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"Water Hazards" Top 5 Page for this destination Flash Floods and Storms Tip by goodfish

  Bad place to be in a storm
by goodfish
  • Water Hazards
      Bad place to be in a storm
    by goodfish
  • Water Hazards
      Seriously, folks.
    by goodfish

Because of all the gorgeous rock, I have to write this one about every National Park in Utah. This region see very little rainfall but when it does, all that water has to drain somewhere. That somewhere is usually straight to the bottoms of narrow canyons where there is no place to go but OUT…in a hurry.

Slot or otherwise narrow, high-walled canyons are very dangerous places to be in rain as you'll have very little warning - and very little time - to escape one if a debris-filled flood rushes through. It doesn't have to be pouring where you are, either; flash flooding can occur from cloudbursts far upstream.

The same goes for unpaved roads or those crossing gulches or washes: they can quickly become impassable and strand you for a good long wait on the wrong side during or after a heavy shower.

So enjoy the canyons and byways but check the forecast or call the NPS desk first. And for pete's sake don't park your car in a dry wash, OK?

Address: Capitol Reef National Park

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 16, 2016
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Comments (1)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jan 20, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    I saw a flash flood once when I was hiking in New Mexico. Fortunately I was on high enough ground to be out of the way.

    • goodfish's Profile Photo
      Jan 20, 2014 at 4:12 PM

      You were very lucky! We got caught in a slot by a completely unexpected rainstorm earlier on this same trip and had a couple of tense moments. I'm glad that you were not on low ground, Don.


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