‘It’s just becoming awful’: Zion park officials try to deal with unprecedented amounts of graffiti

Officials at Utah’s Zion National Park are grappling with unprecedented amounts of graffiti throughout the park as visitors continue to flock to the canyon. These days, besides their normal job description of welcoming visitors, park rangers face the additional challenges of managing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response as well as the presence of a toxic...

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A small town outside Zion National Park copes with COVID-19 changes

Trish Jennings watched customers dining 6 feet apart outside her Bit & Spur Restaurant and Saloon on an evening in mid-August, missing the usual gregarious chatter of outdoor adventures. Springdale, a small southwest Utah town sits just outside the gates of Zion National Park, and most of the restaurant’s customers arrived after a day exploring the...

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Zion shuttle returning in Utah’s busiest national park, but you’ll need a reservation

In recent years, Zion National Park has toyed with the idea of a timed-entry system to reduce overcrowding, but the proposal has never gone over well with Utah’s political leaders who helped scuttle such a plan developed for Arches National Park. Now the coronavirus epidemic is forcing reservation protocols upon one of Utah’s most popular and crowded tourist...

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Concern about massive ‘glamping’ resort proposed near Zion National Park

  A sprawling network of camping resorts called Above Zion could soon begin unfolding in the Kolob highlands on Zion National Park’s northern boundary, potentially resulting in an influx of overnight use in a remote and scenic part of southern Utah. Late last year, Ian Crowe, a St. George real estate broker, filed applications with Washington County officials...

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A $1.5 million deal will keep Utah’s Zion Narrows open to hikers forever

No one will ever see “no trespassing” signs in Zion Narrows, thanks to a complicated land deal tapping money from myriad federal, state and private sources that will keep a historic property in a farming family’s hands, while preserving public access to one of the nation’s finest hiking destinations. The famed 16-mile Utah trail, which can be hiked by permit only, starts...

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Zion National Park Battered By Monsoonal Rains

Monsoonal rains are taking a toll on Zion National Park, where not only roads are being covered and blocked by debris washed down mountainsides but trails are being torn apart. While Riverside Walk has reopened after a potent storm Wednesday, July 11, 2018 brought flooding, mudslides, and rockfalls to the park, cleanup won’t be easy. As of midday Friday, July 13...

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Kolob Canyons at Zion to Close for Construction Projects

Access to portions of the Kolob Canyons District of Zion National Park will be restricted due to a construction project beginning May 1, 2018. The project involves reconstructing sections of the road, repaving the entire road, and adding accessible parking, sidewalk, and toilet facilities. All of Kolob Canyons Road, the Visitor Center, and parking lot off of Interstate...

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Utah Parks Set Attendance Records Once Again

With a month to spare, Zion National Park has set a new record for visitation this year, heightening concerns about overcrowding just as park managers consider a controversial fee hike and requiring visitors to go through an online reservation system. The park had counted 4,365,946 visitors through the end of November, representing nearly a 5 percent increase over last...

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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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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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