Hiking Accident Prevention: Learn The Risks of Slot Canyon Flash Floods


 Monsoon Season Brings Sudden Flooding 

SLOT CANYONS are funnel-shaped rock formations, found in the American southwest. They are wide at the top, and narrow at the bottom. Slot canyon formation is caused by water rushing through sandstone or limestone rock.  Southern Utah has the most slot canyons in the world.

SLOT CANYON FLASH FLOODS are often caused by storms miles away.  Slot canyon flash floods are dangerous, and can be life threatening.

During a flash flood, the water level rises quickly, within minutes, or seconds.  A flash flood can rush down a canyon in a wall of water 12 feet high or more.  

Hikers should check the National Weather Service, for an up-to-date report, before entering a slot canyon.  If bad weather is predicted, entering a slot canyon is dangerous, and may result in your death.

O N L I N E  N E W S  S O U R C E S

NPS.gov (National Park Service) –  Zion National Park Utah: The Narrows Safety 

NPS.gov (National Park Service) Monsoon Season 

MyUtahParks.com Be Aware of Flash Flood Dangers In Utah’s Canyons,  By Carly Everett  – 6/19/19

Blogs.Scientific American.comInstant Peril: Flash Floods and How To Survive Them.  Flash Floods Kill People Worldwide  Find Out How To Survive,  By Dana Hunter – 12/28/16

LATimes.com/Associated Press Report: Hikers Were Warned Before Flood,  9/30/97

CNN.com – 7 Dead In Zion National Park Flash Flood,  By Ralph Ellis – 9/17/15

OutsideOnline.com Special Report: The Keyhole 7,  By Grayson Schaffer – 5/24/16

ChicagoTributne.comUtah Floods That Killed 19 Show Dangers Of Popular Desert Canyons,   By Tribune Wire Reports – 9/17/15

Weather.gov (US National Weather Service)Floods  

OutsideOnline.com Surviving A Flash Flood In A Slot Canyon,  By Joe Spring – 9/11/13

Backpacker.com – The Manual: How To Explore A Slot Canyon,  By Kristin Bjornsen and Rebecca Kane – 2/14/17

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Trip Planning Resources For Hikers and Backpackers

Irene Pastore, is a Certified Personal Trainer, fitness blogger, health educator, and speaker. She has 25 years experience teaching exercise in New York City.  To read her complete bio, visit the About Page.  

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