December 23, 2010
Ron Terry, 435-772-0160
The Zion Canyon section of Zion National Park reopened to the public on Thursday morning. Some trails remain closed until a damage assessment and necessary repairs can be completed.
The National Park Service has completed an assessment of roads and facilities following the recent storm. The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive has been reopened with a short section of one lane traffic south of the Court of the Patriarchs. Watchman Campground has been reopened and the Zion Lodge will be reopening at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, December 23.
The Pa'rus Trail along the Virgin River is open. Upper Emerald Pools is accessible only via the Kayenta Trail from the Grotto. Lower and Middle Emerald Pools trails are closed due to active rock and mudslides. The Weeping Rock Trail is being cleared of mud and debris and should be open by noon on Thursday. The Riverside Walk is closed two tenths of a mile from the end due to flood damage. The open section of the Riverside Walk is currently inaccessible for wheelchairs. The Watchman and Sand Bench Trails remain closed. Scout Lookout/Angels Landing, East Rim, and West Rim Trails will be inspected and damage assessed as soon as possible. Backcountry users should be aware that trails have not been assessed and they may encounter trail washouts and damage.
The Zion Mt. Carmel Highway from Canyon Junction to the park's East Entrance is still closed and repairs continue. The Kolob Canyons Scenic Drive is currently closed due to rock and mudslides.
The Zion Canyon Visitor Center and Kolob Canyons Visitor Center will be closed on Christmas Day as in the past. Entrance stations will have current information on road and trail conditions. Visitors needing backcountry permits should inquire at the entrance stations. Park Rangers will be patrolling the park and providing visitor assistance.
Visitors are advised to stay away from river and stream banks as they are saturated and prone to crumbling. The saturated soil makes additional landslides and rockfalls a possibility for the next several days. Visitors should be cautious while driving or hiking in the park.
Current park information can be accessed at www.nps.gov/zion.