The Narrows Hike in Zion National Park is one of the most unique hikes in the country. The majority of the hike is through water in the middle of a beautiful canyon.
Our family had attempted this hike a few years ago in April, but the water was too frigid to make it more than a mile or so down the way without a full wetsuit.
This year, we chose to hike it in July, when the water temperature would be warmer and the levels would be lower. We kept an eye on the weather to make sure there was no chance of rain because flash floods can suddenly wash you away.
Fitted with walking sticks, regular hiking shoes, water, life-straws, and a backpack full of snacks, we made it to the trail-head around 1 PM. The initial paved path to the water was familiar and easy – we walked fast as were eager to step in and really get the hike started! We felt an urgency to push along quickly as we weren’t quite sure of the exact distance or how long the hike would take us. All we knew was that we wanted to make it to the Waterfall, the Big Springs. Come to find out, the entire hike was 10 miles!!!
We really were in awe the entire time! I wish I could have filmed the whole hike. What surprised us all was the variety in the scenery, even though we were between two canyon walls the whole way! Sometimes the walls were a deeper red, sometimes more beautifully carved or more narrow, at times there were huge boulders we had to maneuver around. Because it was summer, there were several sections where we could walk on dry land. But there were also a couple spots where we had to take off our backpacks and carry them above our heads because it was so deep!
Everyone said we would all fall at least once, and unfortunately, they were right! Every single step was important, and our walking sticks helped so much with balance. But even still, all it took was one little distraction, and bam, we were on our shins or rear! Don actually was the only one in our family who managed to make it out unbruised. Lucky duck.
We made it to our waterfall destination in four hours, and we were so grateful! We all felt a sweet sense of accomplishment to have our goal of the Big Springs. After enjoying our snacks and drinks and packing up to start heading back, I had to giggle inside when the kids didn’t bat an eye when they thought we had four more hours of walking left to go! They were tired for sure, especially from walking upstream, but we also knew there was no other choice but to walk back through the miles of water and beautiful canyon. Thankfully, we had the water flow on our side all the way, and it only took us 2 1/2 hours to return after all!
It actually was bittersweet as we reached the end. I felt like we had lived through one of the best experiences of our lives, and I just didn’t want it to end. I enjoyed the total focus needed to ensure every step, the opportunity to stop at any moment and take in some of the most beautiful scenery around, and the joy of seeing our kids appreciate it all and push through one tough hike.