John and I’s wonderment in Zion National Park never ceased; from the curvy 28-mile entrance drive to the final bus ride to our car, we loved every view the park had to offer. We knew that we wanted to hike The Narrows and Angel’s Landing, and we were glad to have done our research and planned ahead before arriving.
We found that a permit and a reservation with a shuttle company were required to hike the Narrows from the top down, but no special permits were needed to hike Angel’s Landing. Our first attempt at passes wasn’t successful, as the online spots fill up as soon as they open three months before the hiking date. We applied for the online lottery that opens one week in advance of the hiking date, and to our surprise, we both won day-trip permits! We found out the good news two days before our hike and were lucky to get a spot on a shuttle ride with Zion Adventures the same day due to a cancellation
As soon as we arrived at the park on the Fourth of July, we picked up our narrows permits from the visitor’s center. We paid our dues, signed the waivers, and booked it out of there to find a good swimming hole. To get to a swimming hole or go anywhere else in Zion, we had to take the shuttle system. It runs frequently but does get backed up at the visitor’s center during the busy morning hours.
The bus took us to the Canyon Junction stop, where we hopped into the Virgin River for a cool swim with a beautiful view. We skipped rocks and slid down the waterfall until we had worked up an appetite for a burger from The Zion Brewery.
After a restful night at the Two Cranes Inn, we met our Zion Adventure shuttle bright and early just a few miles outside of the park entrance in Springdale. Our driver gave us a few pointers during the one and a half hour drive to Chamberlain’s Ranch. She dropped us off at the trailhead with a, “Good luck!”
The narrows hiking trail winds through a diverse area for the first few miles before entering the actual Narrows. Once we were between the thousand-foot-high walls, I forgot what the rest of the world looked like. The sheer mass of the canyon is enough to humble anyone. After we waded, climbed, hiked, and swam through the Narrows for 16-miles, we were exhausted.
We pitched our tent for the night at Zion River Resort and got a great night’s rest. It was such good rest that we didn’t get moving until almost 10 AM. Despite our slow start, we decided to enjoy breakfast at MeMe’s Café. The hearty breakfast was much needed before the monstrous Angel’s Landing hike.
The exhilarating, strenuous, and blistering hot hike was worth every step to see an incredible view of Zion National Park. ‘Straight up land’--as the native people call it--is awe inspiring from the top of Angel’s Landing. It was the best way we could’ve ended our incredible journey through Zion National Park. We can’t wait to go back and find new ways to explore the canyon.