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NPS closes Rainbow Bridge indefinitely

Modified: Friday, Sep 13th, 2013

A ranger stands at washout area on Rainbow Bridge trail.

Rainbow Bridge National Monument is closed indefinitely due to a trail washout after heavy rains fell in the area over the last several days, according to the National Park Service.

The damage includes a complete loss of approximately 150 feet of trail between the dock 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 yesterday and plans are underway to develop a temporary trail until a more permanent trail can be constructed, NPS's Denise Shultz wrote in an email sent Sept. 13.

In addition, the Chains area is closed to vehicles due to rain, she said. 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, according to Shultz.

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. Higher resolution images of the storm damage are on the NPS website, she said.

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