National Parks Struggle With a Mounting Crisis: Too Many Visitors

The rocky shorelines, shifting deserts and winding canyons of the country’s 59 national parks have been hallmarks of American vacations for generations. But the number of park visitors has reached an unprecedented level, leaving many tourists frustrated and many environmentalists concerned about the toll of overcrowding. In 2016, the National Park Service tracked a...

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Middle Emerald Pools Trail at Zion National Park To Be Restored Thanks to $1 Million Grant

The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation has awarded the National Park Foundation a $1 million grant – the largest private contribution ever awarded to the foundation to enhance the national parks in Utah. The grant, part of the National Park Foundation’s Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, is earmarked not only for extensive critical...

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Planning a visit to Zion National Park? You might need to RSVP first

This would be a first for a U.S. national park: requiring reservations to get in. But it’s an option that Zion National Park is considering to manage an overwhelming surge of visitors to its sweeping red-rock vistas and canyons in Utah. Zion, which welcomed 4.3 million people last year, is weighing online reservations for those who want to explore its main canyon....

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Rock slide closes 2 miles of Zion National Park scenic drive

A rock slide has closed about two miles of a scenic drive inside Zion National Park in southern Utah. Nobody was injured, but officials say Zion Scenic Drive is impassable just north of Zion Lodge and will remain closed until further notice. Park officials say the slide occurred late January 13, 2017, covering both lanes of the road with about 200 tons of massive...

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Utah’s Zion National Park so popular that even ‘offseason’ has gridlock

Even by Utah standards, few things are as beautiful as snow on redrock, especially in Zion Canyon where visitors can take in this lovely sight this week in the stillness of winter — if they can get there. It may be the middle of the “offseason,” but the canyon, the centerpiece of Zion National Park, has been so packed since Christmas that park officials have...

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Zion National Park to hold public meetings on crowding

Officials at Zion National Park have scheduled a series of public meetings to discuss challenges facing the park as it continues to draw record numbers of visitors. National Park Service figures show that nearly 1 million people had visited the park in southern Utah through the end of April. That’s about an 8 percent increase over the same time period last year and...

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The Pattiz Brothers are at it again – This time in Zion

Two brothers spent more than three weeks in Zion National Park to put together a 4-minute video that shows some of the park’s many vistas. Filmmakers Jim and Will Pattiz, who are from outside Atlanta, spent 24 days in the park and shot footage at 16 different sites. The stunning video is part of a project they started called More Than Just Parks, an attempt to draw...

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National Park Service: Worst rockfalls, landslides in Zion National Park

A large rockfall recently closed state Route 9 in Zion National Park, prompting a look back at the worst rockfalls and landslides in the park’s history. The most recent rockfall occurred Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015 and closed state Route 9 near the Pine Creek Bridge on a switchback near the Mount Carmel Tunnel, according to Zion National Park officials. The largest...

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Angels Landing and West Rim Trail, Zion National Park

Angels Landing is a unique fin sandstone monolith that erupts 1,500 feet from the floor of Zion Canyon. The trail to the top is one of the most popular hikes in Zion National Park, certainly the most thrilling. For someone like me with heights and edges phobia and vertigo, it’s a little too much excitement, but there is a compromise. You can still enjoy most of the...

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Pa’rus Trail, Zion National Park

The only trail in Zion National Park that is suitable for wheelchairs, allows your pets to join you, and is also bicycle friendly. Pa’rus is from a Paiute word meaning “bubbling, tumbling water.” Both Oak Creek and Pine Creek cross this paved pathway that winds along the Virgin River between the Visitor Center and Canyon Junction. Ideal for start of day...

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Observation Point Trail, Zion National Park

Mount Baldy surveys Zion Canyon at 6,521 feet elevation, more than 2,100 feet above the valley floor. Jutting out from Mt. Baldy into one of the widest sections of Zion Canyon, Observation Point commands a view of nearly every major attraction, particularly those like Angels Landing and The Organ at Big Bend. Hikers receive a spectacular vista of the lower end of Zion...

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California condor may have hatched in Zion National Park

Zion National Park receives millions of visitors each year, but a recent arrival is drawing attention in wildlife conservation circles. Wildlife officials are a little reluctant to count the chick before they can see it, but they are reporting that a California condor has likely hatched in Utah’s most visited national park. The announcement is based on the earlier...

