I am back this morning after my glorious hiking trip out West and three days of trekking around Zion National Forest. I finished my time in Zion with a couple of mountain hikes and the Narrows, a long hike in the river through the spectacular rock formations of the park.
The Narrows had deeper and faster water than my last hike. The water was also very cold at 40 degrees. I only had dry pants so near the end I was stopped by water that reached almost six feet. I could have done it with a wetsuit which some people wisely rented. For the most part, the dry pants were sufficient though the water was at times chest height and I am 6 foot tall. It was pretty darn cold water particularly early in the morning. I found a couple of huge wild turkeys, though I could not see how they got into the Narrows given the high and sheer rock walls. I also could not see how they would get out. On the way into the narrow, I also found a mule deer and followed her and another mule deer. She then looked at me and proceeded to defecate in my path — one image that you do not see on the Nature Channel. At the time, it seemed like a poignant gesture on my annoying appearance around dawn on an otherwise quiet abandoned trail.
There were fewer people willing to hike the cold river this time of year, which is precisely why you should do it this time of year. Nevertheless, even in the summer, I have found the numbers in the Narrows drops off considerably the farther you hike up the river.
I also did a couple of last mountain hikes to finish another inspiring visit to Zion. I truly recommend this park to everyone. There are hikes that range from the easy to the difficult to fit every level of fitness. If you are looking for a spiritual reboot, this is the place.