State Route 9 through Zion National Park to close through April

Zion National Park. Courtesy photo

SPRINGDALE, Utah, April 3, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — The Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, also known as State Route 9, that runs through Zion National Park, will be closed for a minimum of three weeks starting April 9 for road repairs.

The road was severely undercut on March 2, and one lane of traffic has been allowed to remain open, said a news release on Facebook from park officials.

“However, on April 9, the road will be fully closed from the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel to Canyon Junction,” the news release said. “A section of the existing road will need to be completely removed, and a retaining wall below it will be rebuilt, as well as the roadway itself. The road is expected to be closed for approximately three weeks as a federal highways contractor completes the work.”

Access to the east side of the park will be limited to vehicles smaller than 7 feet 10 inches in width and 11 feet 4 inches in height between the East Entrance and the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. All vehicles entering from the East Side will have to turn around before the tunnel.

“All hiking trails and canyoneering routes on the east side will remain open, however those needing to get permits from the main canyon or stage vehicles there, will need to drive around,” the news release said. “Permits may also be obtained from the Kolob Canyons Visitor Contact Station off of Interstate 15.”

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Alternate east and west driving routes are available via Highway 59 from Hurricane to Fredonia, Arizona, and Highway 14 from Cedar City to Long Valley Junction and Highway 89. People coming from Interstate 15 to Zion National Park may access the park as usual by traveling east on SR-9 through Springdale. All park facilities, including the visitor center, museum, campgrounds, and shuttle buses, are open and operating as normal in Zion Canyon. The Kolob Canyons facilities and Kolob Terrace are open as usual.

Visitors should continue to expect trail closures in the main canyon. The Kayenta Trail and Upper Emerald Pools Trail remain closed due to a landslide that has continued to settle since July 2018. The East Rim Trail, as well as total access to Hidden Canyon and access from the main canyon to Observation Point, remain closed due to a landslide and an unstable overhanging boulder since January 2019. As those areas dry out, staff will be assessing each to determine next steps and timelines, the news release said.

This water year from Oct. 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019, Zion Canyon has received 15.05 inches of precipitation, the news release said. In comparison, during the same time period one year ago, the same area received 4.48 inches of precipitation.

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