“Sometimes geology happens fast!Just another reminder, that the forces the made Zion are still working to shape and reshape its canyons even today.” –Zion National Park
A depression on Zion National Park’s Kolob Canyons Road turned into an absolutely monster pothole Monday night leaving a 10 feet deep, 15 feet wide and 70 feet long gap in the asphalt. The landslide was triggered by snow and rain in the Kolob Canyons District. Runoff from the precipitation began flowing under this section of the road until it eventually collapsed.
No timeline has been set for its repair, but Zion National Park maintenance professionals, geologists, and members of the Federal Highway Administration have already begun assessing the problem and working together to come up with a plan to repair it. Here’s what the park has to say.
ZION NATIONAL PARK STATEMENT:
Sometimes geology happens fast!
With record breaking precipitation all winter, Zion National Park experienced quite a few geologic events from small rocks just slipping down onto a roadway to the giant gaping hole that formed on the Kolob Canyons Road March 15th, 2023.
What started as a small depression rangers noticed grew into a landslide that is now 10 ft deep, 15 ft wide, and 70 ft long within one night! What happened? How could so much of the road be damaged so quickly?
Like with so much of Zion, the answer is water. As snow and rain fell in the Kolob Canyons District, water began to move under this section of the road, undercutting it until it collapsed. Our maintenance professionals, geologists, and members of the Federal Highway Administration have been busily assessing this section of the road and working together to come up with a plan to repair it.
Despite this, most of the Kolob Canyons District is still accessible. The road is currently open to the South Fork picnic area, 3 miles up the Kolob Canyons Road. Visitors may still hike or bike the road beyond the closure but are advised it is at their own risk because of the road damage.