The Narrows, and why I wouldn't do it again

A friend of mine got permits to backpack The Narrows in Zion National Park in Utah, top down. This was a rare opportunity, and of course I was in! Unfortunately, most of the people in the group were new to backpacking, and we didn't do the best job packing the group food. Everyone ended up carrying glass jars, heavy fresh fruits and vegetables, and about three times the amount of food we really would have needed to carry, overall. That added weight then led to a large fraction of the group busting out their knees and ankles, and the remaining people were left to carry the weight of the injured's packs. By the time we got to the most beautiful part of the Narrows, we barely had the strength to look up, let alone take pictures. I still managed to get a few good shots, though.

The Narrows

Waist deep in the Narrows

I would do the Narrows again, just not like this. Lessons learned:
  • Give your fellow novice backpackers a lesson on packing lightly. Otherwise, you'll get stuck carrying their gear and extra food when their legs give up!
  • Do the Narrows as a bottom-up day hike. You'll get to see the most beautiful parts but save the time and energy needed for a 2-day backpacking trip. It's a different story when you're backpacking in order to get to a place you wouldn't be able to get to otherwise.
  • Put all of  your gear into a dry bag. That way, in the deeper parts of the river, you can simply lie onto your backpack and use it to float downstream. Pure bliss...
Backpacking river crossing

Have you hiked the Narrows? How would you recommend hiking it? Post in the comments!

No comments:

Post a Comment