Bryce Canyon to temporarily close recreation sites; visitors asked not to ruin resource protection efforts

Bryce Canyon, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of the National Park Service, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Due to erosion, vandalism and bear activity, Bryce Canyon National Park announced access closure to recreational areas while also asking visitors resist being destructive meddlers.

In order to study and map out the ongoing impact of erosion in the Bryce Amphitheater, park officers are closing access to the segments of the Navajo Loop Trail from June 22 to June 26.

Erosion study closure

“Here at Bryce Canyon National Park, erosion is a hallmark of our landscape,” park officials posted Thursday. “Within a human lifetime, you can come here time after time and witness changes in the legendary fins, windows and hoodoos that make this place famous.”

While closed, geological scientists will be using a Light Detection and Ranging system that uses a laser to map the area. This will create 3-D scans of the target area and help scientists better understand how the erosion process has shaped the land.

“Scientists use this to generate high-resolution elevation data; we will compare these scans to previous and future LiDAR scans to detect and quantify change—erosion rates, rockfall sources, and better discern how ice, water, & gravity conspire to erode the different rock layers,” according to the national park’s post.

While hiking the full loop trail likely won’t be possible during that week, either side of the trail – Two Bridges and Wall Street – will be open, parks officials wrote. One segment or another will be open as both segments will not be closed simultaneously.

“As a result, you can still complete our most popular hike, the Queen’s-Navajo Combination Loop, or connect to the Peek-A-Boo Loop trail via whichever side of the Navajo Loop Trail is open during your visit,” the park posted.


Last Friday, the park announced it was temporarily closing access to the Iron Springs backcountry campsite due to black bear visits to the spot over a seven-day period. The situation is currently being reviewed.

“Bryce Canyon is home to many animals including mountain lions, coyotes, and black bears. Squirrels, snakes, and other small animals may also be present near park campsites,” park officials posted on Facebook.


Earlier this week park officials asked the public to stop pulling stakes out of the ground that staff use for surveying where fencing meant to protect sensitive vegetation will be installed.

“Our resources division has been conducting surveys to install fencing around sensitive vegetation areas to protect & restore the vegetation, and to protect park visitors,” park officials wrote Monday. “This process involves placing stakes at intervals along the trails, around the vegetation we want to protect.”

Park officials say that their resources division has been conducting surveys to install fencing around sensitive vegetation areas to protect and restore the vegetation, as well as protect park visitors. This process involves placing stakes at intervals along the trails, around the vegetation in need of protection.

People tampering with the stakes ruin National Parks Service efforts to improve infrastructure and protect resources. This has come in the form of people ripping the stakes out of the ground and littering the area with them. Such action not only hampers the park’s efforts, but also increases the costs of implementation by making park staff do the same job over again.

“It makes our job more difficult,” park officials posted.

“Please help us help you and the park by leaving the stakes where you find them, and if you see someone tampering with them, say something,” park officials asked visitors over social media. “If you feel comfortable, consider explaining to the individual why the stakes are there and discourage their behavior, or notify a park ranger.”

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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