Zion Narrows - DSLR question

12:47 a.m. on July 5, 2012 (EDT)
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I just realized I should've posted this in the Gear Selection area of this forum. Sorry!!! :(

I invested in the Aqua Quest Biker waterproof backpack (25L) mainly because I want to bring my DSLR on this hike (we're doing the easy, non technical hike from the bottom). 

We're going in mid-late September when water levels are supposedly low.

Are the narrows so amazingly spectacular I'm going to want to keep my DSLR out all the time? Are there decent areas to stop and safely take out my DSLR (without having to invest in a waterproof housing?). 

Any recommendations for first time Narrows traveler?

12:55 a.m. on July 5, 2012 (EDT)
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What DSLR do you have?

3:31 p.m. on July 5, 2012 (EDT)
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By september the runnoff will be very low and easy to wade. Its usually fairly easy to keep your DSLR in a large Ziploc bag or drybag. Then take it out as wanted. Most of the narrows are easy to navagate in shallow water without having to wade so deep to douse your camera.

5:04 p.m. on July 5, 2012 (EDT)
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Unless you are expecting lots of rain or plan on swimming across a river I don't think you would need a WP pack. 

I would think that one of these would be more than enough.



8:05 p.m. on July 5, 2012 (EDT)
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I've hiked it from the top down and took my DSLR.  Kept it in a waterproof bag, just to be safe.  There were pools that were chest deep.  I ended up not taking as many photos as I wanted because it was a pain to get the camera out and put back.

Most of the water you'll be in will be on the shallow side.  Through that, I'd keep my camera out.  There are a few deep pools further up, as you approach Big Spring.  Put you camera away when walking through those.  The bottom is rocky and footing can be unsure.  A hiking stick helps a lot.

3:57 p.m. on July 6, 2012 (EDT)
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Thank you everyone.

I have the 7D (taking 10-22mm lens).

JimDoss, that was my only debate. The pain in the butt of taking the camera in and out of the bag. BUT I also didn't want to invest in those beefed up ziplock bags where I don't have full access to all the buttons through the bag (or drop $1,500+ for the fully functioning, dive waterproof housing units).

But as you mentioned I'll put it away once we start hitting deep spots. I'll also have my GoPro (that's waterproof). 

We're spending a full day starting at the bottom then turning around at Orderville Canyon.

Thank you everyone!!!

6:19 p.m. on July 6, 2012 (EDT)
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You sound set! Hope you do a great trip report vid and all!

1:01 p.m. on July 7, 2012 (EDT)
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The snowpack this year was low and the stream flows there are already low. In September they will be even lower alothough that is southwest monsoon season and rainfall can occur there that may bring the river up breifly. If going from the bottom up you should be ok but as stated by others the stream bed is rocky, footing is less than desireable which could cause a fall.....take pole(s). You may have to go quite a ways or start realyy early to avoid throngs of people also going from the bottom up for a day. I remember on the last narrows area near the bottom I really had trouble trying to take a picture without having others in it and finally put the camera away after orderville canyon.

I have gone from the top down to the bottom on an average snow year and I remember having 2 mandatory swims above the big springs area.........but that was with a flow of 85-90 cfs. You should be Ok but a dry bag just big enough for the camera is cheap (<$50) insurance for the unexpected. Hope this helps.


PS: If you have time see if you can pick up a permit for a campsite that was not fulfilled and start from the top.......its a memorable trip to say the least.



5:34 a.m. on July 8, 2012 (EDT)
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^^ cletus, I'd love to do top to bottom, but I'm traveling with a group of people that are not outdoor savvy. So the 16 miles with weary hikers could end up taking a couple weeks... ;)

April 24, 2018
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