ST. GEORGE — Bryce Canyon National Park remains open to visitors in spite of a small landslide that took out a portion of state Highway 12 in mid-February, park officials remind the public in a press release.
“We want our tourists coming in to see Bryce Canyon National Park to know that the normal park experience has not been affected by the landslide,” Falyn Owens, director of the Garfield County Tourism Office, said.
“Visitors can even still travel along Highway 12 to visit the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and Capitol Reef National Park, just expect delays during construction,” Owens said.
The Feb. 24 landslide took out a large chunk of the eastbound lane on the scenic byway between mileposts 14 and 15, causing traffic to be restricted to a single lane managed by traffic lights. Delay times average three to five minutes.
“Eighty percent of the traffic that goes into Bryce Canyon National Park is not affected,” Ron Harris of Ruby’s Inn in Bryce Canyon texted St. George News.
The visitor center, main gate, viewpoints and main amphitheater are located on Highway 63 and are not affected by the slide. The majority of visitors to Bryce Canyon access Bryce via Highway 89 and Highway 12 from the east.
In the meantime, the park service is working with the Utah Department of Transportation to investigate the cause of the landslide.
The highway shoulder first showed signs of sagging over a week before falling away.
“While our mission binds us to the preservation and protection of the unique resources of Bryce Canyon National Park, we share a commitment with the Utah Department of Transportation to address this issue in the most effective way possible,” Interim Park Superintendent Sue Fritzke said in a news release.
UDOT is continuously monitoring the road for movement and has worked quickly to prevent further road damage.
Travel updates will be posted through the park’s Twitter account @BryceCanyonNPS as well as its Facebook page. Additional information about the park can be obtained at www.nps.gov/brca or by calling the park’s information line at (435) 834-5322.