Zion National Park's Taylor Creek Trail reopens after large rockfall

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Zion National Park's Taylor Creek Trail reopens after large rockfall

By Carter Williams, KSL.com | Posted - Apr. 21, 2021 at 12:44 p.m.

SPRINGDALE, Washington County — Zion National Park's popular Taylor Creek Trail fully reopened following a rockfall at the upper end of the trail earlier this month, park officials said Wednesday.

The Taylor Creek Trail is a nearly 5-mile trail located in the northwestern portion of the park near New Harmony and Kannarville. It's a popular spot for hiking, walking and nature trips year-round, according to AllTrails, where it has a 4.5 rating among over 700 reviewers.

A portion of it closed after a rockfall occurred on April 2.

The rockfall scar was found to be over 1,200 feet on the north side of the canyon in the Navajo Sandstone, park officials said. No injuries were reported as a result of the fall, and it didn't impact the second homestead cabin nor the Double Arch Alcove.

Rangers assessed the site's stability and completed trail maintenance before the park reopened the area completely this week.

Park officials on Wednesday used the incident to highlight the geologic process that occurs on a regular basis inside the park boundaries. Rockfalls can happen for a multitude of reasons, including as a result of rain, wind, earthquakes, even plant growth within rock or lightning strikes. They can happen without warning.

"Zion National Park experiences rockfalls because of the steep canyon walls and characteristic geology of the area," park rangers wrote Wednesday. "This natural process helped to create the beautiful canyon country."

This is why signs were posted along the trail to warn about the recent rockfall. Officials added that visitors should stay off closed trails and stay away from cliff ledges. In addition, they said visitors should seek shelter immediately behind the largest boulder or move away from a cliff if they are at the base of a wall and a rockfall happens above them.

Anyone who sees a rockfall happen at the park is urged to report it by calling 435-772-3256 or email zion_park_information@nps.gov. That allows rangers the opportunity to assess a rockfall site and ensure an area is safe for hiking.

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