My first trip to National Parks in Southwestern Utah – Zion Canyon

Last year when I was reading about Grand Canyon National Park, my friend shared a link with top best day hikes, and Zion Narrows was one of them. Initially the thought of hiking in water in deep canyons scared me, but the feeling of doing a river hike was so new to me and slowly it sinked in, and I started to feel little bit comfortable.  Having not traveled anywhere, the loads of information and travel blogs I read opened me to a whole new world. Alright, coming to the trip, the plan was to do what is called the Mighty 5, Utah National Parks, except we had only 5 days, which gives us only a day in each park.

Our original idea was to progress from Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Arches and back to Vegas. But that would involve a long drive (7 hour) back to LV from Canyonlands on the last day. Hence we mixed it up a bit.

We started off with Zion on Day 1, following, Canyonlands, Arches, Capitol Reef and finishing off with Bryce Canyon.

Flew to Vegas and drove to Zion the next day. The narrows hike was our main agenda for the day, and may be a short land hike if we are back from narrows in 4 hours (that was the original plan….). We rented water boots and equipment from Zion Adventure Company, parked near the side road there, got ourselves fitted with the water boots and lining our backpack and decided set off to the park. It was a late start that morning actually, and the final thing was to pick up a lunch sandwich packed for our hike in Cafe Soleil in Springdale which was only 5 minutes walk from the Zion Adventure company.

From Cafe Soleil, it was just a few minutes walk to the entrance of the park over a wooden bridge, and got onto the Zion Park Shuttle to Temple of Sinawava Shuttle stop to begin the Narrows hike.

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Excited about the water, but to get to the water, you would need to hike approximately 1 mile walk along the somewhat red mud road (which felt soo long), to reach the starting point of hike. Finally after dipping our feet in water, the first half mile felt slow, as we wanted to stop by every spot and click pictures of the water, the tall canyons and our face. After taking quite a lot of pics within the first half mile, we decided to put off our cameras and start wading through the river. I do not have an exact distance, but we went till a forking point, where turning right at the fork would lead to Orderville Canyon and just going straight would take towards Big Springs.

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I guess it must be 2 hours in the river from the starting point to this forking point. Decided to take the Orderville canyon path, and soon as you turn right, you will notice a pocket of water flowing through rocks which you need to climb over. From that jump up onwards, you will encounter a few minutes of wading the river, and jumps over the pockets of water gushing down. I was able to do around 3 or 4 more jumps, and the last one is where we decided to turn around.

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At this point, time was almost close to 4pm, and we were 3.5 hours in the river, we realized there is probably no time to hike the Wheeping rock trail, and thought we should turn back so that we can get out of water before dark. I was just hoping there is enough time to make it back to return the rentals and grab some dinner before heading to the hotel.

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