Send us a suggestion!

Zion Narrows open bottom-up -- ask Superintendent to also open Canyons

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by VBlueV, Apr 30, 2021.

  1. VBlueV

    VBlueV

    Messages:
    26
    Likes:
    59
    EDIT: I was incorrect in saying the Narrows Bottom-Up was previously closed.

    _____________________________________

    So yes, totally self-serving =)

    Please email..
    ZION_PARK_INFORMATION@NPS.GOV

    In the Subject Line add:
    ATTN SUPERINTENDENT -- grant Wilderness Permits for Canyons that end into Zion Narrows

    Park Rangers at Kolob Canyon and Zion Wilderness Desk informed me the Zion Narrows are open from the bottom-up. The Narrows were previously closed due to high levels of Cyano-bacteria (CB) However, the Canyoneering routes that terminate into the Zion Narrows remain "closed due to high levels of cyanotoxins"

    Request members contact the Zion Superintendent (email above) or as recommended (if you're local or in the area) fill-out a Comment-Card at the Zion Wilderness Desk/Visitors' Center to ask for Canyon Routes culminating into the Narrows be re-opened as soon as possible.

    Thank you.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 10, 2021
    NevadaSlots and Yellow Dart like this.
  2. ratagonia

    ratagonia

    Messages:
    5,811
    Likes:
    7,317
    Location:
    Mount Carmel, Utah
    The Narrows bottom up were never closed.

    Jus' sayin'...
    Scott Patterson likes this.
  3. VBlueV

    VBlueV

    Messages:
    26
    Likes:
    59
    Thanks Tom.
    I must've misunderstood the Rangers.
    They seemed to imply the upper canyons were closed due to the CB in the Narrows where those canyons would have to exit.
    hmmm..
    So, they are testing regularly within those specific canyons?
    I'll just remove this post then.
    Apologies.
  4. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

    Messages:
    1,490
    Likes:
    1,459
    That is correct. The Narrows from the bottom still remained open.
  5. jsb4g

    jsb4g

    Messages:
    150
    Likes:
    106
    Location:
    Washington, UT
    Actually, you were right according to the ranger I spoke to. Permits for the narrows top down, and all canyons in the park that exit into the narrows, are not being issued because of CB in the narrows. I inquired about a permit for a canyon which is usually mostly dry and was told no because narrows has CB. The fact that they are letting bottom up hikers in the Narrows and not issuing day use permits for canyons makes no sense, but that is the way it is.
    Yellow Dart likes this.
  6. ratagonia

    ratagonia

    Messages:
    5,811
    Likes:
    7,317
    Location:
    Mount Carmel, Utah
    Hmmmm. It makes sense to me, in a way tied into my fantasy-role-playing as a Facebook shade-tree lawyer:

    First of all, the Narrows from the bottom is, along with Angels Landing, the "charismatic megafauna" of Zion National Park. These two hikes are know worldwide as "must be on your bucket list" hikes. Therefore, closing access to the Narrows from the bottom would have major political repercussions.

    Second, the 'danger' from the CB is very hard to characterize and get a handle on. Is there even danger? Tens of thousands of people, perhaps even hundreds of thousands, hiked in the Narrows last year with ZERO reported health impacts. One dog died further down the river, from snacking on a CB colony. CB Toxins in the water are unmeasurable unless one tries very hard to create a CB Toxin release situation and quickly samples the water before the toxin dilutes in the flow. As far as I can tell, the Park (and Utah DEQ) has never monitored the river in the past, so there is no baseline comparison. Etc. etc.

    But, the Park is an institution that acts with an abundance of caution. Obviously, up to a point.

    Thus, my pseudo-legal argument is this:

    1. Allowing continued use of The Narrows by the public from the bottom, without permits as it has been done for decades, is a passive action. It is the no-action alternative.

    2. Issuing permits that grant permission to enter canyons and waters that may have CB toxin contamination is an ACTIVE action. Out of an abundance of caution, the Park has chosen that it cannot take the actions of issuing permits.

