Popular trails in Zion National Park close indefinitely due to rockfalls, flooding

Officials work to clear the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. Photo Courtesy: Zion National Park
SPRINGDALE, Utah, July 17, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — A number of popular trails in Zion National Park have closed indefinitely due to rockfalls and flooding, officials said.
These include Angels Landing, Upper Emerald Pools and the Kayenta trail, the park said in a news release on Facebook Tuesday. There is no estimated date of reopening for these trails.

Four flash flood warnings have been issued in five days, the news release said, and rainfall received on July 11 produced the largest flood since 2011, increasing the flow volume of the river by nearly 200x.

“Your safety is your responsibility. Much like walking on a cliff with high winds, or going above the treeline with a stormy forecast, hiking in a narrow canyon with a chance of rain is a significant risk,” the news release said. “If you plan a hike such as the Narrows from July-Sept., have a backup plan. There are many trails and locations in Zion which are better options during flood risks.”

It is not advised to enter any narrow canyon when there is a chance of rain or a possibility of a flood, officials said.¬†“Possible” ratings and seemingly-low chances of rain have produced dangerous conditions in canyons. When a flash flood warning is issued, all slot canyons and the Narrows are closed.

“It has been a chaotic week, but there is a silver lining,” the news release goes on. “No flood-related injuries have been reported, largely in part to good decision-making. Enjoy Zion during this dramatic rainy season, but make your trip a safe one.”

To check flood potential, click here.

For more information on the park and current conditions, click here.
Graph shows flow volume in Cubic Feet per Second (CFS) over the past week. The July 11 flood increased the Virgin River’s flow from 30.3 CFS to 5,410 CFS within 30 minutes. Graph Courtesy: Zion National Park

 

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