The irrigation project will replace the current open irrigation system with a pressurized pipe line system, which will improve irrigation efficiency, increase the areas irrigated with non-culinary water, and decrease the required maintenance on the open ditch system. The contractor, E-Corp, rearranged their construction schedule to start work on irrigation components away from the trail before starting work on the sections that would directly impact the trail closure. “We are very happy that the contractor was able to do this,” commented Chief of Interpretation and Visitor Services Aly Baltrus. “The Pa’rus Trail is a great fall trail, especially with Cottonwoods along the river changing colors and the Plein Air Art Festival venues at both the Nature Center and Human History Museum in early November.”
The half-mile section of the Pa’rus Trail will be closed from December 2, 2013 to late March. Hikers will have access to portions of the trail, but cyclists will need to use the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway to travel through the park. From the Visitor Center, visitors will be able to hike the Pa’rus Trail north nearly one mile through the South Campground, past the Nature Center, and to the Zion Human History Museum. From Canyon Junction, visitors will be able to hike the Pa’rus Trail south a half mile to some of the most photographed locations along the trail. The trail remains on schedule to reopen by April 1, 2014.
This project is funded by the National Recreation Fee Demonstration Program, which uses funds collected from the park entrance and use fees to complete park maintenance projects, and public service programs.