Rockfall injures hikers, closes popular trail in Zion National Park

ST. GEORGE — Two hikers were injured Sunday afternoon as the result of a rockfall on the Riverside Walk Trail in Zion National Park.

This 2017 file photo shows the start of the Riverside Walk Trail in Zion National Park, Utah, July 3, 2017 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

One of the injured hikers had a “serious leg injury,” Zion National Park spokesman John Marciano said. The rockfall included rocks the size of basketballs and softballs coming down as part of a much larger rock breaking up higher on the cliff along the trail, Marciano said. The rockfall occurred near the far end of the trail.

“My heart goes out to those that were hurt and their families,” Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh in a news release from the park. “The landscape is continually being carved by rock, water and time. Unfortunately, these types of events are unpredictable.”

The Riverside Walk Trail, which is one of the most popular trails in Zion National Park because it leads into The Narrows, has been closed until a hazard geologist can examine the situation and the trail can be cleared, according to the release.

Those wanting to access The Narrows will have to start hiking in the Virgin River at the Temple of Sinawava. Hikers will need to slosh through the river for 1 mile before reaching The Narrows while the Riverside Walk Trail is closed.

This isn’t the first rockfall on the Riverside Walk Trail. Last July, a rockfall on the same trail injured a teenage girl.

The Riverside Walk Trail is a paved, relatively easy trail that parallels the North Fork of the Virgin River. The cliffs on either side can tower 1,400 feet over hikers along the trail.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.


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