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SR-9 reopens in Zion National Park after crews clear debris from 'big' rockfall

Crews work to clear debris from a rockfall inside Zion National Park Friday. No injuries or vehicle damage was reported as a result of the rockfall.

Crews work to clear debris from a rockfall inside Zion National Park Friday. No injuries or vehicle damage was reported as a result of the rockfall. (Zion National Park)



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SPRINGDALE, Washington County — The highway that runs through Zion National Park reopened Friday afternoon after a "big" rockfall near the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel closed it for most of the day.

The rockfall happened on state Route 9 sometime Friday morning. Utah Department of Transportation first reported the closure shortly after 6:30 a.m.

"There was a big rockfall west of the tunnel this morning blocking both lanes," UDOT spokesman John Gleason said.

Photos from the scene showed massive boulders that had fallen onto the highway. The rock that fell did not damage any vehicles or cause any injuries, according to park rangers.

The highway was closed from Canyon Junction inside the park to the Canyon Overlook Trail east of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel for most of the day. It didn't impact access to the national park from the main entrance in Springdale but meant visitors were unable to drive to the east side of the park; those coming from the east entrance of the park also couldn't reach the popular outdoor attractions on the west side.

The closure was finally lifted at 4:30 p.m., according to park officials. They added that it was determined that the rockfall did not damage the road.

Park officials said parts of the highway in Rockville and Springdale will be closed Saturday for a completely unrelated reason. The Butch Cassidy 10K/5K is scheduled to be held in that area Saturday morning.

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