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local here! my boyfriend also works for blm so they go there to help sometimes.
1. southern utah is a desert. remember to wear sunscreen and drink lots of water.
2. BRING A HIKING STICK *especially* if you plan to hike the narrows.
3. be on the lookout for rain. monsoon season is about mid july and flash floods can happen. usually the park won’t let you into the narrows if there is a chance though.
4. What my family does when we feel we’re done hiking (usually your legs start to feel like jello from walking) is fill up your bags (lunch, camel back, etc.) with air and you can just be carried back down the river if you lay on your back.
5. pack a waterproof camera or do like we do and put your phone/camera in one of those snaplock waterproof tupperware containers.
6. if you don’t hike a lot you are going to be *very* tired afterwards. when my dad first hiked the narrows he fell asleep on the shuttle for about 3 hours. so don’t plan anything too extreme afterwards
7. in my opinion oscar’s has the most food for the best price. it’s my brother’s favorite restaurant so we go there often. bit and spur is nice too and the owner alex is super chill. i like their chile verde best. there is a brick oven pizza place called flying monkey that isn’t half bad. The worst restaurant service i have ever had was at the spotted dog. my dad cut a penny in half with some bolt cutters we had in our truck as a tip for the waiter. i think my sister in law worked for blondie’s and she really liked a berry pie they had, but I’ve never been there personally.
8. BLM land is near the park and free to camp on but it doesn’t have outlets and other amenities like the campgrounds at zion
9. the tunnel is really cool to drive through. roll your windows down.