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Thoughts on overnight Narrows

Amsterdam, The...
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Thoughts on overnight Narrows

Dear all,

I'm from Europe and am currently planning a overnight narrows trip (20th August). I would like to properly plan my trip as it will take a while for my next visit for Zion. Hope to get some advice from you guys.

For a overnight trip I have found several companies renting those gears. As I'm not able that tall build I'm not able to carry a lot of equipements. I was therefore wondering whether a tent is really necessary. I figured out overnight the temperature is around 50-60 F. I will carry a sleeping bag though.

I expect to arrive in the Park around 11 am. By then the shuttle busses (of zion adventure company/ zion rock guides) already left. Are there any other possibilities to reach Chamberlain's ranch as I will do the top down hike?

I was not able to find guide tours for the narraws (also confirmed here on the forum). however I would like to get into cantact with other hikers for the narrows. are you guys aware of such possibilities?

I'm getting really excited along the planning of my trip!!

Thank you guys for helping me out!!

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Kipling. SK
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for Zion National Park
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1. Re: Thoughts on overnight Narrows

The obvious first question is whether or not you have secured the necessary permit.

If you arrive in the park at 11am, then by the time you gear up, and make it to the Chamberlain trailhead, it should be well after 1 pm, which is getting pretty late to start. If you have to add in getting a permit(if there are permits available), then your start time will be later yet. It is possible to get to the trailhead without a shuttle, but the road there(dirt) will likely not be in good condition. Others experienced with this route will know more.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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2. Re: Thoughts on overnight Narrows

You do need to get a permit for the hike and a campspot. Even if you have a reservation you need to stop at the back country office for the permit. You might find someone else there though you might not.

I thought you could get a private shuttle which should take you when you want? You might try posting on Bogley.com. It is a more active adventure forum and there could be someone willing and able to join you.

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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for Grand Canyon National Park
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3. Re: Thoughts on overnight Narrows

>> I expect to arrive in the Park around 11 am

Even if you were able to reserve a permit, you'll have to go to the visitor's center to pick it up. Then it's a 1.5-2 hour drive from Springdale to Chamberlain's Ranch. The campsites are spread about from near the North Fork falls to Big Springs -- note that you are required to camp in established campsites. The FIRST campsite is just before the North Fork falls at 8.5 miles, the farthest is near Big Springs at 11.5 miles. So, depending on which campsite you're able to reserve, you're looking at a first day hike of 4-7+ hours.

IF you get to the trailhead at 1pm, which would be a best-case scenario, imo, and get one of the first campsites, you're probably good. Get a later start or one of the later campsites, I think it's an unreasonable hike. Sunset on August 20th is going to be around 7:15pm and, based on my experience, hiking in the river even at dusk when the light got flat was tough. I'm guessing that hiking in the dark in the Narrows would just be a really, really bad idea.

Re transportation. If you can't or don't want to do a private shuttle, you could drive to the trailhead and then take a scheduled shuttle after your hike to pick it up.

As for the tent. Hiking in the Narrows with rain in the forecast is strongly discouraged because of flash flood risks and August is historically a risky month in general, so it's probably safe to say that if you "need" a shelter, you shouldn't be there in the first place. That said, I personally would have some sort of emergency shelter, even if it's just a small tarp.

In case you haven't seen these...

This map shows the campsites in the Narrows:

nps.gov/zion/…20map.pdf

Tom Jones is one of the most experienced canyoneers in the area:

canyoneeringusa.com/utah/…

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The Narrows
The Narrows
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Zion National Park, UT
Amsterdam, The...
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4. Re: Thoughts on overnight Narrows

Guys,

Thanks for all your usefull advices. I found your schedule very usefull. Altough I planned to stay at the campsites 2-8 I realise the hike is gonna be under lots of time pressure. That isn't something I want.

I will have to figure out how to at least catch the shuttle of 9:30 am and arriving at around 11 am.

Another new thing I learned is that August isn't the most reliable period to visit. 2 years back I visited Zion end of July and it was very hot then. Actually I simply assumed that August is hot as well. So big thanks for this.

Yes i'm aware of the permit requirements but haven't arrange one yet as I'm currently not completely sure of the overnight trip. But I will get one pretty in a day or two.

thanks again!

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Belfast, United...
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5. Re: Thoughts on overnight Narrows

One other option is a Narrows day hike from top to bottom.

The pros are that it might fit in better with your schedule and you avoid the issue of carrying a tent or not. The cons are that it is a long day with an early start to catch the shuttles to the trailhead. I consider myself to be a moderate hiker and completed the trip in around 10.5 hours at a time when the water level was quite high. A permit is required as far as I can remember.

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The Narrows
The Narrows
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6. Re: Thoughts on overnight Narrows

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