Woman injured, taken to hospital after rockfall at Zion National Park

The entrance to Zion National Park is pictured on March 25, 2020. Park officials said a rockfall Wednesday injured a woman hiking at the park.

The entrance to Zion National Park is pictured on March 25, 2020. Park officials said a rockfall Wednesday injured a woman hiking at the park. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SPRINGDALE, Washington County — A woman was injured as a result of rockfall near a popular hiking area at Zion National Park on Wednesday afternoon, according to park officials.

Park rangers said they received a report of a rockfall at the start of the Narrows a little more than 800 feet from the end of the Riverside Walk shortly after 1 p.m. "Several" cobble-sized blocks from the Navajo Sandstone upwards of about 480 feet fell and likely hit a ledge before dropping into the river, creating a plume of sand and dust by the trail.

Medical crews and a search and rescue team were quickly dispatched to the area. A woman, whose name and age were not released, was transported to a hospital as a result of the fall. Park officials said they did not know how severe her injuries are.

No other injuries were reported. Park staff closed The Narrows and the Riverside Walk immediately after the rockfall, per park protocol.

"Immediately after a rockfall occurs, there is an elevated rockfall risk of additional material coming down," they said in a statement. "Park staff are continuing to assess the area."

Both areas are expected to reopen Thursday morning.

Park officials said the incident is a reminder that rockfalls can happen at the park at any time. They encourage visitors to be aware of their surroundings, pay attention to warning signs, keep away from cliff edges and also stay off closed trails. Anyone at the base of a wall when a rockfall occurs above them should seek shelter immediately behind the largest boulder near them or to get away from a cliff.

Once a rockfall is over, visitors should report the fall to park officials at 435-772-3256 or through zion_park_information@nps.gov so park geologists can investigate it for possible further rockfall risks.

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