Popular Kayenta Trail at Zion reopens after yearlong closure

Popular Kayenta Trail at Zion reopens after yearlong closure


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ZION NATIONAL PARK — The Kayenta Trail in Zion National Park reopened Friday after it had been closed for more than a year due to storm damage, park officials said.

The trail and other popular routes like Angels Landing and Upper Emerald Pool were closed after a storm led to flash flooding and rockfalls that caused significant damage to them on July 11, 2018.

The damage was severe enough that Angels Landing, one of the park’s most iconic trails, didn’t reopen until two months later. Kayenta reopened 14 months after the flooding and rockfalls and Upper Emerald Pool remains closed, said Zion National Park spokesman Eugenne Moisa.

While Kayenta is now reopened, hikers should know they still cannot access Zion Lodge or any of the Emerald Pool trails from it, Moisa said. As it currently stands, Kayenta is roughly a 2-mile roundtrip trail that hikers can access from The Grotto/Shuttle Stop 6.

“You can head out for a mile and then come back that same direction, but you won’t be able to connect over to (those locations),” he said.

Before its closure, Utah.com rated Kayenta as an easier trail that’s located in the most visited part of Zion National Park near the west wall of Zion Canyon. It became a popular route because it links the Grotto with the Emerald Pools.

The trail offers visitors a view into lower Emerald Pool and the area toward Zion Lodge that people enjoy, Moisa said.

“People have been asking about it at the visitors center or hiking throughout the park, people are always asking,” he said. “It’s a moderate trail, and so our easy and moderate trails get hit pretty heavy.”

Moisa added that crews will continue to work on Middle and Upper Emerald Pool trails. Middle Pool had been closed before the 2018 storm. Upper Emerald Pool may reopen in the coming weeks.

Other current Zion closures include Weeping Rock, Hidden Canyon and the East Rim/Observation Point trails from Shuttle Stop 7. Anyone wanting information about those closures can stop at the park’s visitors center or the park’s website, Moisa said.

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