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News Zion Road and Trail Closures (ongoing)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ratagonia, Mar 2, 2019.

  1. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Zion National Park 7:24 PM - Mar 2, 2019

    State Route 9 through Zion National Park is closed due to active rockslides. It is closed from Canyon Junction to East Entrance. It will remain closed tonight until the road can be evaluated in the morning.
  2. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Uh, well... One of the retaining walls on the Pine Creek switchbacks rolled away...

    Zion Road Knockout.
    townsend and darhawk like this.
  3. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Zion National Park
    33 mins ·
    Zion-Mount Carmel Highway Closed due to Road Damage from Storms.

    Zion-Mount Carmel Highway (State Rt. 9 connector) closed until further notice.

    SPRINGDALE, UT – The Zion-Mount Carmel Highway was closed the evening of March 2, 2019, after reports of an active rockslide on the switchbacks below the tunnel. The area was assessed in the morning of March 3, 2019. A retaining wall failed and eight feet of the road is severely undercut east of the 1st switchback. The Zion-Mount Carmel Highway and Tunnel from the East Entrance to Canyon Junction, is closed until further notice.

    Due to this storm, access to Canyon Overlook Trail, near the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel, is closed. Several canyonneering routes have also been closed because they are normally accessed from the closed road. These include Keyhole, Canyon Overlook, Pine Creek, Spry, Clear Creek, Fat Man’s Misery, and Lodge Canyons. The East Rim Trail head is accessible from Zion’s East Entrance. Staff are currently checking trail conditions on the remaining trails.

    Alternate east and west driving routes are available via Highway 59 from Hurricane, Utah to Fredonia, Arizona and Highway 14 from Cedar City, Utah to Long Valley Junction and Highway 89. People coming from Interstate 15 to the Park may access the Park as usual by traveling east on State Route 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 expect trail closures. 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.

    This year (October 1, 2018- March 3, 2019), Zion Canyon has received 10.12 inches of precipitation. In comparison, during the same time period one year ago, the same area received 2.77 inches of precipitation.
    darhawk likes this.
  4. JWP2024

    JWP2024

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    Yikes! Glad that got noticed... Just a great example of things aren't always as they seem.
    Kuenn likes this.
  5. deathtointernet

    deathtointernet

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    I'm sort of enjoying Zion's rapid return to a wild state. Unless I'm forgetting something (and feel free to point it out if I am), the only non-technical route from Springdale to the East Side that isn't closed is the Johnson Mountain-No Man's-Stevens-Whale-Hepworth-to-Gifford Route. Which would *really* cut down on the visitation to that area. :D
    hank moon likes this.
  6. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    YoungBuck likes this.
  7. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    :timebomb: It's Trumps fault for pulling funding from the park, the staff can't keep up with the maintenance.
  8. qedcook

    qedcook

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    Not sure if this is a joke??
  9. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Adequate funding for the Parks has not been available for decades.

    T
  10. SCard

    SCard

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    Has any timeline been announced for the repair to the road?
  11. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    Mostly a joke. As Tom Jones said the Parks haven't been adequately funded for a while and Trump has made it worse, which I'm not happy about, but blaming Trump for rockslides is kinda ridiculous.
  12. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    We all know it is Obama's fault. THANKS OBAMA!!!
  13. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Zion- Mount Carmel Highway Opens East Entrance to Tunnel on March 8, 2019, no Thru Traffic


    Subscribe [​IMG] | Aly Baltrus


    SPRINGDALE, UT – The Zion- Mount Carmel Highway, the State Route 9 connector road through Zion National Park, was closed the evening of March 2, 2019, after heavy rains undercut a section of the road. The portion of the road from the East Entrance to the Zion- Mount Carmel Tunnel will reopen at 9:00 a.m. Friday, March 8, 2019 to limited hours and non- oversized vehicles. The Zion- Mount Carmel Highway will still be closed from the Zion- Mount Carmel Tunnel to Canyon Junction. No thru traffic will be allowed until temporary repairs are in place.

    The east side of the park will be open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. Traffic will be turned around prior to the Zion- Mount Carmel Tunnel. Vehicles sized 7’10’’ in width or 11’4’’ in height, or larger, will not be allowed on the east side due to limited-radius turning areas.

    Visitors may access the East Rim Trail and the Canyon Overlook Trail from the re-opened section of road. East side canyoneering routes- Keyhole, Canyon Overlook, Pine Creek, Spry, Clear Creek, Fat Man’s Misery, and Lodge Canyons will remain closed until more reliable road access is ensured that can safely support canyoneering activities.

    The park is currently working with Federal Highways on repairs for the section of road that was affected by the storm. A timeline will not be available until the engineering assessment and repair design have been finalized.

