Exploring The Narrows in the Zion National Park, Utah

The Narrows is a canyon that Virgin River passes through on its North Fork. This is a unique location in the Zion National Park in Utah. The main activity here is the hike of The Narrows. This hike is one of the most known hikes on the Colorado Plateau. The term The Narrows may refer to both through-hike of The Narrows or The Narrows themselves. More precisely the 5.8 km (3.6 miles) long canyon section between the end of the Riverside Walk Trail and Big Spring. This canyon lies north of, and upstream of the main Zion Canyon. Hiking The Narrows was rated #5 in the National Geographic ranking of America’s Best 100 Adventures.

The Narrows is one of the most unusual hikes on the Colorado Plateau. Most of the hiking is done in the river itself. This is because for the third of the route the river runs to the canyon walls. The walls are vertical and red. The water level can differs from season to season, but commonly the hikers has to get in water to the waist or some are just swimming some short sections.

Image by Jiashiang via Flickr

Image by ThunderKiss Photography via Flickr

There are many ways of how to hike The Narrows. You can either go as through-hike from Chamberlain Ranch to the Temple of Sinawava; or as an up-and-back hike from Temple of Sinawava. The first hike can be done in a day or two if you are doing the backpack trip. The hike is long 26 km (16 miles).

The Narrows is a favorite place for photographers too. The amazing walls, stunning colors and the water flow make it perfect for great scenes. Because of the low lights and high contrasts, photographers are challenged to get not-so-easy photos. You see the examples in this article.

Image by Simon Tunbridge via Flickr

Image by Tim Vo via Flickr

Image by Jimmy Wewer via Flickr

Image by terratrekking via Flickr

Image by Sathish J via Flickr

Image by Daniel Park via Flickr

Image by Sascha Wenninger via Flickr

Image by Sascha Wenninger via Flickr

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