    It should be noted that the Narrows from the Bottom is an activity with an audience of hundreds of thousands of visitors. Canyoneering into the Narrows is an activity with an audience of hundreds. Perhaps thousands.

    C. There are canyons in Zion that are open. Do them.

    D. There are a thousand canyons elsewhere in Utah, and one in Arizona, that people can recreate in without the Park's permission.

    Tom
    Kuenn and VBlueV like this.
  7. jsb4g

    jsb4g

    Messages:
    150
    Likes:
    106
    Location:
    Washington, UT
    Tom, for reasons we have previously discussed- issuing permits does not increase the liability risk under federal law. The NPS has no duty to even warn of CB risks per US Code and case law interpreting US Code, but does so anyway for reasons that have nothing to do with legal obligations ( such as safety, political, public perception, etc... reasons). Even if it were a private land owner, warning of the dangerous condition is enough to defeat a lawsuit on summary judgment (and since DOJ litigates, such a lawsuit costs almost nothing to defend). As far as "Park is an institution that acts with an abundance of caution. Obviously up to a point..." As someone who has provided legal advice to Parks in my previous life, I can tell you two things: 1.) I would have counseled that there is no liability concern with issuing permits and 2.) On occasion, the NPS ignores legal advice and throws caution to the wind in a not so insignificant number of cases/issues. I could render a guess as to why they aren't issuing permits, but it would just be a guess....experience has shown me that decisions made by federal agencies do not necessarily always follow logic. When logic is not a certainty, I exit the guessing game.

    I wouldn't post any of this on FB where the conversation is....um... well, you can fill in the blank.

    Zion is among the limited places I can do day trips. Still, the closures aren't a huge deal to me. I have done Imlay, Mystery, and Orderville previously. I would like to do Englestead, Eastern Sun, and Checkerboard.....one day, I am sure it will happen.
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
    VBlueV likes this.
  8. ratagonia

    ratagonia

    Messages:
    5,811
    Likes:
    7,317
    Location:
    Mount Carmel, Utah
    You seem to want to confuse the conversation with real-world facts!!!!!!
    Yellow Dart and jsb4g like this.
  9. jsb4g

    jsb4g

    Messages:
    150
    Likes:
    106
    Location:
    Washington, UT
    Do those even exist anymore?
    Yellow Dart and ratagonia like this.
  10. VBlueV

    VBlueV

    Messages:
    26
    Likes:
    59
    Thanks to both of you for the insight.
    I too have done Mystery half-dozen times or more.
    And yes, I do have a Plan B that doesn't need a Permit
    and Plan C with a Permit from the Church =)
    But it is nice to get back in there to see Mystery Springs from time to time.
  11. Yellow Dart

    Yellow Dart It's only hubris if I fail.

    Messages:
    410
    Likes:
    469
    Location:
    La Verkin
    I asked at the permit desk if this was an effective way, and he said something to the tune of "either that, or fill out a comment card here."

    So, it does work its way up the chain.
  12. jsb4g

    jsb4g

    Messages:
    150
    Likes:
    106
    Location:
    Washington, UT
    EDIT: It is open effective May 6.


    Jason
    Last edited: May 5, 2021
    Yellow Dart likes this.
  13. VBlueV

    VBlueV

    Messages:
    26
    Likes:
    59
    Thank you all for taking action :)
    Just printed my MYSTERY Permit for this weekend!
    Cheers!
    ratagonia likes this.
  14. VBlueV

    VBlueV

    Messages:
    26
    Likes:
    59
    In skiing parlance, got first tracks in Mystery Canyon after it re-opened post Cyano-B :cool:

    PIREP as of 7 May 2021: Mystery Canyon was bone dry until just above Mystery Spring.

    Serendipitous because unbeknownst to us, as our friend exclaimed,
    "... was trying to keep it a secret mystery, but can't hold it in any longer. It's my birthday!" :joyful:
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY B !

