facebook-pixel

Rockslide and road repairs shut down two areas in Zion National Park

The slide at Weeping Rock, a popular hiking trail in Zion National Park, was caught on video.

(Ally O'Rullian | National Park Service) Dust is seen on the ground at Weeping Rock in Zion National Park after a rockfall on the cliff above on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023.

Weeping Rock, a popular hiking trail in Zion National Park, remains closed after a major rockfall Tuesday afternoon deposited dust and debris on the main road and temporarily disrupted shuttle bus service.

Park officials received a report of the slide at Weeping Rock at about 3:40 p.m. yesterday. Rangers rushed to the site and found a dust cloud on the road, which interrupted the park’s shuttle service until about 5 p.m.

“Thankfully, park rangers did not need to treat any injuries,” park superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh stated in a news release. “Rockfall can happen at any time in this highly erosive landscape.”

Nolan Hanson, a guide and photographer, was conducting a tour when the rockfall occurred and was able to capture it on video, which he later posted on Instagram.

“I was touring with my guests on Angels Landing,” Hanson said in his Instagram post. “We were on our way down from the summit and heard what sounded like thunder.

“I looked over and this is what I saw,” Hanson wrote, referring to the video. [It was] “surreal and amazing ... Thank goodness no one was hurt”

Tuesday’s rockfall is the second one at Weeping Rock in the last four years. A major landslide on Aug. 24, 2019, deposited more than 435,000 cubic feet of debris at Weeping Rock and other nearby areas, prompting the trail’s closure for three years until its reopening in November 2022.

After the latest incident, Weeping Rock Shuttle Stop, parking area, and trail will remain closed until further notice while park scientists and maintenance staff assess rock in the area, according to the release.

Weeping Rock is the second closure to occur this week. Park officials also closed part of Kolob Canyons Road in west Zion Monday as work continues on a section of the road that collapsed last March.

After consulting with Federal Highway Administration engineers, the National Park Service began repairing the road in September. As work continues to complete paving, Kolob Canyons Road will be closed beyond the Taylor Creek Trailhead, according to park officials.

“This means that drivers, hikers, bicyclists, and horse riders are not able to travel past Taylor Creek Trailhead,” park spokesperson Jonathan Shafer said. “The Taylor Creek Trail remains open but expect limited parking. If parking is full, plan to return another time.”

Once the road reopens sometime this winter, Schafer added, it will feature more than 6,000 square feet of new pavement, and improved ditches, gutter, and curbs that are intended to drain water more effectively. The Kolob Canyons area, which is one of the park’s lesser-known areas, attracted nearly 129,000 visitors in 2022, compared with just under 4.7 million visitors for the park as a whole, according to park officials.