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Zion National Park Narrows


Mohican
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planning trip first week of May to Zion and wondering if we'll get to hike the narrows.  From what I've found online, it varies from year to year as to when water is low enough to hike the narrows.  anyone have a forecast on when the narrows hike will open this spring?

thanks

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Depends on snowpack, spring run off, water levels, if any rain is in the region,  etc. Early May it might be deep and it will be cold water. I went in Nov doing a 3 day hiking to Chamberlain Ranch in 7" of snow since the road was closed from the weather. I wore a Farmer John's  neoprene  wet suit which was NEEDED in the icy water up above my waist level. The NP made me sign off after a lengthy warning(scolding) about waiting until summer to do the narrows top down and me being put through the ringer about my abilities. They did what they should have done!   

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thanks for reply.  I did finally hear back on inquiry to Visitor Center by email and by phone, with one message saying good chance we'd be good to go and the other saying it was unlikely.  We'll just have to wait and see.  Any other slot canyon / narrows recommended if the Narrows isn't open?

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Orderville Canyon, which has one semi technical short 20 ft or so rappel(sometimes with existing  rope and bolts) not requiring a permit is a nice somewhat introductory slot canyon experience. I agree with this assessment about Orderville. http://www.citrusmilo.com/zionguide/ordervillecanyon.cfm It will almost 100% be a wet trek into Orderville in May. I like Orderville more than the Virgin River Narrows and since the rappel over a large chock boulder deters  people.  And, the Subway, again within Zion NP, which also requires a short 20 ft or so semi technical rappel(rather easy, again usually with an existing rope) are good alternates. http://www.philarmitage.net/zion_hikes.html But the Subway can be approached from below the rappel too. Again, expect to get wet in May in the Subway.

Of course, if you haven't done it AND can obtain a permit Buckskin Gulch/Paria River  is nearby. 

OMG, you have Bryce, Zion, Escalante Grand Staircase, Canyonlands, Captal Reef, Glen Canyon Nat Rec Area, and Arches all in one area to choose from. I think you'll find something that appeals to you. LOL.   

Mohican just Google non technical Utah slot canyons and you'll find oodles of possibilities. I used  Mike Kelsey's books that have maps, descriptions,  etc of Non technical slots when I first started adventuring into southern Utah and the Colorado Plateaus's slot canyons.  http://www.amazon.com/Non-Technical-Canyon-Colorado-Plateau-Edition/dp/0944510272  

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You've provided some great resources to help us plan- appreciate it!

suggestions for footwear when doing Zion Narrows hike in May?  are canyoneering shoes at rental place necessary or would cheaper water shoe or sneakers w/ neoprene socks be ok?

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