UPDATE: The Zion Canyon scenic drive is now open to the Big Bend area of the park, Zion National Park officials said. Several trails are still closed as of 2 p.m. Thursday, including the Riverside Walk, West Rim from the Grotto, Kayenta and Upper Emerald Pools trails.
SPRINGDALE, Washington County — People trapped by rock slides at Zion National Park were told to shelter in place Wednesday evening, according to dispatchers.
The park put out a warning to visitors about 8 p.m. saying flash flooding was expected along the North Fork of the Virgin River and the North Creek drainages.
Dispatchers said there were multiple rock slides in the park Wednesday evening.
Alyssa Baltrus, park spokeswoman, had not heard of anyone injured Wednesday night and said park staff were working on the rockslides.
Flood damage and rock falls have caused multiple closures in Zion. Currently, the only trails available to hike in Zion Canyon are the Lower Emerald Pools, Grotto to Zion Lodge, Sand Bench, Pa'rus, and Watchman trails.— Zion National Park (@ZionNPS) July 12, 2018
The West Rim trail from the Grotto is closed due to a large trail washout in Refrigerator Canyon. This means no access to through hiking on the West Rim or to Angels Landing from the Grotto. Hikers can still access the Rim section of the trail from Lava Point.— Zion National Park (@ZionNPS) July 12, 2018
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According to a press release from park officials, Zion received three inches of rain in a "short amount of time," and several rock and debris slides occurred on switchbacks below a tunnel.
As a result, the road between Canyon Junction and the East Entrance is closed "indefinitely," and Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is also closed, officials said.
Currently, due to rock falls and flood damage, no pedestrians are allowed past the Grotto and all trails north of the Grotto are closed. We will update as we get more information.— Zion National Park (@ZionNPS) July 12, 2018
"Road crews will assess the damage before removing the debris, making repairs, and reopening roadways," the release said.