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Narrows hike OK for ten year old?

Indianapolis, IN
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Narrows hike OK for ten year old?

Hi all,

We're thinking of hiking part of the Narrows in mid-June. My daughter, however, is 10. She's on the small to average size of children her age (she weighs about 75 pounds and is 4 foot 8 inches).

My questions are:

1. could she hike safely in the Narrows for several hours

2. because we'll have to rent equipment ('river boots'), I'm concerned they won't have anything her size. Is this a concern?

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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1. Re: Narrows hike OK for ten year old?

It's not about the age. It's more a matter of attitude and experience. Not that one can practice for the Narrows environment and conditions, but what has your daughter done in the outdoors in the first ten years? This isn't a typical walk in the park. How does she like being in water for hours at a time? And most of all, is she looking forward to this with excitement?

Indianapolis, IN
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2. Re: Narrows hike OK for ten year old?

Well, that sounds promising. She's young but she's an experienced day hiker -- she's already done a number of very long hikes though mountainous terrain. She's definitely has the right stuff, psychologically. We haven't hiked in areas like Utah yet, however. So, would it be correct to assume her size wouldn't be an issue, either in terms of river current or hypothermia?

Encinitas...
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for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
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3. Re: Narrows hike OK for ten year old?

She will probably be fine doing that hike.

Today the Narrows are flowing at 48CFS which is probably shin to knee deep on an adult.. But there is a possibility of hitting a hole that could be much deeper, which may involve a short swim.

You can see the Virgin River flow rates and other info on the park website.

Be sure to check at the backcountry desk for weather conditions before setting out.

nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/the-narrows.htm

As for rental shoes, contact the places that rent them for sizes available.

www.zionadventures.com

www.zionrockguides.com

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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4. Re: Narrows hike OK for ten year old?

I think she'll be fine.

Indianapolis, IN
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5. Re: Narrows hike OK for ten year old?

Great - thank you both very much for the advice and reassurance!

Raleigh, North...
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6. Re: Narrows hike OK for ten year old?

We recently hiked with our kids, ages 7 and 9. The 7 year old is 51 inches. We were able to rent shoes and dry pants for both of them. We made sure to get to the rental company early to try on shoes as we were worried there would not be many in their sizes. It appeared that there were plenty to choose from for shoes, but it took us a long time to get them sized properly in the gear. With the pants, the smallest we could find were x-small adult and there were limited numbers of those. They were huge on my 7 year old, but she was warm and happy in the water. You might want to call to reserve pants if you think you will need them. My kids are both fairly experienced hikers for their ages. They did wonderfully in the Narrows and were able to make it to Wall Street. We went at their pace and took breaks when they needed them.

Chapel Hill, North...
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7. Re: Narrows hike OK for ten year old?

I think she should be fine. Last year, we went partway up the Narrows the first day it opened when the water was running very high and very fast. It's one of our kids' favorite memories of our big trip out west. Our kids were 7 and 10 at the time and smaller than yours at 50+ lbs and maybe 4ft 2 inches. We also did not rent the boots and had no issues with that. We just wore Keens and water shoes. We did pick up some walking sticks on the trail. I'd love to go back sometime when the water is lower like it is this year. It was about waist high on adults and chest high on our kids last year, but shouldn't be near that this year. Not much snowpack this year and a huge amount of snow last year. It didn't open for bottom up hikes until the end of June last year.

FOV
Boston
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8. Re: Narrows hike OK for ten year old?

We did this hike 2 years ago in early July when our kids were 9, 11 & 14. It was one of the highlights of our vacation.

We rented the river boots the night before our hike, which was great because it saved a lot of time in the morning and we wanted to get an early start. They had plenty of boots for the 9 year old, who had average/small feet for his age. We all wanted to hike up to Wall Street and we ended up going a little beyond that. Our hike was 4-5 hours (with breaks, lunch etc...) and we thought the boots gave us more endurance. In a few spots the water was waist deep and the 9 year old had to actually swim thru some spots. For us it just added to the adventure and made it more fun. Other spots we could walk on the side and not be in the water at all. We wore quick dry shorts and shirts, the boys just wore bathing suits with under armour-type shirts. Water was cold but it didn't bother us because we were active and it was about 90-degrees outside.

We packed flip flops in our backpack so we didn't have to wear our boots on the shuttle bus after the walk. (A tip from tripadvisor!)

The best thing about it is you can turn around at any point if you are getting tired. The walk back is easier because you are going with the current.

Indianapolis, IN
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9. Re: Narrows hike OK for ten year old?

Hi all,

Thanks again for the great advice - we ended up just wearing our normal hiking shoes (luckily all offer strong toe protection), which turned out to be fine. We hiked up to the split (about 1.5 miles in), then turned around when our youngest started to get cold. Turned out to be a fantastic experience, and one of the best hikes of our lives. I was able to carry my youngest across some of the deeper patches of water, so she was never totally wet. (When we went, the deepest patch we encountered was up to my waist). Walking sticks are definitely a must - we didn't bring enough for all of us, and I spent a long time looking for one. Only found one when we were far back, after the crowds had faded away. Overall, though, a wonderful, wonderful experience.

Chapel Hill, North...
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10. Re: Narrows hike OK for ten year old?

Yay! Glad to hear the happy report. We loved it and that is one place I would really love to go back to and do more. The water was super strong when we were there and we couldn't make it up as far as we would have liked to, but it was still an awesome experience.