an hour before I had expected to be there, but that was just fine with me. It was a nice hike, and I enjoyed it a lot.
My photos are up in my photo gallery on this site.

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