    The rest of the Group at the overlook along Observation Point Trail.
    Death Gully extending away to 1 o'clock.
    Mystery Canyon turning to 9 o'clock LDC.
    [​IMG]

    When dry, Death Gulley is it's standard "fun" super steep loose dirt and rocks!
    [​IMG]

    Mystery Mushrooms! mmmm :D Edible?
    [​IMG]

    The Great White Streak! Anyone rappelled directly to this spot? How much rope would we need :cool:
    [​IMG]

    Rorschach Test: Do you just see fossils, petroglyphs, or a nice western landscape of a meadow lined with pine-trees, with moose, elk, and a sasquatch! :woot:
    [​IMG]

    Team at the last pre-rappel Letter C.
    Birthday girl on-rope.
    [​IMG]

    Mystery Canyon Rappel Number 1 down a nice fluted chute!
    [​IMG]

    Musical MK having fun in Mystery Canyon.
    [​IMG]

    MK singing deep within Mystery Canyon while on-rope.


    Mystery Lake had a Sapling Forest growing on a dry sandy beach.
    [​IMG]

    Just above Mystery Spring, T was able to stem to delay getting his shoes wet for another few minutes :happy:
    [​IMG]

    Gazing into Mystery Spring. Amazing as ever!
    [​IMG]

    The majestic wall directly above Mystery Spring.
    [​IMG]

    Our local opera singer, MK gracing us with her angelic voice as it echoed throughout Mystery Spring.


    Rappelling into the clean refreshing Mystery Spring!
    [​IMG]

    Brief wet section between Mystery Spring and the waterfall above Zion Narrows.
    This was a nice jump pool but it's too shallow now. High sand? Low flow? Wiser? (NOPE!)
    [​IMG]

    Views into Zion Narrows from atop the Mystery Canyon Exit.
    [​IMG]

    And looking down the waterfall rappel into the Zion Narrows.
    Landed to cheers and Shakas as an audience had gathered :smuggrin:
    [​IMG]

    Looking up the waterfall exit from Mystery Canyon!
    [​IMG]
    Thanks for viewing!
    Last edited: May 10, 2021
    Dave Melton and Kuenn like this.
  15. ratagonia

    ratagonia

    Messages:
    5,811
    Likes:
    7,317
    Location:
    Mount Carmel, Utah
    Awesome...

    Was the gorgeous fuschia webbing yours?

    Tom
  16. VBlueV

    VBlueV

    Messages:
    26
    Likes:
    59
    Ha ! Nope.
    Wondered about that color.
    Checked them as good.
    But the several sets, while still bright hot-pink, seemed a bit weathered/stiff.
    So, must've been there since just before the closures?
    Although.. it made playing who-can-find-the-anchor-first very easy :rolleyes2:
    [​IMG]

    Which day did you go through?
    zul likes this.
  17. ratagonia

    ratagonia

    Messages:
    5,811
    Likes:
    7,317
    Location:
    Mount Carmel, Utah
    Nice picture, thanks.

    Shirlz got a permit for Sunday, and we replaced all the luscious fuschia webbing with black. And though it looked pretty new, the knots were welded so yeah, must of been there awhile.

    Tom
    VBlueV and Dave Melton like this.
  18. Kuenn

    Kuenn

    Messages:
    1,670
    Likes:
    1,912
    Maybe, who's asking...:whistle:
    About 100 feet more than 625, if you prefer not to pass a knot.

    PA180230-COLLAGE (1).
Similar Threads: Zion Narrows
Forum Title Date
General Discussion Zion Narrows Rockfall Sep 15, 2021
General Discussion Zion Narrows opening date? Jun 10, 2019
Accidents and Near Misses Zion Narrows flood Aug 4, 2017
General Discussion Been in Zion Narrows at 200 CFS? May 9, 2016
General Discussion Feel good story- Zion narrows Jun 10, 2013
General Discussion Zion Narrows closed 4/28 Apr 30, 2013