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Flash flooding at Zion National Park/Springdale yesterday!!

Yikes! They're still cleaning up the mess!

Anyone traveling to that area, the park website cautions that they "will be in modified operations on Wednesday, June 30 due to clean-up activities. Motorists should exercise caution. Visitors should expect traffic delays, debris on roads, and potential closures of trails and parking areas."

Some of the photos are good examples of why one should NEVER hike the Narrows or any other slot canyon with rain in the forecast upstream. And never park in or very near a wash!

Posted by
106 posts

Wow! We were in Zion Nation Park in the beginning of June and did the Narrows hike at that time. That was an incredible, bucket list hike, and I feel so fortunate that the weather cooperated for us to do that hike. The weather was in the 100s at the time, but it was perfect for hiking in the cooler slot canyon while traipsing through water. Weather not so great for the other hikes however. I have read about the dangers of those flash floods, and your warning is definitely to be heeded by all.

Btw, if anyone is interested in doing this hike, definitely rent the Narrows hiking gear (shoes, neoprene socks and hiking stick) from one of the outfitters in the area. The gear was a lifesaver. I think I would have face planted in the water numerous times without that hiking stick!

Posted by
1571 posts

Those storms happen quickly. Clear blue skies and white puffy clouds one minute then dark clouds, fierce winds, thunder and rain the next. We were caught unawares in Canyon de Chelly at the White House Monument one year. The first indication of the storm was a sudden fierce wind, a dark cloud looming over the canyon wall and thunder. The Native American selling his wares at the canyon floor and a tour group took off in their cars in a flash leaving us stranded. We made for the cement restroom nearby, threw on our rain ponchos and then hustled our butts up the one mile trail to our car. The canyon was flooded the next morning and our scheduled tour of the canyon did not happen. We were lucky to get out of there and lived to tell the tale.

Posted by
13325 posts

I hear you, Terri and Mary! Our one close call was in the Joint at Needles (Canyonlands) with no rain in the forecast. Fortunately, we saw it coming, were near the mouth of the slot, and knew not to advance any further until the storm had safely passed. Got good and wet climbing up a pour-over, though!

Our last stab at Zion was pretty much a bust because of heavy weather. We'd hiked parts of that one, including the Narrows, some years before but wanted to do it again + some sections we hadn't yet done. No go: they started shutting down access to practically everything we'd wanted to do a good 24 hours before the storm finally hit, and it was a doozy that flooded the Virgin, washed out some roads and closed the park for a time.

I read that the Narrows has become a freeway of humanity, and that the park is having terrible issues with graffiti, human waste and other damage in there so I'm glad we were able to do it, going in, with very, very few other people around: had long sections all to ourselves. It was a lot busier coming out: lots of barefoot, ill-equipped folks with little idea what they'd gotten into ("HOW far is it to Wall Street?!!") Terri, I'm with you that renting the shoes, neoprene socks, hiking stick + dry sack (for camera and other stuff) is a MUST; got ours at Zion Adventure Company.