Into The Narrows

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North America » United States » Utah » Zion National Park
September 2nd 2017
Published: September 16th 2017
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We were up by 6am, figuring we needed lots of wiggle room for a whole variety of circumstances. It came in handy. We packed up and ate a quick breakfast that was included in our stay at La Quinta. It was actually pretty good- biscuits and gravy, yogurt, fruit, juice, coffee, etc. They even had waffles if I'd spent the time to make one. Then it was off for our morning drive to Zion National Park. We were hoping to get hiking by 10am. We stopped at River Rock Roasting Company, picked up more coffee, giant cinnamon rolls and packed sandwich lunches (they even put them in paper lunch sacks!), before continuing on our way. While we had made it to Zion by 9:30am, we unfortunately had to park outside the park and then take a city shuttle bus just to get to the pedestrian entrance (the parking was already full in the park!). The fee line was rather short but the line to get on the park shuttle bus was insane. It took us nearly 45min! Plus another 40min ride once we were ON the bus! This was as bad as Disneyland. I had not calculated Labor Day long lines into my plans for the day so I was very grateful we were up and left Vegas so early this morning. We didn't even start our hike in The Narrows until 11:45am.

But was it worth it? Hell yes. This hike was as amazing as I thought it would be. Sure it was crowded with hundreds of people who also figured it'd be a beautiful hike through cold water canyons but it was gorgeous to wander through. The farther we walked, the less people there were. The canyon must go on for miles. High red walls, alternating between light and shadows. Sometimes we walked along the shore because it was faster and easier footing. Others I was up to my chest in water, trying to keep my backpack as dry as possible but loving every second. I had packed all my valuables in plastic bags just in case, of course. Everyone was happy and smiling in this canyon. Maybe one of the best parts. We walked until 1:30pm, our absolute turnaround time. Unfortunately, we did not make it to any end in the canyon. Someday I'll go back with Arya when she's older to continue exploring. So I wasn't absolutely disappointed to leave. I know I'll be back some day.

We were greeted with another very long line at the trailhead to get back on the bus. I tossed my boots in the garbage. They were my hiking boots that got chewed up by the granite in Yosemite back in July. I've had those babies for... seven years? Eight? I remember buying them for my Europe backpacking trip after graduating college. They served me well. I had brought my newly broken in pair of boots on this trip as well. By the way, we also brought our own walking sticks for this hike. It's very easy to lose your footing in the current on the slippery rocks. When we got to the second line in the pedestrian entrance, I left Chris and Billy to buy ice cream and advil. Chris had a headache from lack of sleep (none of us slept particularly well for no good reason we could come up with), and ice cream just sounded amazing. I bought us two packs of ice cream Nibs to munch on in line. By the time we reached our Kia, our clothes were pretty much dry again.

We had a two hour drive from Zion to Kaibab Lodge near the North Rim. Unfortunately, by the time I was booking everything in May (five months prior) there was nothing left on the North Rim. I at first booked a campsite at DeMott Campground, thinking that was the only thing. A couple weeks later I came across Kaibab Lodge on another blogger's site. It didn't have the greatest reviews, it looked dingy in pictures, but hell, it was somewhere to stay the night and we wouldn't have to waste time breaking camp in the morning. So I booked it. We stopped in the tiny town of Fredonia for dinner at Cowboy Butte Grill and Steakhouse. I had a glorious filet mignon steak and potato dinner, and we shared a piece of peach pie ala mode for dessert. If I died in the Grand Canyon that weekend, at least my last dinner was worth it.

It was pitch black and sprinkling rain when we rolled into Kaibab Lodge at 9pm. The area surrounding the lodge is supposed to be beautiful- a long meadow and forest. Oh well. We'd see it in a few days when we drove north again. The lady at the check-in counter gave me a couple keys for our room. She reiterated a couple times that there was no tv and no WiFi, they believe in disconnecting. But if I really needed it, there was a large tv in the main lodge building. I said at least once it was fine, I already knew that, and we were planning to sleep right away anyway. She didn't really look like she believed me. Maybe some snotty a-hole Millennials had been by recently. I swear I'm pretty atypical if you're trying to stereotype me by age. Anyway, our room ended up being one of those moveable one bedroom houses- they had just plopped it down on their property. It wasn't much to look at from the outside (not that you could see much in the dark) but the inside was spacious, very basic and clean. All we wanted were showers and bed. I was a little disappointed none of the windows could be opened (they were all sealed) but by 3am it was chilly as hell. I had taken a Benadryl to ensure I slept hard for six hours because I was going to need it.

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