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Utah Travel Headlines

Friday, September 13, 2013

Rainbow Bridge National Monument Closed Because Of Flooding

Rainbow Bridge, photo by Dave Webb
Heavy rains have hit most of Utah during the past few days and some areas have experienced flooding, albeit nothing as serious as that that has devastated our neighbor, Colorado. Our hearts go out to people there who have lost loved ones and who have been forced out of their homes.

Southern Utah has been hit hard, and many areas have seen flooding. Some backroads are washed out or impassable. Check locally before heading into the backcountry.

Slot canyons in Zion Park and other areas have been closed because of flash flood danger.

Hwy 24 between Capitol Reef National Park and Hanksville was closed when a portion was damaged by floodwater, but it has been reopened. The Scenic Drive was closed but is now open. The Grand Wash, Capitol Gorge, and Pleasant Creek Roads remain closed due to flood damage.

Rainbow Bridge Is Closed
The National Park Service provided the information below.
Rainbow Bridge National Monument is closed indefinitely due to a trail washout after heavy rains fell in the area over the last several days. The damage includes a complete loss of approximately 150 feet of trail between the dock and the first shade structure, with a 21 foot drop-off into Bridge Creek. Debris has collected at the mouth of the creek and will need to be removed from the dock area. Crews assessed the damage yesterday and plans are underway to develop a temporary trail until a more permanent trail can be constructed.

The Chains area near Page (AZ) is closed to vehicular traffic due to rains. Several feet of sand and mud were deposited on some areas of the road, while in other areas the water cut down through the dirt, making the road impassable. Visitors can still access the Hanging Garden Trail by walking in from the parking lot near the gate.

Lees Ferry (AZ) also received heavy rains, but crews have been able to remove the boulders and debris from roadways and all lanes and facilities are open, with the exception of the parking area near Paria Canyon.

Throughout the storm event, visitors were evacuated when needed and no one was injured. This is a reminder that flash floods can happen very quickly and it is important to be aware of your surroundings and the weather for an extended area. Higher resolution images of the storm damage are on our website in the photo galleries.

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