SPRINGDALE, Utah (ABC4) – Taylor Creek Trail is now completely reopened.
A significant rockfall happened at the upper end of the Taylor Creek Trail late in the afternoon on April 2.
Officials say no one was injured. The rockfall happened beyond the second homestead cabin but did not affect the Double Arch Alcove.
Park staff monitored the rockfall area and debris field to assess site stability and scout for needed repairs.
Officials say the trail maintenance has been completed and recent rockfall area signage has been posted.
Park officials add that the rockfall is evidence of natural geologic processes in action.
Zion National Park officials say they experience rockfalls because of the steep canyon walls and characteristic geology of the area. This natural process helped to create the beautiful canyon country.
Rockfalls can be reportedly caused by precipitation, thermal cycling, plant growth within rocks, windstorms, seismic activity, and even lightning strikes.
Rockfalls are difficult to predict and usually happen without warning, according to officials. When scientists examine the area, they are looking for fresh “tracks” of rocks rolling down the rock face, fresh scars on cliffs, eyewitness accounts, and impact to the trail and other resources.
Officials say in this case, the rockfall scar was found to be about 390 meters (1,280 feet) up on the north side of the canyon wall in the Navajo Sandstone.
Zion National Park gave tips on what you should do if you witness a rock fall:
- Be aware of your surroundings, pay attention to warning signs, stay off closed trails, and keep away from cliff edges. If you are at the base of a wall or when a rockfall occurs above, look for shelter immediately behind the largest nearby boulder or move away from the cliff.
- Inform park staff if you witness a rockfall by calling the Park Information line at 435-772-3256 and/or email information and photos to email@example.com,
- Understand more about rockfalls by continuing to learn about this geologic process happening in national parks that you visit.