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Trail Washout Closes Rainbow Bridge National Monument


Rainbow Bridge National Monument has been closed indefinitely due to the washout of a trail leading from the boat dock on Lake Powell to the arch. NPS photo.

Heavy rains have washed out a trail leading to Rainbow Bridge National Monument, prompting a closure of the monument near the Utah-Arizona border.

Park officials say the damage includes a complete loss of approximately 150 feet of trail between the dock on Lake Powell and the first shade structure, with a 21-foot drop-off into Bridge Creek. Debris has collected at the mouth of the creek and will need to be removed from the dock area.

Crews assessed the damage Thursday and plans are underway to develop a temporary trail until a more permanent one can be constructed.

The Chains area near Page, Arizona, also is closed to vehicular traffic due to rains. Several feet of sand and mud were deposited on some areas of the road, while in other areas the water cut down through the dirt, making the road impassable. Visitors can still access the Hanging Garden Trail by walking in from the parking lot near the gate.

Lees Ferry also received heavy rains, but crews have been able to remove the boulders and debris from roadways and all lanes and facilities are open, with the exception of the parking area near Paria Canyon.

Throughout the storm event, visitors were evacuated when needed and no one was injured. This is a reminder that flash floods can happen very quickly and it is important to be aware of your surroundings and the weather for an extended area.

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