Unexpected repairs stall reopening of Nebo Loop Road in Payson Canyon

Jun 17, 2023, 10:11 PM

The closed Nebo Loop Road in Payson Canyon. (KSL TV)...

The closed Nebo Loop Road in Payson Canyon. (KSL TV)


UTAH COUNTY, Utah — Much of the Nebo Loop Road remained closed Saturday due to ongoing repairs after officials had hoped the road would be open for an extended holiday weekend that included Juneteenth and Father’s Day celebrations.

“The Nebo Loop Road here in Payson Canyon is a good example of the troubles that we’re having,” said Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon, noting other recent spring runoff-related issues around the county. “We were told it was going to be opening today, but apparently, that hasn’t happened.”

Cannon said vital repairs had been made to the section of road carved away last month by a “waterfall.”

Waterfall of runoff damages road in Payson Canyon

“They contracted with another company to get that work done,” Cannon explained. “I know from what I was told they did get it completed, and so the road from what I understood was going to be open today and is usable.”

Cannon said he learned through public works crews and the U.S. Forest Service that a gate near the Santaquin intersection had been damaged and repairs there were ongoing, pushing the anticipated opening in Payson Canyon back to Sunday or Monday.

“Just be patient,” Cannon urged. “Even when it does open, right now, it’s only open to just beyond the Santaquin Canyon turnoff.”

Cannon said that was due to ongoing issues related to a 2019 event that damaged the road there.

The Nebo Loop Road still under repair. (Utah County Sheriff’s Office)

Many people on Saturday drove up the Nebo Loop Road only to unexpectedly meet the closed gate 6 miles north of the Payson Lakes area.

“We were trying to go camping—it was actually our first time of the year—but we found out it was closed,” said Jen Suarez. “We had our ATVs and everything, and we’re stuck going home for now.”

Suarez and others told KSL TV they hoped the road would reopen soon to higher elevation areas along the Nebo Loop as quickly as possible.

“I think they should hurry and open everything up because we’re wanting to get out,” she said. “As soon as the sun comes out, everyone wants to get out and do things.”

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Unexpected repairs stall reopening of Nebo Loop Road in Payson Canyon