My favorite hike in the whole USA: the Narrows.

When I was in college in Australia, I saw pics of a famous park in the USA, which included the Great White Throne and Angels Landing. Stunning photos. I promised I would go there sometime in my life.

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Mystical mountains of the Park.

Years later I saw a framed picture of a hiker standing in water in the middle of a narrow slot canyon that soared hundreds of feet upwards on both sides. The label on the picture was “The Narrows”. The owner said he didn’t know where it was.

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Slot canyon called the Narrows

Many years later I told the story to my grand children, Bryan and Darby, while hiking in Arches National Park out of Moab, Utah. Darby suddenly asked the Ranger leading the hike where the Narrows was. “Oh, that’s in Zion,” the Ranger said.

Eventually I found my way to Zion National Park with Randy and Cliff, two close friends from Tulsa. Zion is near Bryce Canyon which some readers will be familiar with. Randy slipped and fell while trying to climb a pine tree, and cut his thumb badly. Blood spurted out and we hustled him to see a doctor who patched him up.

Randy rested up while Cliff and I entered the Narrows. We hiked about 2 miles, much of the time in the river, until we reached Orderville Canyon, a side canyon where you could almost touch both walls with outstretched arms.

That was about 20 years ago. This year, 2021, I returned to hike the Narrows with my step-daughter Kim, who loves to hike. We hiked to Angels Landing first, which is steep and long.

Walters Wiggles, steepest part of hike to Angel’s Landing.

During a steep part of the hike, I could see Kim was breathing heavily, so I offered to carry Kim’s pack. She was insulted, I think, that an old guy like me would even think of such a thing.

Another fifty yards and I asked again. This time she agreed and I actually carried Kim’s pack as well as my own for a hundred yards up that steep challenging trail.

Kim still owes me big time, and I remind her of the story as often as I can. Ha! The strange part of the story is that usually I have trouble keeping up with Kim when we hike together.

10-sec movie of the last and scariest part of the Angels Landing trail (sorry the audio is poor). I didn’t do that part of the hike this time, altho I have done it 3 times before.

The last part of the hike to Angels Landing is quite dangerous – you have to pull yourself up by holding onto a chain. Click on the picture at right to see how scary it really is.

Now we change channels. Here are some pics of our hike together, the very next day, in the Narrows of Zion National Park in southern Utah. Another highlight of my life.

BLOG TOPICS: I write in-depth blogs about a mix of topics: Science and Energy, Inspiration and Hope, Health and Hiking.
The Gray Nomad ….. The Narrows enlarged my perspective of life.
Fear not, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord… The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest.
[Book of Exodus, chapter 14.]

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2 years ago

Thanks again Ian for another very interesting blog post, and for the amazing pictures. I enjoyed reading the post and remembering my trips to Zions NP over the past 30 years. A great place to visit and to hike.

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