SPRINGDALE, Utah (ABC4 News) – If you are headed to Zion National Park on Sunday, park officials say there are a couple of traffic alerts and road closures you need to be aware of.
One ‘tweet,’ sent out on Sunday morning, said that State Route 9 through the park is closed. The reason is that a section of retaining wall has failed and the section of road is not safe for cars until it is repaired.
State Route 9 through Zion will remain closed. A section of a retaining wall has failed and that section of road is not safe for cars until it is repaired. This will be a long term closure.— Zion National Park (@ZionNPS) March 3, 2019
A second ‘tweet’ from the park on Sunday morning highlighted all the closures now in effect because of the State Route 9 closure.
Road update: The Mount Carmel Hwy (SR-9) is closed from the East Entrance to Canyon Junction. Canyon Overlook and East Rim Trails are not accessible at this time. The Scenic Drive is currently open. Shuttle Bus is required today.— Zion National Park (@ZionNPS) March 3, 2019
Press release below is an update from Aly Baltrus, an official with Zion National Park, regarding the road closures within the park.
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 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.