Road Work Will Create Some Delays For Travelers To Zion National Park

A need to seal a 9.5-mile stretch of the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway a year after the route was rebuilt means possible traffic delays for visitors to Zion National Park. NPS file photo.

A year after a major reconstruction of the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway caused traffic delays in Zion National Park more road work through the end of the month will cause delays on that stretch of scenic highway.

Resurfacing of a 9.5-mile section of the highway got under way Monday and is expected to continue for up to two weeks, according to park officials. The section in question extends from the twisting road's junction with the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive to the park's East Entrance.

Travel will be reduced to a single lane of traffic in some areas and motorists might encounter delays of up to 30 minutes. People visiting Zion Canyon from the South Entrance of the park who are camping, accessing the shuttle system, or staying at the Zion Lodge or in the town of Springdale will not be in the construction zone. Visitors traveling through the national park from the South Entrance to the East Entrance, or vice versa, should expect delays. The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive will not be affected by this project.

In 2010, large sections of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway were rebuilt and repaved with black asphalt. This portion of road will be chip-sealed, which involves covering the road surface with a combination of oil and red volcanic cinders. The cinders used during the chip sealing process give the roads within the park their distinctive red color.

The layer of cinders must remain on the road for two to three weeks before any excess material can be cleared. During this time, motorists and bicyclists should be aware of the hazards associated with a layer of loose rock chips on the road. Speeds should be reduced to help prevent injuries and vehicle damage resulting from flying debris. Resurfacing the road will extend the life of the pavement and improve vehicle traction.


Red pavement again. Good.

Zion is simply not Zion with black pavement.