Keeping Zion National Park Visitors Safe from Geologic Hazards

A new geologic-hazards investigation, published by the Utah Geological Survey, could help Zion National Park (ZNP) keep its 2.5 million annual visitors safe. The results of the investigation will provide the National Park Service (NPS) with geologic-hazard information for future park management.

Zion National Park is subject to a variety of geologic hazards that may affect park development and visitor safety. “One of the nation’s scenic jewels, Zion National Park, is also home to a variety of geologic hazards. By supporting this study of geologic hazards in high-use areas of the park, the National Park Service has taken a proactive approach to protecting visitor safety,” says William Lund, UGS Senior Geologist.

The ZNP geologic-hazards study area is a 154-square-mile area that encompasses Zion Canyon, Kolob Canyon, Kolob Terrace, the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway corridor, and all developed and high-use areas of the park. This investigation includes nine 1:24,000-scale geographic information system (GIS)-based maps that show areas subject to flooding, debris flows, rock fall, landslides, surface faulting, liquefaction, collapsible and expansive rocks and soils, and/or soil piping and erosion.