Home US Flooding Risks to Zion, Joshua Tree, and Death Valley National Parks

Flooding Risks to Zion, Joshua Tree, and Death Valley National Parks

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Flooding Risks to Zion, Joshua Tree, and Death Valley National Parks
Photo / usatoday
Photo / usatoday

Heavy rains from Hurricane Hilary are causing floods this weekend in national parks out west, like Zion in Utah and Joshua Tree and Death Valley in California.

Zion National Park in Utah, known for its tall, red cliffs in Zion Canyon, is likely to get flooded on Friday and Saturday. The weather experts at the National Weather Service say so.

They’ve given Zion National Park the highest flood risk rating for at least the next two days. Other parks in Utah might also get flooded.

Zion’s bosses, the National Park Service, are also warning about floods. They’re telling visitors not to go into narrow slot canyons until at least 6 a.m. MDT (8 a.m. EDT) on Saturday.

Flash floods can make rivers and streams rise suddenly and go really fast. They’re hard to predict and they carry big things like tree trunks and big rocks that can hurt people.

When a flash flood is about to happen, you’ll see water getting high, the water changing color, loud rushing water sounds, and more stuff floating in the water.

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There was a flash flood in Zion in 2015 that killed seven people.

Talking about another park, a hiker was interviewed in Death Valley when it was crazy hot at 121°F. Sadly, he passed away a few hours later.

And in Sequoia National Park, a hiker who got lost on their first solo backpacking trip was luckily found safe.