Canyoning is an extreme sport and a true adventure. Canyoneering the narrows of Zion National Park, Utah on the other hand is non technical and does not involve any hiking up the mountain or abseiling down. Its mostly a river walk realizable by anyone in a good shape and not deterred by the idea of dampened legs in the river Virgin. The narrows is a highlight of Zion. It is also a great way to seek shelter from the scorching sun.
|You are surrounded by views like this|
We started by paying a visit to the rental shop in Springdale, just outside the Zion national park entrance. It being summer, we declined the wet suit and opted to just take the canyoning shoes and a walking stick. Both of which were extremely useful and I would suggest anyone planning to do the narrows needs to have them. The shoes kept our feet protected from the stones and any sharp objects in the river bed. They didn’t do much in the department of keeping our legs dry though. The stick helped gauge how deep the river was before we lay our next step.
|sandstone cliffs of Zion national park|
We started from temple of Sinawava and went upstream the Virgin river. A muddy stream, concealing how shallow or deep the river is does not seem appealing when you start off. But as you walk along the virgin river the canyon narrows. The sun and shade paint the canyon walls in hues of red and orange.The rising sandstone walls above, the winding river below kept us spellbound. Each turn revealed more of the canyon, artistically carved by river virgin. The sandstones walls were a smooth orange and thousands of feet tall, making a glorious sight to behold.
|Can you spot the people in this picture
|This was a side stream flowing into the Virgin river
|The wall street|
|Praveen appears delighted to be in the muddy river|
|Springs trickling down
|When the mud painted my shoes
|Back at the start near temple of Sinawava|
Zion national park is in the Utah state of USA and can be conveniently reached by car. The nearest major airports are LasVegas and SaltLake city. There is an entrance fee of $25 per vehicle or $12 per person and the ticket is valid for 7 days. It is however cheaper to buy a National Park pass if you have plans to go to other national parks around Zion.