Zion National Park tells people to stay away from dangerous ‘Devil’s Leap’ hike

Written by Staff Writer at CNN

Designed to be the spot where Angels fall into the valley below Zion’s North Rim, the “top-to-bottom, head-high gorge” hike could run a trekger from 5-and-a-half to nearly 7 miles round trip.

Before you leap at the chance to log into a special Facebook group for hikers wanting to take the hike, stay in mind that Zion National Park has posted a notification that the days are being closed — at least for now.

“We are asking that the public avoid this hike due to the dangerous gorge conditions,” reads a July 9 sign on the North Rim Trailhead. “Some trails have lost a good portion of the ice pack, and there is a significant amount of loose snow around the trails. If you are planning to hike the trail please be aware of the risk.”

Endurance hiker Rebecca Johnson Batey found herself unencumbered by snow and logging into Facebook for another photo of Angel falls. courtesy Rebecca Johnson Batey

We have been informed that the west rim trail is closed after Sunday, due to dangerous conditions. Please avoid this route. We will bring out boardies for emergency use. Posted by Zion National Park on Monday, July 9, 2018

The mountain’s fast flowing rapids below where guides say the falls will emerge are closed by shuttles and weather permitting, hikers can set off for the canyon with only the latest-available temps for instruction.

But consider this a reason to get out of the office: Backcountry conditions today, thanks to the recent May-June mountain snowpack runoff, include limited access to the narrow North Canyon Trail, where the 10-mile round-trip hike to Angels Landing is suspended for now.

“We have been informed that the west rim trail is closed after Sunday, due to dangerous conditions,” posted Zion National Park on Monday on its Facebook page. “Please avoid this route. We will bring out boardies for emergency use. We suggest hikers book the North Rim Trail for its unique experience, scenic views, and connections to other trails.”

Johnson Batey says she got this photo on May 29 while on a same of climbing trips with them. Courtesy Rebecca Johnson Batey

While conditions are dangerous for hikers in the area, keep in mind that there are plenty of other options within the park’s boundaries.

“There are approximately 100 miles of trails within Zion National Park that are designed to connect to each other,” Zion National Park stated on its website. “Of these, approximately 15 miles are located within the park’s North and South Zions Narrows.”

That said, here are some other ways to fully explore the frozen range:

Zion is a 44-million-acre park located in the Lake Powell National Recreation Area between the Colorado and Utah state lines.

The 27.5 mile (47 km) North Rim hike will take climbers along the rim of the canyon on the eastern portion of the North Rim Trail. Climb the first 0.4 miles on the inside trail and you’ll encounter these white peaks in the valley below.

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