    Alternate east and west driving routes are available via Highway 59 from Hurricane, Utah to Fredonia, Arizona and Highway 14 from Cedar City, Utah to Long Valley Junction and Highway 89. People coming from Interstate 15 to the Park may access the Park as usual by traveling east on State Route 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 Scenic Drive, the Kolob Canyons Visitor Center and Kolob Terrace Road are also open.

    Intense or extensive precipitation can result in geologic instability with the steep slopes and highly erosive soils found in the park. Visitors to the Zion Canyon should expect trail closures from landslides from past storms. 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 Zion Canyon to Observation Point, remain closed due to a landslide with unstable overhanging boulders which occurred January, 2019. More precipitation is expected Friday, March 8, 2019.

    This year (October 1, 2018- March 6, 2019), Zion Canyon has received 13.45 inches of precipitation. In comparison, during the same time period one year ago, the same area received 2.9 inches of precipitation.
  14. deathtointernet

    deathtointernet

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    Ah yes, last year, when at this time we were seriously considering any and every idea for how to get more water. The Colorado, desalinization of the Pacific, ice mining of comets, it was all on the table. Too bad we can't bottle all this up and send it a year into the past, maybe we'd still have an unburnt half of the Pine Valley Mountains.
  15. deathtointernet

    deathtointernet

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    I'm kinda disappointed they reopened the road from the east. It would've been much funnier to have taken the Johnson-No Man's-Stevens-Whale-Hepworth-Gifford route and show up on the east side when the road was closed. That way you'd have such a great story to tell when they asked you where you came from and how you got in the closed area. Oh well.
    Yellow Dart likes this.
  16. GravityWins

    GravityWins

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    Well if you really want a story to tell you could always go do the canyon the NPS states is closed, even though it's outside park boundaries and doesn't require a permit. Go do Fat Man's by going down Rock, down the Barracks, up the Misery exit, down Fat Mans, back up the Barracks to French canyon, and exit French back to your vehicle.

    I once overheard the wilderness desk rangers assert that a permit is required for Misery. I stayed out of that conversation.
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  17. deathtointernet

    deathtointernet

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    I had once had a wilderness desk ranger inform me that she had no idea where either Heaps Canyon or Cathedral Mountain where (this was when it was on fire). I've realized that just because they are behind the desk, it doesn't mean they are in any way trained for that job, especially if they're seasonal folk.

    But yeah, I'm a little irked at them proclaiming a canyon that they have no jurisdiction over "closed." I understand the rationale behind it, but I'm hoping that eventually if this drags on they will clarify it to "the approach route to Misery that begins within the park is closed." I'd prefer to avoid getting to where we need permits to do Misery, Boundary, and any other canyon that isn't in the park but involves crossing park land to get there or exit.
    yetigonecrazy1 likes this.
  18. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Update March 12, 2019

    Zion-Mount Carmel Highway Opens, no Oversized Vehicles

    SPRINGDALE, UT – The Zion- Mount Carmel Highway, the Route 9 connector road through Zion National Park, was closed the evening of March 2, 2019, after heavy rains undercut the road. One lane of the road will temporarily reopen at 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 12, 2019. However, due to safety concerns, buses and RV’s are still prohibited.

    The road will be a single lane around the damaged area and will be managed by a traffic signal. Visitors should obey traffic signals and expect delays. Vehicles sized 7’10’’ in width or 11’4’’ in height, or larger, will not be allowed on the road between Canyon Junction and the park’s East Entrance. As road repairs progress, the entire road may close periodically.

    For oversized vehicles (buses and RV’s), alternate east and west driving routes are available via Highway 59 from Hurricane, Utah to Fredonia, Arizona and Highway 14 from Cedar City, Utah to Long Valley Junction and Highway 89. People coming from Interstate 15 to the Park may access the Park as usual by traveling east on State Route 9 through Springdale.

    All canyoneering routes on the east side will remain accessible for permitted activities. However, permits will not be issued when road closures are required.

    “Visitors need to reduce their speed throughout the switchbacks, drive with care, and be alert for falling rocks,” said park spokesman Aly Baltrus. “We are going to try to keep the road open as much as we can, but it is a tight space and we will need to get construction vehicles and materials in and out too. There is also additional precipitation in the forecast.”

    Yee Haw!!! (that's from me)
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  19. deathtointernet

    deathtointernet

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    Woohoo! I'm going to go pick up my Misery permit right away! :thumbsup:

    Actually, now that I think about it, the road open but with buses and RVs prohibited is about the most ideal situation I can imagine. Can we make this last forever???
    John Diener and hank moon like this.
  20. hank moon

    hank moon lovely ligatures

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    The rumor mill says this option is still on the table re: Zion VUMP process. Fingers crossed.
    deathtointernet likes this.
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