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For Immediate Release
David Eaker 435 772-7811
Cody Cole 435 772-7826
Starting today, Zion National Park will reopen all of the backcountry areas in the park including the popular West Rim Trail. The only exception to this is a small alternate trail section of the West Rim Trail, known as Telephone Canyon Trail that remains closed due to erosion caused by recent rains in the burn area.
Park officials issued an emergency closure of all its backcountry areas on July 18 for visitor safety due to the danger from wildfires burning in the park. These fires are now controlled and pose no direct threat to visitors. The trails in the burn area have been accessed and any safety concerns have been mitigated. Some smoke may still be visible from areas within the fire perimeter as it burns out some of the larger fuels. Hikers in these areas may occasionally smell smoke during their hikes.
Visitors should be aware that the fires have increased the potential of flash floods in the park due to the loss of vegetation. Hiking in the park can be dangerous and should not be underestimated. Flash floods, with strong currents and possible debris in the water from the fires, present real dangers that can be life-threatening. Good planning, proper equipment and sound judgment are essential for a safe and successful trip. Backcountry users should check at park visitor centers for weather forecasts and flash flood predictions before starting their hikes. Permits are required for all overnight backpacking trips in Zion. These permits can be obtained at the ZionCanyon and KolobVisitorCenters and on line at www.nps.gov/zion.