Heavy rain and a washed out trail forced authorities to close Rainbow Bridge National Monument indefinitely, officials announced Friday.
A 150 foot stretch of trail at the site was completely destroyed after several days of rain, according to Rainbow Bridge National Monument spokeswoman Densise Shultz. The damage produced a 21-foot cliff that drops into a creek. It also resulted in debris built up at the mouth of the creek.
Shultz said the damage happened at a wide point in the creek where high water tends to undermine the riverbank.
The debris must be removed and the trail repaired before the area — which is accessible from both Utah and Arizona — can reopen. Shultz reported that crews are planning a temporary trail until a more permanent pathway can be constructed.
"They did an assessment yesterday," she added. "They’re trying to figure out what they can do as a temporary measure."
The rain appeared to have abated Friday, Shultz said, but the area could be closed for several weeks or longer.
Rain, mud and sand also closed the Chains area, near Page, Ariz., on Friday. No injuries were reported in either incident.
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