SAFETY

Sinkhole forms on SR 24 through Capitol Reef National Park

May 2, 2021, 12:48 PM
sinkhole develops Capitol Reef...
(Photo: National Park Service / L. Rome)
(Photo: National Park Service / L. Rome)

SALT LAKE CITY — The National Park Service says that a small sinkhole has developed on S.R. 24. in Capitol Reef National Park.

The sinkhole formed on April 30 according to a tweet from the National Park Service (NPS), which also reports that the sinkhole has been patched temporarily.

The sinkhole was found approximately one-half mile from the visitor center.   The NPS said that a repair may be needed and that traffic on S.R. 24 will be impacted when the repair is taking place.  

They urge visitors to call 5-1-1 or visit the Utah Department of Transportation website to check on road construction and season conditions.

Capitol Reef sinkhole

Photo credit: National Park Service, L. Rome

What are sinkholes?

Sinkholes are rare according to the United States Geological Service and can form when the ground below the land surface can no longer support the land surface.  Rainfall and surface water seeping into the ground begin the process of erosion which can lead, eventually, to the formation of a sinkhole. 

One of Capitol Reef National Park’s tourist attractions in Capitol Reef National Park is the Gypsum Sinkhole in the north district of the park, known as Cathedral Valley.

The Gypsum Sinkhole is nearly 50 feet wide, and 200 feet deep.

 

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Sinkhole forms on SR 24 through Capitol Reef National Park