Zion – Mount Carmel Highway Reopens After Flood Repairs

Here’s a morning update from the Park Service. In addition to the through-road opening on the East Side, the report mentions hiking conditions for several trails. Check it out.

Zion-Mount Carmel Highway in Zion National Park Reopens

Date: December 24, 2010
Contact: Ron Terry, 435-772-0160

The section of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Highway in Zion National Park damaged in the recent storm has been repaired and reopened. The highway was closed from Canyon Junction in Zion Canyon to the park’s East Entrance on December 20, after a storm event undercut a section of the road near Crazy Quilt Mesa and threatened to washout other sections of the road.

During the storm, the park’s road crew worked to prevented additional damage to the road and a contractor began work to repair the damaged section. The road crew was successful in preventing additional damage and the contractor has completed the repairs and the road has been reopened to normal visitor traffic.

The West Rim Trail from The Grotto to Scout Lookout has been checked and opened but hikers are advised to be aware of icy and slick areas. The East Rim Trail is clear to Echo Canyon. Due to a significant flow of water in the Echo Canyon drainage visitors are advised to not travel beyond the mouth of Echo Canyon for the next couple of days. Travel is also not advised beyond the mouth of Hidden Canyon. Additional open trails include Weeping Rock, Pa’rus, and most of the Riverside Walk. The Riverside Walk is not currently accessible by wheelchair. Lower and Middle Emerald Pools, Sand Bench, and Watchman Trails remain closed. The route to Angels Landing and other trails have not yet been checked and conditions are unknown.

The Kolob Canyons Scenic Drive has been cleared and is open to the public. The Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is open with a section of one-way traffic south of the Court of the Patriarchs. The Zion Lodge is also open.

Motorists and hikers are advised to be cautious while in the park. The soil is saturated and additional rockfalls and landslides can occur for several days.

Current park information can be found on the Park’s website.


About Nick

Nick Wilkes found ZAC in 1996, working first as an outfitter, then a guide, then as webmaster. An ardent adventure enthusiast, Nick's recent exploits involve laying down roots in Wisconsin, chasing his kids around the house, working as a Madison, WI photographer and growing his Wisconsin climbing business. Connect with Nick on Facebook, Google+, or directly via email.
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2 Responses to Zion – Mount Carmel Highway Reopens After Flood Repairs

  1. avatar Pearl Barfield says:

    I want so much to make the drive from the canyon floor through the switchbacks and through the tunnel. I have a fear of heights. My question is: Has there ever been a car that went off the road anywhere along this highway? Thanks. Pearl

  2. avatar ZACBlog says:

    Great question, Pearl. I don’t actually know if there is any record of cars going off the road along the East Side road, but I know I’ve never heard of any during my time in Zion. The only accident I’ve ever heard about up there are incidents with motorcyclists crashing whilst racing through the Zion-Mt. Carmel tunnel at night… yikes.

    While I can understand your hesitation, the switchback road isn’t really scary for most people. The drop-offs are fairly mild, and protected by large stone walls. You certainly would not want to go over the edges, but there is ample room and my own mother, who really doesn’t like mountain roads, doesn’t have any troubles with it. Give it a try!