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Utah Travel Headlines

Monday, April 29, 2013

Zion Narrows Closed Until Runoff Subsides

Hiking The Narrows - by Dave Webb
The snowpack in Utah's mountains is melting and the resulting runoff is cascading down streams. As a result, some streams are running high and and have dangerous conditions.

In Zion National Park, the very popular Narrows hike has been closed and will not reopen until runoff subsides. The magic number for The Narrows is 150 cubic feet per second – the canyon will reopen to hiking when the Virgin River drops to that level for 24 hours.

When will that happen? Probably won't be long this year. Our snowpack is meager and so runoff is not expected to be particularly heavy or last very long. The Narrows will certainly be open by June 1, and may opeen much sooner (depending on weather conditions.)

Other streams will also be high. People need to exercise caution when traveling or recreating near streams. Some backcountry roads ford streams (no bridges). Don't drive into a stream that is flooding. When hiking, use extreme caution when crossing streams and don't go into the water if it looks unusually high or dangerous. Keep a sharp eye on kids and don't let them play near the streams.

Often, water will be deeper, faster and colder than expected. Crossing will probably be more difficult than you anticipate. Take care.

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