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Hiking the Narrows - what temperature is too cold?

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Hiking the Narrows - what temperature is too cold?

Old Oct 20th, 2011, 12:20 PM
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Hiking the Narrows - what temperature is too cold?

Is 79 degrees an ok temperature to hike the Narrows or would a dry suit still be recommended?

What about 69? Obviously colder. Would a dry suit make it still a comfortable hike or would it be better to forego the hike at 69 degrees?
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Old Oct 20th, 2011, 12:38 PM
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What one canoe/kayak rental outfit that I know does(don't know that there is any recommendations for this at Zion) is that the air temp and water temp be at least 100 degrees and be wearing a wetsuit or they don't rent you the canoe. I don't know if this is a NPS decision or a company decision. This is on the Buffalo National River in AR. So, my point is, that the water temp is as important as the air temp and even a combination of the two is a factor.

You will at a minimum want the neoprene socks and canyoneering shoes and hiking stick. I don't hike with a stick, but it really helps you in the water.

We did the wetsuit pants. You may not want a top as well. You would probably need just a wetsuit not a drysuit. Those are two different things. A drysuit keeps you totally dry. In a wet suit you will still be cold and wet. However, you will be much warmer in a wetsuit than nothing at all. A drysuit keeps you totally dry. I have worn them(not in the narrows)and was dry everywhere but my feet.

The Narrows provides very little sunlight because the walls of the canyon keep you in the shade virtually the entire trip, so you don't get the benefit of the sun warming you even if it is bright sun shiny day. That said, it also protects from the wind, so if it is windy the windchill is colder normally, but the narrows isn't windy.

I have only done it once the 3rd week of October. I was still cool, but comfortable in my wetpants, socks, and shoes. Feet got the coldest. I saw plenty of people doing it in just tennis shoes and short. IMOP, thats crazy unless it is summer. My wife and daughter usually complain if they are cold or uncomfortable and they made it fine with only being slightly cold.

I would go up the canyon as far as is allowed. Some turn back after a little bit. So, plan the better part of a day for this trip. You aren't in water the entire time, but I would say at least 80% of the time. We never had to swim, but it did get up to our waist in a few spots. Usually it was ankle to knee deep.

Zion Adventure Company rents everything. I would call them and ask about wetsuits and drysuits.
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Old Oct 20th, 2011, 12:40 PM
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I don't normally hike with a stick. I did in The Narrows. is what I meant to say
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Old Oct 20th, 2011, 12:49 PM
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ZAC recommends a drysuit rather than a wetsuit if you're going to wear either. Since you'll be wading in water much of the time, the water temp is more important than the air temp so find out what the water temp is and make your decision based on that.
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Old Oct 20th, 2011, 01:09 PM
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Well, my mistake. In looking back at our photos they do look like drysuit pants. I think what I was thinking is that the boots and socks aren't dry.

Here is our photos of Zion. Lots of pics of The Narrows on here.
http://share.shutterfly.com/action/w...0IatW7FqybsWKB
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Old Oct 21st, 2011, 05:54 PM
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awayfromitall,

What time of year are you planning to visit? That makes ALL the difference.
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Old Oct 21st, 2011, 08:15 PM
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It was a hot day in early July when I did the hike up the Narrows and into Orderville Canyon. We started out early, around 7:00, but the day would eventually top out above 100 degrees. Even so, after several hours in the canyon I was chilled and looking for some sun to stand in. 69 sounds pretty cold to me, unless you had proper and good gear.

Great walk though. Highly Recommended!
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Old Oct 31st, 2011, 07:26 AM
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So an update on how this went. The day turned out to be 84 degrees...which they say is about 69 degrees in the narrows. We wore drysuits and the special shoes/socks from Zion Adventure and didn't feel the least bit cold. For others trying this, I'm sure you could do it pleasantly enough on a 70 degree day with the same special clothing.
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Old Oct 31st, 2011, 10:32 AM
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Also for others doing this....I found using both my hiking poles gave me MUCH more balance on the bowling ball size rocks than everyone else had with just one stick.
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Old Oct 31st, 2011, 10:40 AM
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awayfromitall,

So did you enjoy it? any other hikes? how about at least a mini TR.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2011, 07:18 AM
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Added a trip report here:

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...zion-bryce.cfm
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Old Nov 3rd, 2011, 08:46 PM
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For anyone else considering this hike, please know that the water level and current are really critical. Always check with the rangers at the Visitor Center before attempting.
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Old Nov 4th, 2011, 04:45 AM
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Zion Adventures also has the daily status posted when/if you go there.
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