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Archive for September, 2013

Concrete to Canyons: Engaging Las Vegas Youth in the Zion Wilderness

Posted at September 18th, 2013
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Thanks to a generous grant from National Park Foundation and Zion National Park Foundation, Zion National Park will be hosting 25 fifth-grade students from Rainbow Dreams Academy in Las Vegas for their first camping experience. http://www.nps.gov/zion/parknews/lasvegasyouthinzion.htm

Road Conditions for Remote Trailheads – date posted Sep 17, 2013

Posted at September 18th, 2013
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The North Rim has received substantial rain and as a result the Basin Road (N-1) to Point Sublime is really muddy. Travel on this road is not advised at this time due to deep mud and heavy erosion. Check with the North Rim Backcountry Information Center before heading out to a remote trailhead. Always be prepared for emergency situations, and carry extra food and water.

After heavy rains, usually during the summer (July and August) and winter (December through March) months, expect impassable backcountry roads. If clear skies abound after the rain, then it is often just a matter of days until the sun dries everything out. Sometimes, heavy rain can lead to flooding, which can cause erosion of the roadbed and can delay access.

Other considerations for visitors travelling on remote backcountry roads include high clearance, such as may be needed on Forest Road 328 to South Bass Trailhead (limestone ledges) and on the final approach to Toroweap overlook (sandstone knobs and ledges).

Finally, consider elevation of the road that you will be travelling on, especially during the winter months. Roads in the 6,500 to 8,000 foot range may be impassable due to a snowpack, where lower elevations roads (below 6,000 feet) will see deteriorated road conditions due to rain.

Always check road conditions with the Backcountry Information Center before heading out to remote trailheads, tell someone where you are going and when you will be back, and be adaptable and prepared for the worst. High clearance, four-wheel drive is usually recommended for roads to remote trailheads.

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It is not uncommon for trees to fall and block access to remote trailheads. When you encounter a road blocked by fallen trees, what should you do?

  • Report the location and diameter of the tree to Grand Canyon park dispatch (928-638-7805) as soon as possible. The park will assign staff to clear the road.
  • If an appropriate (not blocking the road and not damaging vegetation) place to park is available, park your vehicle and continue to the trailhead on foot.
  • Do not drive off-road attempting to bypass the obstacle, doing so can cause resource damage.

Trails Update – date posted Sep 17, 2013

Posted at September 17th, 2013
Posted by Zion National Park Motel
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Hikers are reminded to use caution when hiking on any trail in the park during or after heavy rain. Wet, muddy, and debris-scattered trail conditions can lead to greater chances of slips, trips, and falls. Before beginning a hike, always check the status of the trails and the weather forecast. Additional rainfall could result in future damage or debris on the trail. Rainfall-caused rockslides can also cause damage to the park’s water pipeline that serves the corridor trails; therefore, hikers should always bring a method to treat water.

North Kaibab Trail:A small section of the North Kaibab Trail below Supai Tunnel has been damaged due to heavy rain. The North Kaibab Trail is currently open to hikers but not to stock below Supai Tunnel. Weather permitting, the Grand Canyon trail crew anticipates work will be completed on the damaged section by early October. Hikers should be prepared for temporary delays, use caution, and follow instructions given by the trail crew when present. The damaged section is very narrow, but passable. The trail crew has installed a handline to assist hikers when crossing the narrow section. The handline stretches across the length of the washout, and then some (about 15 to 16 feet). Please be aware that with continued monsoon rains, debris-scattered trail conditions should be expected and additional trail damage could occur. Hikers are reminded to use caution when hiking on any trail in the park during or after heavy rain.

Update: Zion- Mt. Carmel Highway Reopens

Posted at September 12th, 2013
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Road crews continue to stabilize the road. During that work, drivers should expect one-way traffic and up to 15 minute delays. http://www.nps.gov/zion/parknews/zmchighwayreopens.htm

Zion National Park Hosts a Volunteer Astronomer

Posted at September 12th, 2013
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While in the park, volunteer astronomer Scott Spence will conduct informal day and night viewing sessions using solar-scopes and telescopes. http://www.nps.gov/zion/parknews/vip_astronomer.htm

Trails Update – date posted Sep 11, 2013

Posted at September 11th, 2013
Posted by Zion National Park Motel
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Hikers are reminded to use caution when hiking on any trail in the park during or after heavy rain. Wet, muddy, and debris-scattered trail conditions can lead to greater chances of slips, trips, and falls. Before beginning a hike, always check the status of the trails and the weather forecast. Additional rainfall could result in future damage or debris on the trail. Rainfall-caused rockslides can also cause damage to the park’s water pipeline that serves the corridor trails; therefore, hikers should always bring a method to treat water.

