A chaotic scene played out in Zion National Park Saturday afternoon when a “substantial” piece of rock broke from a mountain and plunged 3,000 feet to the ground, showering visitors at Weeping Rock with smaller rocks, branches, and a plume of dust and sand.
Daily News reports three people were injured, one of them hospitalized. The incident prompted officials to shut down the Weeping Rock Shuttle service just before 6 p.m. stranding some park visitors at the end of Weeping Rock Trail but were eventually able to find their way out of the park. The trail and shuttle will remain closed until further notice.
HERE’S THE OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM THE NPS:
SPRINGDALE, UT – The park was notified of a large rockfall near Weeping Rock Shuttle Stop at 5:50 p.m. A substantial piece of rock had broken off Cable Mountain, approximately 3,000 feet above Weeping Rock. The rockfall hit the closed East Rim Trail, knocking down trees and showering visitors at Weeping Rock with smaller rocks, branches, and a plume of dust and sand. Shuttles were stopped for approximately 90 minutes as the dust settled.
Three visitors were injured, one transported to the hospital by park ambulance. Several people were temporarily stranded at the end of Weeping Rock Trail for a short time, but they were able to self-rescue.
The Weeping Rock Trail and Weeping Rock Shuttle Stop (Stop #7) are closed until further notice. The Echo Canyon and Observation Point Canyon canyoneering routes are also closed, as is the East Rim Trail from Observation Point to Weeping Rock.