Heavy Rains Close Rainbow Bridge National Monument in Utah

Saturday, September 14 2013 11:49   Other NPs
Rainbow Bridge National Monument in Utah is closed indefinitely due to a trail washout after heavy rains fell in the area over the last several days, park rangers said on Sept. 13, 2013.

The damage includes a complete loss of approximately 150 feet of trail between the dock and the first shade structure, with a 21-foot drop-off into Bridge Creek. Debris has collected at the mouth of the creek and will need to be removed from the dock area.

rainbow_bridgePark crews assessed the damage on Sept. 12, and plans are underway to develop a temporary trail until a more permanent trail can be constructed.

The Chains area near Page is closed to vehicular traffic due to rains. Several feet of sand and mud were deposited on some areas of the road, while in other areas the water cut down through the dirt, making the road impassable. Visitors can still access the Hanging Garden Trail by walking in from the parking lot near the gate, rangers said.

Lees Ferry also received heavy rains, but crews have been able to remove the boulders and debris from roadways and all lanes and facilities are open, with the exception of the parking area near Paria Canyon.

Throughout the storm event, visitors were evacuated when needed and no one was injured. This is a reminder that flash floods can happen very quickly and it is important to be aware of your surroundings and the weather for an extended area, according to park officials.

Additionally, the Rainbow Bridge tour, operated by Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas, is closed until November 2013. The trail has been washed out due to extreme rain and flooding.

Although Rainbow Bridge National Monument is a separate unit of the National Park Service, it is managed by Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. From Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, the only access to Rainbow Bridge is by boat. The trip is about 50 miles from the Wahweap or Bullfrog marinas. The Monument is also accessible by backpacking from Navajo Mountain. Permits are required from the Navajo Nation for backpack trips.

For more information about the Monument, visit the Web site at
www.nps.gov/rabr/index.htm .


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