Before And After: Zion National Park Shares Photos Of Rockfall Site
SPRINGDALE, Utah – Zion National Park on Thursday shared before-and-after images of the site of a rockfall that happened Aug. 24.
According to the park’s Facebook page, the rockfall happened at approximately 5:30 p.m. during a sunny day.
“While many rockfalls can be associated with rain, this one happened when it was hot and dry,” according to the park’s post. “Rockfalls like this may occur due to stress from thermal expansion of the rock when it is heated by the sun.”
The post noted that it’s “nearly impossible” to predict rockfalls.
“Use caution if you spend time at the base of steep cliffs,” the park’s Facebook post warned. “Rockfall is a natural process that helps shape the canyon and it continues every day.”
The event forced the closure of trails below, including portions of the East Rim Trail and the Weeping Rock trail. Officials are preparing to evaluate the site for stability, although it will be difficult due the 2,000-foot high location.
“Our trail crew will be able to start clearing debris and repairing the trails after the area is considered low-risk for work,” according to Zion National Park. “We still do not know the extent of the damage to these trails. It may take quite some time to reopen this area.”
Three visitors were injured during the rockfall, according to a statement from the park. One person was taken to the hospital, and several other people were stranded temporarily at the end of Weeping Rock Trail. They were eventually able to self-rescue.
Park goers can check the current trail conditions at the Zion National Park website.