SPRINGDALE — Visitors to Zion National Park are warned to stay out of the Lower Emerald Pool Trail and Sand Bench Trail area because of rockfalls, mudslides and other dangerous conditions, park officials said Wednesday.
Both trails are impassable and unsafe for hikers. Park officials have closed the trails until further notice, according to John Marciano, Zion National Park spokesman.
Recent winter weather, snow, ice and rain have caused several rock and debris slides along the Lower Emerald Pool Trail and river undercutting on the Sand Bench Trail, between the Lodge and Court of the Patriarchs.
Marciano said the Zion National Park trail crew and geologists will be able to safely assess the damage once the areas dry out, which is not expected before Monday.
Visitors must stay out of both areas as rockfalls and undercutting continue to occur. The Lower Emerald Pools Falls are visible from the 2 mile round trip Kayenta Trail, as are the middle and upper Emerald Pools. The Sand Bench Trail Loop is open from the Court of the Patriarchs.
Visitors to Zion should be extra careful this time of year, as saturated soils and freezing and thawing are the main causes of rockfalls in the canyon. Trails will be icy and often snow packed with the potential for deep snow drifts and slides at higher elevations.
Zion National Park website
National Weather Service/Salt Lake City website
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