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Poles for the Narrows

Glen Ellyn, Illinois
posts: 78
Poles for the Narrows

Does anyone have an opinion if regular trekking poles will be effective in the Narrows or the renters have something specific for the Narrows?

Kipling. SK
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park
posts: 2,862
reviews: 81
1. Re: Poles for the Narrows

You can rent or even buy wooden type hiking poles that are quite useful for the narrows hike. They should be roughly 3/4 of your height and solidly sturdy. The purpose is that the sturdy poles can support your weight, and more often or not prevent you from tumbling into the water in case/when you lose your balance.

Opinions will vary on this subject, but I recommend the wooden hiking staffs described above.

Kipling. SK
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park
posts: 2,862
reviews: 81
2. Re: Poles for the Narrows

The wooden staff will be part of the narrows package available at one of the four outfitters in Springdale. The narrows package usually consists of the Canyoneer boots, the neoprene socks, and the hiking pole. I do not know if you are leaning in this direction or not(to rent this package). Here is an example of gear rentable from Zion Rock Guides>> zionrockguides.com/zion-national-park-outfit…

Ann Arbor, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Grand Canyon National Park
posts: 4,093
reviews: 15
3. Re: Poles for the Narrows

If you're renting other gear for the hike, the wooden staff is part of the package, so you might as well take it and use it and save the wear and tear on your own equipment. Otherwise, I wouldn't go out of my way to rent it over regular trekking poles that you already own. We were there during high flows and saw hikers using regular trekking poles and they didn't seem to be at any disadvantage. If you have expensive UL carbon poles, just be careful to avoid getting them lodged between rocks. Personally, I think trekking poles would be easier to hold onto (especially if your hands are small) and they certainly have a much lighter swing.

Athens, Georgia
posts: 1
reviews: 34
4. Re: Poles for the Narrows

I've read a couple of times that there is a repository of good wooden poles at the temple of sinawava. They've been left for people to use. Is there any truth to that?

Encinitas...
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
posts: 12,473
reviews: 7
5. Re: Poles for the Narrows

Sometimes...

People do find some nice walking sticks and leave them for the next person, but I would not count on it.

They may or may not be there.

Ann Arbor, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Grand Canyon National Park
posts: 4,093
reviews: 15
6. Re: Poles for the Narrows

>> I've read a couple of times that there is a repository of good wooden poles at the temple of sinawava.

FWIW, I've walked the Riverwalk to the Narrows on three different occasions and have never seen any. Perhaps it's more common in the summer months.

Newark, Delaware
posts: 563
reviews: 69
7. Re: Poles for the Narrows

I had heard that there is a pile of poles, but didn't see any. It was so crowded down there at mid-day that perhaps they were taken and later returned. There are plenty of people without any aids so it is not like they are absolutely essential, it just makes it easier, quicker, and perhaps a bit safer. I was amazed to see maybe upper teenage girls barefoot with no poles seemingly walking easily and quickly near Orderville Canyon. Our family did well with one trekking pole each and my parents were glad to have a pair for both of them. Two poles would make it much easier, but not necessary.

Kipling. SK
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park
posts: 2,862
reviews: 81
8. Re: Poles for the Narrows

Finding poles laying about(driftwood, deadfall, or what others brought in) should be discounted, and labelled as a myth. We did not find any such usable 'poles' anywhere in that hike either.

Philadelphia...
posts: 346
reviews: 196
9. Re: Poles for the Narrows

Actually, there is some truth to the "poles left behind for the next person". During two of our three visits to the park (all in the summer), we did find two poles left just prior to entering the river for folks to use. It's doubtful that you'll ever find a big pile of them. I certainly wouldn't count on it, but if you find one/two, then great!

My experience with using a particular type pole or none at all: My first time taking the trail was done without poles. I had a very nice time, but there were some sections where it would have been nice to have something to help me balance. The second time, I used one of my hiking poles and it did a good job. It was light and worked well, though I have to admit that I had the thought of it bending in the back of my mind. It made it through fine, however, with no damage. Having the one pole did add to the experience and make the hike easier. The last time, I forgot it back at the hotel room and was lucky enough to find an old fashioned thick hiking stick left behind by others. It was heavier than my hiking pole, but I really enjoyed using it! I didn't have to worry about it bending (or getting stuck between rocks, etc). It did the job and I had a good hike.

I too wouldn't rent one if you already have poles. They'll do the job. Whether you want to use one or two is up to you.

Las Vegas, Nevada
posts: 1,669
reviews: 24
10. Re: Poles for the Narrows

I've been there when there was a big pile of wooden sticks at the end of the Riverside Walk. So it just goes to show you, you really don't know what you'll find until you get there. Meaning you can't count on finding a walking stick and should plan on bringing your own. Either the wooden stick you get with the rental package or trekking poles will work. I use my trekking poles.