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Hiking the Narrows and Emerald Pools in the fall...

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Several months ago, SB and I made our first trip to Zion National Park with the intention of hiking to Angel's Landing and hiking the Narrows.  We were able to accomplish both of these goals, but because the water level was so high in the river and we got such a late start on the day, we decided that we needed to make one more trip back to Zion in the fall to have another go at the Narrows.  

Well, that weekend rolled around and the Narrows almost didn't happen.  I wrote last week about how we woke up early on Saturday morning, drove from Vegas to Zion NP and weren't able to find a camp ground or even a parking spot, so we ended up at Kolob Canyons (just north of Zion) for an afternoon hike before camping at a free lot in the vicinity.  

It was totally the best plan we could have come up with.  This plan put us about 30 minutes outside of Zion NP on Sunday morning, so we were able to wake up in the FREEZING cold, have breakfast by the fire, pack up our campground, and head in to Zion.  We even found a parking spot at the visitor's center (which is CRAZY rare unless it's super early in the morning or super late at night).  

I think that it must have been around 10:00 that we got onto the park shuttle and close to 10:45 when we got to the trailhead for the Narrows.  It's about a 1-mile hike from where the shuttle drops people off to where the path officially meets the river, and let me tell you... it was a very chilly hike.  

Because the Narrows flow through a canyon and it was before noon, the sun was still behind the canyon walls in most places.  I was wearing 2 shirts, a fleece, a waterproof layer, a hat, gloves, and 2 pairs of socks and was still pretty chilly.  When we made it to the river, we had to make a serious decision: to hike, or not to hike.  

Since we'd come all that way, we decided to hike, but we honestly only made it for about 20 minutes. It was THAT cold.  It was nice that it wasn't flowing as quickly as it was over the summer, so the water wasn't muddy and we could actually see where we were stepping, but still... it was just too cold for us to get very far! 

To make up for our lack of adventurousness, we opted to check out the Weeping Rock and the lower, middle, and upper Emerald Pools.  Each pool was pretty cool, but the Upper Pool was my favourite!  There was a little bit of boulder scrambling to get up to it and some great views along the way!  On the way back down, we even ended up in a surprise slot canyon, which is always a good thing in our book!  

Let me know if you have any other questions about these hikes!  Have you ever been to Zion National Park? 

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