Taylor and I were lucky enough to win a permit to hike the Narrows in a lottery drawing the week before our hike. Permits can be reserved up to three months in advance, but we missed that since they sell out within hours of them opening.
Our punctuality at Zion Adventure Company on the morning of our hike was made possible by a wonderful night of sleep at the Two Cranes Inn. Once we loaded our gear on to the transport bus, we joined eight more hikers for a ride up to Chamberlain’s Ranch.
We started on the trail at eight thirty in the morning and were in for a day full of spectacular sights. Roaring waterfalls, massive log jams, and sandbanks flush with vegetation were framed by massive vertical walls of red rock all along the 16 mile hike. Elevated gardens of grasses and shrubs grew on the steep rock walls as if they were fleeing the river’s cool touch. The Virgin River was crystal clear and littered with blue holes deep enough for a refreshing plunge.
As we neared the Temple of Sinawava at the bottom of the Narrows, my body was worn from the day, but my mind was ever in awe. I was held most captive by the diversity of visitors who were splashing and smiling despite the unfamiliarity of those strangers among them, the heat of the day, and the happenings of the world outside of Zion National Park. It is difficult for me to think of a more beautiful sight or a more beautiful place to wander around for 12 hours with great company by your side.