I realized something about myself while on this trip. I have no concept of time or distance.
Once I reached the final stop of the shuttle system at Temple of Sinawava in Zion National Park I decided I would take what I thought was a ½ mile trail (0.8 km) but really turned out to be a 2.2 mile walk. I even stupidity told someone who asked “how much further” while I was on my return walk that it was “like a ½ mile”. Which I am not sure why I said that as I thought the trail was only a ½ mile to start with. They were more like a mile (1.6 km) from the turn around but I didn’t know. I blame exhaustion.
I did not plan on taking the Riverside Walk but it lead out to The Narrows. I had read about The Narrows online, and like Angel’s Landing I had no intention of hiking it but I could check out the trailhead. Who wouldn’t want to take a peek at the impressive gorge carved by the Virgin River?
As I walked along this crowded trail, the sun peeked out, which was a rarity for the week. If Boomer would have been with me I would have said “look blue sky”. I spent a lot of time throughout this trip pointing out the blue skies to Boomer when we saw them as they happened so infrequently. He was usually disappointed at what I was pointing out as I am sure he figured I would be directing his attention to something he found interesting, like a fellow dog traveler.
This trail, although unpaved, was an area that you would see my Grandmas power walking on. It was overcrowded and I felt like I was in the middle of rush hour traffic, weaving in and out of the lanes like a well seasoned NASCAR driver on any given Sunday.
The trail was also full of photographers… not scenic photographers but animals photographers, specifically ground squirrels. People were fascinated by these ground squirrels and equally the squirrels with the people…
It also appeared that these squirrels thought they would get some sort of treat from the humans if they put on a show. It was obvious that these squirrels had been fed by humans and feared nothing, even the aggressive stomping of a lady in an attempt to scare a squirrel off didn’t phase them. The squirrel kept circling her until she walked off faster than his little legs could keep up.
I reached the end of the trail, or the beginning of The Narrows. There was another sign alerting me to the dangers of flash flooding. Even with the unpredictable weather there were still people making their way down the trail into the canyon. Maybe not the smartest thing to do but who am I to judge? I do stupid stuff all the time… granted my stupid stuff is like pointing out a blue sky to a color blind dog – but it’s still stupid.
I soaked up the sun and enjoyed my walk back as I darted around the people. With the exception of not knowing how long the trail was it was a beautiful walk which snaked along the Virgin River most of the way. There is a 57 foot (17 meter) gain in elevation so it is a pretty flat trail most of the way. It is also one of the two wheelchair accessible trails along with Pa’rus Trail being the other one. Pa’rus Trail is the only trail in Zion that allows dogs and is located near the visitor center. Since I had boarded Boomer for the day I did not walk on Pa’rus Trail.
If you would like to check out the Riverside Walk the trailhead is located at the last shuttle stop, Temple of Sinawava, of the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. The trail is 2.2 miles (3.5 km) and should take about 1.5 hours round trip.