Kayenta Trail reopens in Zion National Park after over year-long closure

ST. GEORGE — The Kayenta Trail in Zion National Park has been reopened after a mudslide temporarily closed in last year.

Kayenta was one of several trails closed after rainfall from a large thunderstorm caused flooding, mudslides and rockfalls throughout the entire park on July 11, 2018.

Workers drilling rock on the Kayenta Trail in June, Zion National Park, Utah, June, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the National Park Service, St. George News

“It closed July 11 after that intense storm we received that afternoon,” park spokesperson Eugenne Moisa said. “That storm closed down Kayenta trail, lower emerald, and multiple other trails. They’d been working on clearing the mud, rocks and boulders that came on the trail. It also significantly damaged the trail itself, where they had to rebuild stairs and steps to make it accessible for us.”

Hikers can now access the trail from shuttle stop six. However, there is not access to the Zion Lodge, Lower, Middle, or Upper Emerald Pool trails from the Kayenta Trail.

Moisa spoke about the difficulty of the Kayenta Trail.

“The Kayenta Trail is a moderate, 2-mile round trip trail,” Moisa said. “Typically, if the trail were to be completely open, you’d be able to also connect to it from Lower Emerald Pool, which is very popular because it comes from Zion lodge.”

Work on the Kayenta trail was being done throughout the summer, Zion National Park, Utah, June, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the National Park Service, St. George News

The Kayenta Trail is popular for its beauty and the great vantage point you get on the hike.

“It lifts you about 150 feet or so off the ground, off the river bed, so you’re above the tree line looking down at the river, out of the canyon. It’s a pretty view with a little bit of work, but not too bad for most people,” Moisa said. 

While the Kayenta trail is reopening, Upper Emerald Pool, Weeping Rock, Hidden Canyon and East Rim/Observation Point Trails from shuttle stop 7 will all remain closed.

“If people want more information, we recommend you look on our website, or stop by the visitors center, and just be careful,” said Moisa. “Enjoy the park.”

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