If you Google The Narrows at Zion National Park you will find the following descriptions:
One of the world’s best slot canyon hikes!”
One of the best hikes you’ll ever go on!”
One of America’s coolest and most inspiring hikes.”
National Geographic’s Adventure Magazine rated this hike as number five in its list of America’s best 100 adventures.
It has become so popular thanks to its tall majestic canyon walls. The 2,000-foot tall orange-red sandstone structures can be as close as 20 feet across giving you the sense that you could spread your arms out wide and touch both sides.
It feels like you are in a cave that Bob Ross would have painted.
Sounds lovely, right? But if you want to make see the Bob Ross-like beauty, it is going to take some work. Millions of people come to The Narrows each year, but far less see the parts that National Geographic raves about.
The hike begins on a paved path at the top of a valley. The path ends at the base of the Virgin River. That point of the hike is packed. Kids are splashing in the water. Couples are taking selfies. Everyone and their grandma gets to this spot.
If you choose to progress from there, you’ll notice something.
The crowd starts to thin out real quick.
That’s because the only way to keep going into The Narrows is through the river. You may not have to be Michael Phelps, but be prepared to slosh through some freezing cold water. You will slip, slide and swim your way up the river for a couple miles if you want to make it to “Wall Street.”
This has been described as “the holy grail for hikers.” This is the Bob Ross part. All the pictures you see online were taken here.
And guess what?
There are far less people here.
Most of the tourists have turned around and gone home. It was far too much effort to battle the river and after they got a few rocks in their shoes they decided that they had gotten their fill of The Narrows back at the beginning.
And there is nothing wrong with that. Not everyone is able to get to Wall Street. To most, the thought of getting waist deep in water is not appealing.
At the risk of sounding like a bad motivational poster, the scene at The Narrows is a lot like what we will experience as we chase our dreams.
We begin with big things in mind. We want to write a best seller or create a masterpiece. We dream about doing something that would be described as the top 5 ___ (enter your dream here) by ___ (enter your equivalent of National Geographic Magazine).
It all sounds great at the start. Thus, it is really crowded. Authors are splashing around, podcasters are taking selfies. Everyone and their grandma can make it to this point of their dream.
But then you have to enter the river.
There are currents of rejections. Freezing cold doubts. You will be forced to slosh, slip and slide far more than you would like. And no one will fault you for turning back. You gave it a good effort, but maybe you’ve had enough. We won’t blame you if you don’t want to any more rocks in your shoes.
No hard feelings.
But if you want to see the good stuff, be prepared to get waist deep in hard work. To get to the Bob Ross-level conclusion you’ll need to keep going when the rest turn back.
If you stay with it, you can make it to the holy grail of ___ (your industry). And you’ll notice a few things:
It is beautiful. And there are far less people.
The easiest way to see the awesomeness of The Narrows is through Google Images. If you want to see it in person, it takes work.
Same can be said for chasing your dreams.
(Actually that last thought isn’t entirely accurate. You probably can’t see your dreams through Google Images. It just sounded like a good way to end this post.)