Zion NP - The Narrows

Hiking through a riverbed in search of a notary public

September 19, 2019

Filed under: southwest-usa

Our time in and around Zion National Park mostly consisted of insane bucket list level hikes juxtaposed against insane real estate related stress. It is a bit of a long story but suffice it to say that while we were camping in the wilderness without any cell reception, we were also trying to find a notary public and we had to visit six different offices before we found what we were looking for.

Our campsite was located about 45 minutes away from Zion National Park’s entrance. We arrived right as the sun was setting so we got a wonderful glimpse of the red rock that surrounded us and overlooking a small lake.

It was super peaceful but we were very tired from trying to find a notary public in Vegas and small town Utah so we just ate some ramen and went to bed.

The Narrows

The next morning we woke up early to find a notary public and also rent equipment for the legendary Narrows hike in Zion. The Narrows is a hike through the Virgin River in between the walls of -- you guessed it -- a narrow canyon. Local outdoor gear companies recommend that you rent special shoes, socks, and a walking stick from them. We decided to just go with the socks to try to keep our feet warm and wear our Chacos/Tevas.

After renting our equipment, we stopped by the town office a few doors down in search of a notary public, which according to the town’s official website, would not be difficult during normal business hours, as no fewer than 5 individuals in town would be available to notarize documents. Unfortunately, while the post office is open at 7:30am, the town stays closed until 9 (we think). Thus we postponed our notary search yet again, and instead went to the park to hike out our frustrations.

Zion is an extremely popular national park, and in order to get to the famous hikes you have to park at the visitor’s center and take a shuttle to the trailheads. The shuttle is a nice scenic drive and we got to see yet another frightening National Park Service sign.

Don't Feed the Animals

To get to the Narrows, you first take a scenic drive through the park, followed by a mile-long hike to the river. We power-walked that mile in order to try to beat all of the fellow shuttle-riders to the river. Once there we learned that the river’s current, though classified as easy, was no joke. The cold water also made us quite thankful for the unattractive but effective neoprene socks.

We started out quite strong despite walking in our sandals and not using walking sticks. We especially felt good as we passed the many retirees who were finally visiting the national parks. I don’t know how older people did the hike as it really was strenuous, walking on slippery rocks and boulders all against a cold and strong current that sometimes hit up to Tiffany’s waist.

The Narrows

The hike was beautiful and somewhat solitary, even while crowded, because everyone goes at their own pace and the canyon, though narrow, is much wider than the typical trail so everyone basically spreads out. The super tall canyon walls continued to change and inspire awe at every river bend especially when we thought about how the river rushing around our legs was the same river that had cut this massive canyon

The Narrows

We were a bit over-confident and went as far back into the canyon as we could before turning back. This made the hike back quite exhausting and much longer than we expected. Tiffany took a couple stumbles in the river but we eventually made it back to the trailhead not in time to find a local notary public but just in time to drive over an hour to track down a notary public at her house.

When we made it back to our campsite we were feeling quite good about ourselves only to find that our previously peaceful lakeside campsite had endured 17 mph winds that day and our tent had flown away. Luckily one of our neighboring campers rescued it and helped us stake it down properly. We then struggled against the wind to cook our dinner before heading to bed completely worn out.