Variety is the spice of life! As much as I respect Mojave Ben s opinion, mine is opposite on most every point... ... The Narrows is quite unlike most slotOct 15, 2009 1 of 5View SourceVariety is the spice of life! As much as I respect Mojave Ben's opinion, mine is opposite on most every point...
--- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "mojave_ben" <mojave_ben@...> wrote:
> If you've been in a lot of narrow / slot canyons, then the Zion
> North Fork Virgin narrows are not that special and full of people.
The Narrows is quite unlike most slot canyons. It is big, beautiful, lush, colorful, exciting. At times, in places, there are lots of people which may detract from some people's experience - or not. If you wish to avoid people, go in the off season, on weekdays, or start earlier than the crowds.
> If you have not, then a hike of any distance is well worth it -
> totally spectacular scenery.
OK, we can agree on this point.
> If you go only half mile or so you won't hit any major landmarks.
> Mystery "waterfall" is water flow down the wall (canyon left I
> believe) from the end of Mystery canyon, a "hanging" canyon that
> ends abruptly well above the main canyon floor. Actually in early
> June I bet there's a decent flow, so it might be more interesting
> than when I've seen it in August. Mostly you'll see water running
> down the side of the smooth cliff with some drops flying off.
Mystery falls is spring-fed, so it varies somewhat between spring and fall, but is there all year, and June will not be much more than August. It is about 110 feet tall, down a slab.
> It's nice to go as far as Orderville Canyon but you won't have time.
> After that the canyon gets significantly more narrow - but it is
> narrow from the very beginning.
The traffic dies off by the time you get to Orderville. Fun to go up Orderville a ways, as it is quite different from the Narrows, and also really cool and pretty.
> Note that in June the water will be cold and the flow probably
> fairly high - much easier hiking out but you better be ready for
> pretty cold fast water up to your waist (and maybe you'll be lucky
> and it will be only thigh deep). I highly recommend neoprene socks
> myself, especially when the water is cold. I would not venture in a
> wet canyon without them.
June water levels are highly variable, depending on the snowpack in the high country to the north, and the melt cycle through April and May. So CAN be high - can be closed because it is too high - but if the winter was dry or the melt off early, the water level can be lowish.
Neoprene socks work really well in the Narrows. You can rent shoes/etc. in Springdale at ZAC ( http://zionadventures.com ) if you want, which makes it more comfortable. (I work as a canyon guide at ZAC).
> Each time I have ventured up the narrows I have gone farther. The
> first time was only for an hour or so. The last time was the full
> trip down Orderville. I have never been disappointed!
Even better, the full trip from the top is totally awesome. Highly recommended.
... More directly - sounds like you are not hampered by time per se, but by energy and enthusiasm. YES, it is a wonderful hike, no matter how far up you go.Oct 15, 2009 1 of 5View Source--- In Zion_National_Park_Hiking@yahoogroups.com, "drsbjean" <drsbjean@...> wrote:
>More directly -
> Assuming it will be open June 5, I would like to do a quick in and back with my family (hour or two) -- is it worth it to just travel a 1/2 mile or mile or so in and back from the end of riverside walk??? (i.e, see some walls/narrow areas/waterfalls) or do you really have to go in a ways to appreciate it? Is "Mystery Waterfall" an actual waterfall waterfall -- if worthwhile, how far/how long to get to this point? (i.e., what "landmark" would be a good turn around for a short hike?)
sounds like you are not hampered by time per se, but by energy and enthusiasm. YES, it is a wonderful hike, no matter how far up you go. Many people go to the Orderville intersection, which is an hour and a half up, and hour back. But Mystery Falls is about 15 minutes up.
If you rent the shoes and neo socks and stick - the comfort level increases and your family may be up for more adventure. Without good shoes and socks, it is slow and uncomfortable picking your way up the river.
Past Mystery Springs, I don't know a particular landmark before the Orderville branchoff.
Aw, Tom, you didn t really disagree that much with me :) Anyway, respect Tom s opinion, he lives/works there, I do not. But do check out the water flow forOct 15, 2009 1 of 5View SourceAw, Tom, you didn't really disagree that much with me :) Anyway, respect Tom's opinion, he lives/works there, I do not. But do check out the water flow for the springdale guage - I don't have it handy but you can search the archives - to see what the flow rate is. I think (also in the archives) that the park service will officially close only if > 120 cfs - unlikely to be flash flooding at that time of year. Take a good look at the flow in the graphs - you'll likely still see diurnal fluctuations based on snow melt and time to flow down canyon, maybe if you start early flow will be decreasing during your walk.
I can tell you from personal experience that it is a whole lot easier going upstream at 33 cfs than 55 cfs and beyond that you'll really be working a lot harder.
Also second what Tom says about gear. I have no financial interest in ZAC but there are good people working there and if you're novices you probably don't have good gear and you will be much happier in good footwear. Sticks/poles are essential - one of the few places where I use two (I use one for most of my hiking) - because you're on a very uneven bottom full of various sized rocks that you probably can't see under the water.
But well well worth the exploration even if you go up only an hour or two. You will not be disappointed.