Southern Utah is a place of beauty and adventure. And few things are as exciting as the narrow canyons that lace the area. Eons ago, water began to carve into the sandstone formations, creating these narrow, slot canyons. Some are barely wide enough to allow a person to pass through; others are significantly wider. But they are all cool.
The most popular slot canyons are found in Zion National Park. Many people come to Zion specifically to explore the narrows. What is not commonly known, however, is that there are many other narrow canyons across all of Southern Utah. For instance, the majority of canyons in Capitol Reef’s Waterpocket Fold contain narrows. We at the Lodge thought we’d share some info on the canyons in Capitol Reef and Zion.
In general, the narrows in Capitol Reef National Park and the surrounding area are larger and more open. But this is not a bad thing, after all, more room means you can pack more gear with you. This is ideal for photographers and painters. Because of the geology of this region, the narrows are not as deep. Because they are less well known, you are unlikely to meet more than a couple of groups when exploring these canyons. We see that as a good thing.
There is a reason that the narrows of Zion National Park are famous. They are very beautiful, and more demanding. The narrows in Zion can be extremely tight in some areas. Some contain standing water pools year-round. This might mean you will have to swim to access certain parts of the canyons. The narrows can get a little crowded at some seasons, so use caution.
Ultimately any canyon in Southern Utah is worth exploring. Each of them is a little different, and they might just surprise you.