With the weather warming up, many SUU students are looking to get outside. Zion National Park is one of the most popular destinations for southern Utah residents this time of year. However, with recent mudslides and construction, several park trail and road conditions may affect visitor’s plans.
The road between the Tunnel and Canyon Junction on Zion-Mount Carmel Highway will be completely closed until May. This means several hiking and canyoneering trails, such as the Subway and the Canyon Overlook, can only be accessed by the east side.
Though the park’s east entrance will remain open, it will be limited to smaller vehicles only. All visitors who enter from the east side will have to turn around before arriving at the tunnel to park or exit the canyon.
Luckily, many of the popular trails in the main canyon are still accessible.The Lower and Middle Emerald Pools trails will remain open. Angels landing, Weeping Rock and the Narrows will continue to be highly visited. Hikers can expect stretches of congestion on the trails which may extend their time on the mountain.
Other main canyon trails will stay closed until they are deemed safe for hikers. The Kayenta Trail and Upper Emerald Pools trails, which experienced a landslide in July 2018, will be closed until further notice. Similarly, due to another landslide and unstable overhanging rocks, Observation Point and Hidden Canyon will remain closed.
Current weather conditions of the park should also be checked before visiting, as rain can make trails slippery and unsafe for hikers. Though scattered showers are expected over the next few weeks, the skies are expected to be clear and warm for National Parks Free Entrance Day on Saturday, April 20.
To stay up to date on Zion’s trail conditions, visit their website.
Story By: Ansleigh Mikesell
Photo By: Ansleigh Mikesell