South Kaibab Trail: Trail crews have completed work to remove debris from the trail. The trail is now open to livestock as well as foot traffic.

North Kaibab Trail: A section of the North Kaibab Trail after Supai Tunnel has been damaged due to heavy rain. The North Kaibab Trail is currently open to hikers but not to stock. Weather permitting, trail crew anticipate that work will be completed on this section of trail in early October. Hikers should be prepared for temporary delays. Hikers should use caution and follow instructions given by the trail crew. The damaged section is very narrow, but passable. Hikers should be aware that with continued monsoon rains additional trail damage could occur.

Hikers without a permit can stop by the Backcountry Information Center to request a last minute permit. Last minute permits and waitlist numbers are issued by the Backcountry Information Center, located inside the park. The South Rim Backcountry Information Center is open daily, year round, for walk-in visitors from 8 am to noon and 1-5 pm Mountain Standard Time. The North Rim Backcountry Information Center is open daily from mid-May to October 31 for walk-in visitors from 8 am to noon and 1-5 pm Mountain Standard Time.

Zion- Mt. Carmel Highway Closed due to Road Damage Caused by Flooding

Posted at September 11th, 2013
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The Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway on the east side of Zion National Park, between Canyon Junction and the East Entrance, is closed to vehicles effective immediately. http://www.nps.gov/zion/parknews/zion-mtcarmelhighwayclosed.htm

Trails Update – date posted Sep 10, 2013

Posted at September 11th, 2013
Posted by Zion National Park Motel
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Hikers are reminded to use caution when hiking into the canyon on any trail during and after heavy rainfall. Rockslides, mudslides, unstable footing, and flooded washes are just a few of the obstacles that hikers may encounter along the trail. Forecasters are calling for more rain this week across parts of the Kaibab Plateau, which could lead to additional trail damage and will also create wet and muddy trail conditions and a greater chance of slips, trips, and falls. Rainfall-caused rockslides can also cause damage to the park’s water pipeline that serves the corridor trails; therefore, hikers should always bring a method to treat water.

South Kaibab Trail: Recent heavy monsoonal rainfall has caused damage to portions of the South Kaibab Trail approximately one-half mile below Cedar Ridge. The South Kaibab Trail is currently open to hikers but not to stock. The park does not expect to complete trail repairs for stock use until early October.

North Kaibab Trail: A section of the North Kaibab Trail after Supai Tunnel has been damaged due to heavy rain. The North Kaibab Trail is currently open to hikers but not to stock. The park does not expect to complete trail repairs for stock use until early October. Hikers should be prepared for temporary delays. Hikers should use caution and follow instructions given by the trail crew. The damaged section is very narrow, but passable. Hikers should be aware that with continued monsoon rains additional trail damage could occur.

Hikers without a permit can stop by the Backcountry Information Center to request a last minute permit. Last minute permits and waitlist numbers are issued by the Backcountry Information Center, located inside the park. The South Rim Backcountry Information Center is open daily, year round, for walk-in visitors from 8 am to noon and 1-5 pm Mountain Standard Time. The North Rim Backcountry Information Center is open daily from mid-May to October 31 for walk-in visitors from 8 am to noon and 1-5 pm Mountain Standard Time.

Zion National Park’s Red Roads Get Repaved

Posted at September 9th, 2013
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Access to the Temple of Sinawava will be closed Wednesday, September 18, and park shuttles will go no farther than Big Bend that day. http://www.nps.gov/zion/parknews/zionroadrepaved.htm

Canyoneer Dies from Fall in Zion’s Subway

Posted at September 6th, 2013
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The Left Fork of North Creek is a popular canyoneering route, accessible only with a wilderness permit. http://www.nps.gov/zion/parknews/fatalfallsubway.htm