BIRDING SPOTS

where, when, and what to find

Zion NP -- The Narrows

posted by Tim Avery at
on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 

The Narrows from Google Street View


Description:
A hike through The Narrows requires hiking in the Virgin River. You must get your feet wet since there is no trail. Most people choose to start their hike from the Temple of Sinawava via the Riverside Walk and then walk upstream before turning around and hiking back down to the Temple of Sinawava. You can also hike sixteen miles downstream over one or two days, entering the park soon after starting the hike and then exiting at the Temple of Sinawava. Those who choose this option must get a permit and arrange transportation for the one and a half hour ride to start the hike outside the park at Chamberlain's Ranch. Steep canyon walls dominate the habitat here with the Virgin River at the base.  Some vegetation is found in the wider areas, but in the "true Narrows" it is mostly sandstone and water.

Birding:
The Narrows aren't often birded, given that the hike is in the water.  For some adventurous birders continuing beyond the end of the Riverside Walk, the Narrows provides a reprieve from the huge crowds.  The birding here isn't going to be really amazing, as the habitat is primarily straight canyon walls out of the water.  There are some riparian trees, hanging gardens, and shrubs, but this truly is a slot canyon.  AMERICAN DIPPER is commonly encountered in the river, and shows up on most submitted checklists.  CANYON and ROCK WREN are also encountered frequently here.  CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHER nest in the canyons and can often be heard singing.  Look for where they land on canyon ledges and you might find a nest.  YELLOW WARBLER, HERMIT THRUSH, and SPOTTED TOWHEE are also regularly seen as well, while most other species seen in the canyon are found less often.  Looking skyward you will probably see WHITE-THROATED SWIFTS and VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS, while COMMON RAVEN and TURKEY VUTLURE are also seen soaring. The Narrows provide a unique birding experience in Zion and are worth a visit if you don't mind getting your feet wet.

Directions:
All Zion National Park hot spots directions in Zion Canyon, or to the east will orignate from the visitor center parking lot for consistency. Anything in the north and west sides of the park will come from the nearest major instersection. Catch the Zion Canyon Schedule at any pick up locations inside or outside the park. Stay on the shuttle until you reach the final stop at the Temple of Sinawava. Follow the Riverside Trail up canyon till you reach the Narrows.

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