Trash, human waste and graffiti found in The Narrows

Dec 29, 2020, 7:20 PM | Updated: 7:36 pm
"Ranger John" holding the 14 pounds of trash he found while patrolling The Narrows. [Photo Credit: Zion National Park/Facebook]

SPRINGDALE, Utah — A summer of reduced patrols at The Narrows, one of the most popular sections of Zion National Park, means rangers have encountered an uptick in trash, graffiti, and even human waste in the area. 

The Narrows has been open to the public all summer, but rangers were not patrolling due to dangerous toxins in the…

Posted by Zion National Park on Tuesday, December 29, 2020n

According to a release from the park, while The Narrows stayed open to the public all summer long, rangers could not patrol the area as often as usual due to a toxin in the water.

“Since a reported pet fatality in July 2020, Zion National Park staff have monitored cyanotoxin-producing algal blooms in several water bodies inside park boundaries on a monthly basis,” the park said.

zion national park narrows cyanobacteria

Cyanobacteria forms shelves at the waterline including bulbous growths as seen here. [Photo Credit: Zion National Park]

According to park officials, the toxin is under control and is being monitored closely. Since the beginning of summer, a ranger they called Ranger John was the first to patrol the area.

“Ranger John” walked less than a mile in The Narrows to acquire about 14 pounds of trash, nine of which were human feces, the park said. He wrote:

The graffiti was the worst I’ve ever seen, it seemed like the entire stretch I walked had something left on the rock: a handprint, a name, and I won’t go into detail about the poop. All in all, I picked up 14 pounds of trash (nine pounds were human waste) and cleaned probably 1,000 handprints or etchings in less than a mile. While it hurts to see such a unique and beautiful place treated like this, I feel honored that I have the responsibility to protect it.

Zion Park officials added, “Even muddy handprints can last a long time in a region that gets little rain. Leaving anything behind is not appropriate.”

It is a reminder to all to Leave No Trace when visiting National Parks. 

Zion Park asks you take the pledge to Leave No Trace by disposing of your waste properly:

Dispose of Waste Properly

  • Pack it in, pack it out. Carry out all trash, including food wrappers, apple cores, fruit peels, nutshells, and toilet paper. Dispose of all waste in a proper trash can or dumpster. Recycle the rest.

  • Use the restroom before hiking. Be prepared to pack out human waste, toilet paper, diapers, and hygiene products. Human waste disposal bags are highly recommended to transport solid waste. All human waste must be carried out of the Virgin River Narrows in waste disposal bags.


Today’s Top Stories

All News

The Duchesne County Sheriff's Office says a suspect is in stable condition following an officer-inv...
Mark Jones

Suspect hospitalized after officer-involved shooting in Duchesne County

A suspect is in stable condition following an officer-involved shooting Monday night in Duchesne County.
1 day ago
A woman wishing not to be identified shows her sadness after the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake ran ou...
Waverly Golden

Expert joins Inside Sources on women accessing homeless resources

Emily Darowski, Associate Director for the Utah Women and Leadership Project, discusses a recent study the project conducted on women accessing homeless resources in Utah.
1 day ago
Sundance women film...
Heather Kelly

Sundance Film Festival is seeking volunteers for 2023 event

The Sundance Film Festival is seeking volunteers to help with its 2023 event in January. The festival will have events planned for Salt Lake City, Park City and the Sundance Resort.
1 day ago
The Utah Department of Public Safety issued an apology to the family of a woman who was allegedly r...
Mark Jones

Northbound I-15 in Juab County closed for a time Wednesday night

The Utah Highway Patrol says northbound I-15 in Juab County has been closed between exits 222 and 228 due to crashes in relation to winter weather.
1 day ago
KSL NewsRadio's Dave & Dujanovic discuss how to deal with and overcome seasonal depression....
Mark Jones

How to deal with and overcome seasonal depression

KSL NewsRadio's Dave & Dujanovic discuss how to deal with and overcome seasonal depression.
1 day ago
The world's largest active volcano is shooting fountains of lava more than 100 feet high and sendin...
Curt Gresseth

Watch out for lava glass near erupting volcano, says U. of U. geologist

Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano is still spewing lava and shows no sign of stopping. A University of Utah seismologist discusses a phenomenon called lava glass.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Trash, human waste and graffiti found in The Narrows