There are going to be some major renovations on a few of the trails in park, here are the Zion National Park trail closings for 2014.
The Observation Point trail was built in 1920 over a 15-year period with pick axes and donkeys, and it hasn’t seen much of an update since then (there was a resurfacing done in 1970). This trail system is actually part of the National Historic Register due to it’s engineering feat at the time. So this year the park has set aside the resources and the manpower to update these trails before we lose them. The major concern to date is the retaining walls that have suffered from spring runoff, these need to be repaired before fixing them is too difficult.
The total project will span 3 years as the Zion trail crews remove and refurbish the extensive network of trails surrounding Observation Point, this includes Hidden Canyon, Weeping Rock and a few of the other branches of the trail.
Here are the trail closings listed, you’ll see that the Hidden Canyon trail will be most affected during the construction period:
- The Hidden Canyon Trail, portions of the East Rim Trail and the first section of the Observation Point Trail just past Weeping Rock: Closed the first few days of each week June 16 through Sept. 30 (to allow newly-poured concrete to dry). Trails open most weekends during this period.
- The Hidden Canyon Trail will remain closed July 7 through August until retaining wall repair is completed.
- The Canyon Overlook Trail: Closed Monday-Thursday during September and October.
– STG News
Zion Trail Closings
If you’ll follow that link to STG News you’ll find additional information about these trail closings. As well the article has more information about how they rebuild them and why it has taken so long to get these trails back up to ready.
So to recap, most of the trails will be open on the weekends, but the one that you should be most concerned of is the Hidden Canyon trail that will be closed from July 7th – August to allow the retaining wall repairs to be completed. Just a small hiccup which may be frustrating for those who aren’t aware and come ready to hike those hikes, but this is actually a great thing, as these trails were in desperate need of repairs. So I’m happy to see Zion taking the steps to ensure their survival so that future generations can see the immense views such as what Observation Point can offer.