Waterfalls stop flowing at Gunlock State Park

In this file photo, crowds gather at Gunlock State Park after Utah eased visitation restrictions on its state parks, Washington County, Utah, May 2, 2020. An operational modification initiated May 6 has stopped the flow of the park's popular waterfalls. | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

GUNLOCK STATE PARK — The waterfalls at Gunlock State Park have ceased to flow due to an operational modification of Gunlock Reservoir requested by the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation.

High levels of visitation have made it difficult for individuals and families to social distance themselves from others during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release issued by Utah State Parks.

Although the waterfalls are no longer running, Gunlock State Park remains open, allowing a limited number of visitors to safely visit the park. Once the park reaches capacity, additional visitors will not be admitted until it is back under capacity.

Utah State Parks is also increasing traffic measures and enforcement in the area to help mitigate congestion. Parking near the falls and within the state park will be restricted to designated parking areas only and limited to the west side of the road along Gunlock Road.

Gunlock Reservoir is owned and operated by the Washington County Water Conservancy District. To prevent the water from spilling over the dam, which creates the waterfalls, the district has released water from the base of the dam. This modification will not impact flows into the Santa Clara River or downstream uses.

“Outdoor recreation is important to the health and wellness of Utahns and we all play a part in keeping one another safe,” the press release states. “While outdoors, we cannot relax our efforts to practice safe social distancing. Please practice #ResponsibleRecreation.”

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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