UPDATE: May 25, 2023, 5:39 p.m.: As of Thursday, a section of Nebo Loop Scenic Road is now completely washed out, creating a ravine filled with water where the road once was.

PAYSON CANYON, Utah (ABC4) — The popular scenic route Nebo Loop Scenic Road, along with other high-elevation areas nearby, will remain closed for several weeks as the melting snowpack has turned part of the road into a cascading waterfall.

As high-elevation snow is starting to melt, Forest Service areas, such as Payson Canyon, are seeing significant water damage.

On Nebo Road alone, there are five spots that have experienced undercutting or have water flowing over and damaging the road, according to Recreation Staff Officer Sarah Flinders.

While this area of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest usually prepares to open around Memorial Day next week, this year the opening will be significantly delayed.

Flinders said high-elevation areas are likely to be closed for an additional 3 to 6 weeks as there will be significant repairs to do once the runoff slows down.

Seargent Spencer Cannon from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office said the Forest Service “spends a lot of time cleaning debris out of the way and doing road repairs,” however this year they were forced to start that effort later in the season. He said they are also facing “more major” repairs than usual.

Unfortunately for avid campers and Forest Service employees, the melting snow is not over yet. In some of the campgrounds, Flinders says they still have three to four feet of snow, and in others potentially eight to ten.

Near the newly formed waterfall on Nebo Road there’s a “gentle little bubbling brook” that runs year-round, Cannon said. With the record amounts of snow now melting, he said the water has begun to flow over the road and erode the shoulder on the opposite end, slowly cutting away at the asphalt.

When the water flow drops, Utah County will assist in repairing the road. Until then, the gate just after Maple Lake Campground will remain closed.

While the high-elevation campgrounds are closed off for the time being, there are still lower-elevation alternatives available.