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Popular Zion park locales to close briefly for 'helipoo' operation

Published March 14, 2014 3:25 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Access to the popular Angels Landing and Scout Lookout destinations of Zion National Park will be limited on Thursday, Feb. 20, and Monday, Feb. 24, as park employees perform a "helipoo operation."

The temporary closures from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on both days are scheduled to allow the annual cleaning of two evaporative toilets at Scout Lookout, which is part of the West Rim Trail that provides access to the lookout and Angels Landing.

The toilets, according to a news release from the park, were designed for use by 50 people per day. The number of people using the trailside toilets is closer to 400 per day.

A helicopter is used to haul the human waste away. The helicopter, according to the release, will haul between 10 and 15 barrels each day with each barrel weighing about 500 pounds.

Zion officials ask visitors to use restrooms located at the Grotto parking and shuttle stop area before they start hiking up to Scout Lookout or Angels Landing.

Hikers in the park should make plans that do not include Scout Lookout or Angels Landing during the cleaning. Traffic on the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive will also face periodic closures.

brettp@sltrib.com

Twitter: @BrettPrettyman