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Zion Narrows

Hidden : 11/02/2006
1 out of 5
2 out of 5

Size: Size: other (other)

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Geocache Description:

During the peak season you will need to take the shuttle up to the coordinates. The coordinates are only the starting of the trail to the location of the Earthcache. Follow the trail up the canyon to the narrows.

The coordinates are at the parking lot for the Zion Narrows trail. The depth of the canyon prevents satellite reception further up the canyon. The trail is advertised as wheelchair accessible. If you choose to walk up the river beyond the end of the trail (highly recommended), be sure to check the forecast for flash floods and be prepared to get very wet in cold water.

The Zion Narrows is an impressive geomorphological feature called a slot canyon. At its narrowest near Orderville Canyon further up river, the narrows is only 16 feet wide and 1000 feet deep.

The formation of the narrows is the result of millions of years of regional geologic change. Zion sits on the edge of what is known as the Colorado Plateau which includes parts of Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. This region has been slowly pushed up from near sea level to as high as 10,000 feet in one relatively unbroken block.

During this uplift, the Virgin River has continued to erode down through the rock. Since the uplift began, several thousand feet of rock has been eroded from above the present day rock formations. The uplift appears to be continuing today as the Virgin River continues to erode down through the rocks.

In the narrows the Virgin River has eroded through the Navajo Sandstone. The Navajo Sandstone is relatively strong and is able to hold itself together to form the sheer cliffs. This strength also makes it difficult for the river to widen, so it erodes down quickly creating the deep canyons.

Down river of the narrows beyond the Temple of Sinawava, the river has eroded through the Navajo Sandstone into the softer Kayenta Formation. The Kayenta Formation includes easily eroded shales and siltstones. In this section, the river erodes the Kayenta Formation out from underneath the Navajo Sandstone, collapsing the sandstone and widening the valley.

Logging requirements:
Send me an email (NOT a Geocaching message!) with :

  1. The text "GCZ5YD Zion Narrows" on the first line
  2. The number of people in your group.
  3. As you reach the end of the trail just before it drops into the river, GET APPROXIMATE COORDINATES and send them to me, even though getting coordinates at this point is difficult.
    WITHOUT COORDINATES, YOU MAY NOT LOG THIS EARTH CACHE AS A FIND. YOU MUST SEND ME YOUR COORDINATES BEFORE YOU LOG IT! If you log the cache before sending your verification email, your log will be deleted. No friendly reminder, no warnings.
  4. Because it has been obvious that some have not gone to the proper place, please post a picture of yourself or other member of your group on the trail where you take your coordinate reading. However, posting pictures are optional for earth caches

The above information was compiled from the following sources:

  • Miek, Robert F., et. al., Geology of Zion National Park, Utah in Geology of Utah’s Parks and Monuments, 2003 Utah Geological Association Publication 28 (second edition) D.A. Sprinkel, T.C. Chidsey, Jr. and P.B. Anderson, editors
  • National Park Service, Geology Fieldnotes, Zion National Park, Utah :

Placement approved by the
Zion National Park

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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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