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Hiking Zion Narrows to rent or not to rent (equipment).

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Jun 8th, 2013, 08:16 AM
  #1
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Hiking Zion Narrows to rent or not to rent (equipment).

I'm headed back to the Narrows. Last time I didn't research. We jumped into the river in Tevas with no poles and had an amazing time. Well, this time Im researching! So now Im nervous about shoes and whether or not to rent poles. We will have kids and parents that are 60 something with us. The kids will do what they can and then my husband or I will turn around with them. My husbands parents have asked about shoes of course. Because my own experience is vastly different (tevas, which I thought were great) vs renting shoes. I'm not sure what to tell them. They are both in good shape. As of now we have no plans to rent poles. But I'm thinking now they hike in old tennis shoes with the help of poles.
Any thoughts??? Thanks!
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Jun 8th, 2013, 11:00 AM
  #2
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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When are you going? The water levels now are low enough that you won't need dry suit or wet suit, but I definitely recommend at least poles. For $5 for the day it's not going to break the bank and they are helpful for probing depth, supporting you as you walk through the stream. I was there in May when the water was as high as up to chest level, and was glad I had a walking stick even in the shallower knee deep parts.

Regarding shoes, I think it all depends on your own fitness level & what shoes you have. Personally, I'd be fine in my Keens since my calves/ankles can handle the wobbly bottom. The problem with Keens/Tevas is they can get a lot of pebbles in them - just the right size to be a pain.

The walking surface as you know is very uneven, and even in the summer the water is cool. I'd recommend you get shoes for the kids and parents so it's one less reason for them to turn around. What you can do is do a test walk in the river in the town of Springdale, at the town park on the S side of town or behind many of the hotels, or near the park entrance, or even in the park by the lodge or the patriarchs bus stop.

If everyone can stand in the water without feeling cold then you won't need to rent shoes for warmth. Old sneakers would be just fine.

Here's the link to the water flow site.

http://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?site_no=09405500

Right now it's pretty low, about 50 cubic feet per second. That means the deepest parts are thigh depth, and most parts are knee or calf depth, and a lot of the walk will be on dry land.

Enjoy. But definitely get poles. Besides, what kid of any age doesn't like a walking stick? It's part of the fun.
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Jun 8th, 2013, 11:41 AM
  #3
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Thanks J62 for helping my reason it out! Even having done it before I was a bit overwhelmed with info. trying to make decisions for other people. The test walk is a great idea.
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Jun 8th, 2013, 11:50 AM
  #4
 
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Agree with the above. Regular sneakers or hiking shoes will be ok, but definitely have poles for safety.
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Jun 8th, 2013, 12:32 PM
  #5
 
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I would for sure rent the shoes and either rent the poles, if you don't have any. The shoes are specifically designed for this type of action. 5.10 canyoneers(I think). Having been canyoneering several times and The Narrows once, there is a big difference in thos shoes and other hiking shoes. They are fairly inexpensive to rent. You can rent just the wet pants if you want those.
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Jun 8th, 2013, 12:40 PM
  #6
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Thanks for the advice. I really was completely happy in my tevas in the Narrows last time. But I will suggest shoes and definitly poles to everyone. And probably grab some poles myself.
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Jun 8th, 2013, 07:17 PM
  #7
 
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I wore Tevs but what helped me more than anything was having TWO poles. Everything I read talked about grabbing A pole (wooden pole left by others) but I used my two hiking poles and I was able to go much faster and more comfortably than anyone else in our party of around 15, ages 12-65. They were really struggling and not enjoying it as much as I was.
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Jun 8th, 2013, 10:01 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: May 2013
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J62 has valid advice. There is no cure for being cold.
CPS is vital for the safety of your kids.
I assume you are doing the Riverside walk up the river not from Chamberlain Ranch that requires a permit - which are probably not available at short notice.

While I think these guys are overpriced, they are a quality organization. See their in-store video first. They rent everything including 'sticks' for $7.00 a day (theft - work the numbers. The following year, they cut off 1 inch from the bottom and rake in more money) You can buy them as a souvenir
http://www.zionadventures.com/
Click on Narrows icon
Do you have ski poles?

Mexican food - Bit and Spur.
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Jun 8th, 2013, 11:55 PM
  #9
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J62 did have great advice. I will of course keep an eye on the flow rate. We are going soon and it's been 37 the last few days. We are not newbies to the Narrows. Just the first time others are looking to me for advice on the hike. Like I said while I have been perfectly happy in Tevas with no poles. I definitely did not want to make that recommendation for anyone else in our party. I think Zion Canyon overwhelms me to the point where I could sleep on a rock, hike poleless, in the blazing sun, or freezing cold and never loose my ear to ear smile. It truly is my favorite place on earth. (So far).
I have been to Zion Advwntures and the webpage. I would agree with you about the prices, I always thought that for $7 it should be both poles when marketed for Zion, not one!
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Jun 9th, 2013, 04:31 AM
  #10
 
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you should try canyoneering then
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Jun 9th, 2013, 06:42 AM
  #11
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I know!!! we live in VA and don't get our there enough. I just said to my husband (who is already a climber and climbing instructor) can we please move to the southwest so I can take up canyoneering?!
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