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8 clues that you should NOT hike Angels Landing

Let’s say it right up front. This hike has proven risks. In recent memory, at least six people have fallen to their deaths while attempting to ascend this lofty massif. It makes one queasy to imagine that the next person’s body could be found clutching a copy of Zion National Park’s Hike of the Week. But here’s the deal: Angels Landing already is the most...

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Winter affords peaceful getaway in Bryce, Zion national parks

Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks attract millions of visitors each year, and at the peak of summer vacation season, it can seem like all of them are there at once. But in the dead of winter, these iconic Southern Utah attractions take on a downright sleepy feel. January and February are the slowest months by far at both parks. You can easily find yourself alone on...

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Zion National Park constructs new irrigation system; hiking, cycling trail detours

Zion National Park will begin construction of a new river irrigation system on Oct. 22. During the first phase, which is expected to be completed in April 2014, a half-mile section of the Pa’rus Trail will be closed. The irrigation project will replace the current open irrigation system with a pressurized pipe line system, which will improve irrigation efficiency,...

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Hikers climb fence into Zion National Park in protest of gov’t shutdown

A heavy metal gate with a large “do not enter” sign was not enough to stop James Milligan from visiting Zion National Park on October 5th. “I wanted to go hiking today, and so I thought I’d invite some friends to come join me,” Milligan said before leading about a dozen protesters over the fence and into Zion. “The way I see it this is...

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Utah national parks say they can absorb cuts

Despite warnings by the heads of the Interior Department and the National Park Service of dangerous impacts of automatic budget cuts set to go into effect Friday, officials on the ground at Utah’s five national parks say visitors may not see many changes. “We’re hoping we can absorb all the cuts by the things we’ve already done,” says Zion National Park...

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Zion National Park Property Protected

A 30-acre private parcel in Zion National Park has been protected from potential development and will be added to the park. An anonymous donor, working with the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) and The Trust for Public Land, donated $825,000 so the land could be purchased and given to the park. The land was an inholding, meaning it was a privately owned...

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E. Coli contamination a hidden danger in the Virgin River

On any given day during the height of the summer visitor season, thousands of people wade and play in the Virgin River at the Narrows in Utah’s most popular national park. Hardy adventurers, too, seek the “other worldly” experience by making the complete 16-mile trek through the Narrows, wading through the rushing water and picking their way over...

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Flash flood strands hikers in Zion overnight

Southern Utah is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts; it provides access to a myriad of activities, and contains some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. However, when enjoying these natural wonders, adventurers need to be careful and prepared for the unexpected, as one group’s experience attests. On Aug. 25, a group of hikers set out on the trail known as “Fat Man’s...

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Parking lot reduced at trailhead in Zion National Park

The parking lot at Zion National Park’s Middle Fork of Taylor Creek Trailhead is being reduced to help fight overcrowding. The trail, which is in the Kolob Canyons section of the park, is part of the park’s designated wilderness. Park Superintendent Jock Whitworth said he is sympathetic to trail users. “We know this will inconvenience some visitors, but...

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SUMA Art Hikes Venture into Kolob Canyons in Zion National Park

On Saturday, June 30, 2012, Anne Weiler-Brown will take participants on the Timber Creek Overlook Trail in Kolob Canyons, Zion National Park. Anne, an acclaimed mixed media abstract expressionist, begins each art piece with hours of field work…painting in plein air (French expression for painting outdoors). According to the artist, “Abstract painting must be rooted in...

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NPF Reveals Great National Parks for Fall Foliage Viewing

With the Autumn season in full swing, the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, announced the 2011 “Great National Parks for Fall Foliage” list. This year’s list includes some iconic parks and a few lesser-known treasures. Each national park location, however, offers unique ways in which visitors can view the colorful foliage....

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Walking the Canyons

Both Zion and Bryce Canyon stretch the boundaries of the word “beautiful.” They are more than beautiful; they’re life-affirming. Even if you’ve already seen photos of Zion’s famous fingertip-to-fingertip slot canyons or Bryce’s eerie valleys of vertical rock spires, you can’t truly experience either park until you get up close and personal. There simply aren’t words to...

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The Narrows in Zion Canyon, Zion National Park

This hike has a reputation for being one of the best in the country, for good reason. The scenery, the environment, the trail (or lack thereof) are all unique and awe inspiring. You are actually hiking in the Virgin River through what is known as The Narrows in Zion Canyon. Steep sandstone cliffs rise a thousand feet or more on both sides of the river. The colors in the...

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