It was a bracingly chilly as we went to Zion Adventure Company to pick up dry suits that left us looking like Michelin men. Their reassuring and experienced hand meant we began the short hike to the narrows with only some trepidation and a lot more boundless excitement about magic suits that would keep us warm in ice cool water.
The short river walk from the parking lot in Zion National Park (you can drive in this part of the park in the less popular winter time) was icy and slippy. Over time you get used to it, but we wished we had bought some traction devices with us. The first step in to the water was somewhat tentative but as we realised that the charming suits and sock combo we had on kept us warm and dry we became bolder. The canyoning boots give outstanding grip all day. So if, like me, you have a tendency to resemble Bambi on ice when you try to do a river crossing on a hike, be reassured.
There are maps available to follow – though to be honest when you are in the river you don’t need them, you just walk upstream. As you progress the views are so sumptuous you almost suffer from majestic scenery fatigue. We got quicker and quicker, making it to the sole junction in the river in just under 2 hours having stopped for lunch. Our trick was to travel on land where possible and move horizontally across the river rather than wading upstream. This has the added benefit of being decidedly less exhausting too.
At the junction we headed left up the awe inducing Wall Street. 800m (1200ft) high walls which only get glimpses of sun during the winter. This leads to some fantastic icicles, though be carful of standing too close underneath – they look like they could do some serious damage. We didn’t have time to head the other way from the junction, though it is unlikely you would want to spend the amount of time in the water to do both in one day.
Heading downstream is much quicker and a great time to test out the dry suits. It’s truly surreal as you wade waist high through water, your suit inflating as air is pushed up and not getting even vaguely wet.
We loved this trip and would highly recommend doing it and hiring from Zion Adventure Company. For both of us it cost about $100 – absolutely worth it for an unforgettable experience. Where else do you get to do this?