Heavy Rains Cause Access Problems To Zion National Park

A backhoe worked Wednesday on damage caused by flood waters to the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway. NPS photo.

Access to Zion National Park from the east was interrupted Wednesday as heavy rains led to storm waters undercutting part of the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway.

Park officials say the highway on the east side of Zion, between Canyon Junction and the East Entrance, was closed to vehicles. The area sustained heavy precipitation and several sections were flooded, including a ravine approximately a mile west of the small tunnel, where flood waters blocked a road culvert and undercut the road.

Alternate east/west 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.

The road closure was to remain in effect into Thursday. Crews were to evaluate the damage Thursday and begin work to stabilize the road. Traffic advisory signs were placed near Mt. Carmel Junction, near Virgin, Utah, and near the park’s South Entrance.

The park’s short range radio broadcast systems at Mt. Carmel Junction, Hurricane, Utah, and both park entrances will also broadcast the temporary closure information.

The park visitor center, museum, Zion Lodge, campgrounds, and shuttle buses will be open and operating as normal.