Zion National Park constructs new irrigation system; hiking, cycling trail detours

SPRINGDALE  – Zion National Park will begin construction of a new river irrigation system on Tuesday. During the first phase, which is expected to be completed in April 2014, a half-mile section of the Pa’rus Trail will be closed.

The irrigation project will replace the current open irrigation system with a pressurized pipe line system, which will improve irrigation efficiency, increase the areas irrigated with nonculinary water, and decrease the required maintenance on the open ditch system. This phase of the project consists of piping water from a new intake at the Virgin River Flanigan Diversion to a new desanding structure then through a 2,900-foot-long 12-inch water line to a new 250,000 gallon in-ground settling tank. There will be additional phases of irrigation system construction following the completion of the first phase of this project.

During the construction, a half-mile section of the Pa’rus Trail will be closed from October 28, 2013, to late March 2014. Hikers will have access to portions of the trail, but cyclists will need to use the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway to travel through the park. From the Visitor Center, visitors will be able to hike the Pa’rus Trail north nearly one mile through the South Campground, past the Nature Center, and to the Zion Human History Museum. From Canyon Junction, visitors will be able to hike the Pa’rus Trail south a half mile to some of the most photographed locations along the trail.

This project is funded by the National Recreation Fee Demonstration Program, which uses funds collected from the park entrance and use fees to complete park maintenance projects, and public service programs.

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