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Associated Press
FILE: Zion National Parks Lower Emerald Pool Trail and a portion of Sand Bench Trail are closed.

SPRINGDALE, Washington County — Zion National Park’s Lower Emerald Pool Trail and a portion of Sand Bench Trail are closed.

Recent snow and rain have caused several rock and debris slides along the Lower Emerald Pool Trail and river undercutting on the Sand Bench Trail, between the Lodge and Court of the Patriarchs. Both trails are impassable and unsafe for hikers.

The trail crew and geologists will be able to safely assess the damage once the areas dry out. With rain continuing this week, that will not happen before Monday. Visitors must stay out of both areas as rockfalls and undercutting continue to occur.

The Lower Emerald Pools Falls are visible from the Kayenta Trail, as are the middle and upper Emerald Pools. The Sand Bench Trail Loop is open from the Court of the Patriarchs.

Visitors to Zion should be extra careful this time of year, as saturated soils and freezing and thawing are the main causes of rockfalls in the canyon, park officials said.