Zion National Park 3: Riverside Walk

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After lunch, I proceeded to the Temple of Sinawava, where the paved Zion Canyon Scenic Drive comes to an end. Here begins the one mile “Riverside Walk” trail, a paved pathway that takes the intrepid hiker to the aptly name “The Narrows,” a place where Zion Canyon becomes so thin and compressed that there’s only room for the Virgin River between the two sides of the canyon. Here’s a map of the trail:

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The Temple of Sinawava is an open place surrounded by high redstone walls:

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The paved trail leads goes along the Virgin River. Immediately, I noticed a tiny, rain fed waterfall:

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One thing that becomes readily apparent: all the deciduous trees, shorn by the winter’s inclemency of their verdant foliage, create some serious issues for photography. All the bare branches kind of blend in with the reddish brown and poorly lit walls. In addition, the Virgin River, swollen by rains, has been darkened into a muddy color by all the silt and dirt dredge up by the rains. This can be a scenic place, say, in the spring, with the green leaves spouting fresh from their bows, or in autumn, with the leaves turning yellow and gold. Nonetheless, the following pictures tell a story: of the Riverside Walk in the depths of February, under (mostly) gray and forbidding skies.

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At the end of the trail we get to The Narrows, where the river fills nearly the entire canyon, from edge to edge, wall to wall:

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