People ignoring signs, recreating in flooded areas up Provo Canyon

Jun 8, 2023, 6:44 AM | Updated: Oct 19, 2023, 9:50 am

Crews work to clear debris, including a large log, from the Provo River Tuesday. Some people are ig...

Crews work to clear debris, including a large log, from the Provo River Tuesday. Some people are ignoring warning signs and recreating in dangerous, closed areas of Provo Canyon, officials say. (Photo: Shelby Lofton, KSL-TV)

(Photo: Shelby Lofton, KSL-TV)

PROVO — Officials said people are disregarding signs on the trails in Provo Canyon and heading straight into danger.

The Provo River is running high and is expected to stay that way for the next few weeks, making conditions more dangerous.

“The water levels, they were expected to rise but with the change in the forecast, we may have peaked already,” Provo River Commissioner Scott Bergendorf said. “There’s a chance we won’t have to go up any higher, but we don’t know for sure yet.”

Over the Memorial Day weekend, the Provo River swelled with runoff as Utahns planned to enjoy the outdoors.

“We haven’t seen this level in quite some time,” Steve Myers, the owner of High Country Adventure said. “A lot of mud’s coming in. This is about the dirtiest I’ve seen it in several, several years.”

High flows have caused flooding along some spots of the Provo River Trail, specifically in the area between Nunn’s Park and Vivian Park.

“Don’t press your luck by continuing into an area if you see flooding … in an area that hasn’t yet been closed,” Sgt. Spencer Cannon with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office said.

He said you never know what’s underneath.

“You don’t know how deep the water is. You don’t know what’s beneath the surface of the water, whether it’s boulders and rocks, whether it’s trees.”

No swimming signs warn people to stay out of the water in both parks and along the river trail.

“I’m getting word now that there may be people throwing some of the signage into the rivers. That is criminal mischief,” Cannon said.

Some people are disregarding the warnings altogether. The Bridal Veil Falls area was closed to visitors last month because of debris and ice left behind from a January avalanche, which continues to melt.

Even though the popular destination is unsafe and closed to the public, people visited the area and climbed on top of the avalanche deposit.

“There’s signs there, there’s tape there, there’s an electronic billboard there saying that it’s closed, but people are routinely ignoring that and continuing to go up there,” Cannon said.

He said people who are caught in a closed-off area will be cited. He recommends they stick to the lookout areas on dry land.

“Jumping in the river is — it’s stupid behavior,” Cannon said.

For more information about flooding visit floodsmart.gov.


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Utah Flood Watch

Panguitch Lake...

Kennedy Camarena

Panguitch City evacuation notice lifted as dam damage control continues

With mitigation efforts underway, evacuation notice has been lifted for Panguitch Lake and the surrounding area.

9 days ago

Warm weather will all for some of the Utah snowpack to begin melting off this weekend....

Adam Small

Utah temperatures warming up, strong snowpack set to start melting

Temperatures in Utah are going to get much warmer over the next few days, allowing for the snowpack we've accumulated to start melting off.

10 days ago

Water releases are being conducted at Panguitch Lake dam in order to prevent a big crack from from ...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

‘It looks a lot better than it did,’ officials say of Panguitch Lake dam situation

Utah engineers say there are indications the damage found at the Panguitch Lake dam on Monday may not be as severe as initially feared.

10 days ago

A screenshot from the Utah Division of Natural Resources website shows information about Panguitch ...

Kira Hoffelmeyer and Michael Camit

Panguitch Lake dam has a growing crack, residents on notice to evacuate

Some people in Garfield County are on standby to evacuate this morning because of growing concerns about a crack in the Panguitch Lake Dam.

11 days ago

Flash flood warning issued for parts of Utah....

Derrick Jones

Flash flood warnings issued in 3 Utah counties

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for Garfield, Wayne, and Duchesne Counties. They say to avoid walking or driving through flood waters.

8 months ago

The St. George Regional Airport has closed due to flooding on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023. Photo credi...

Mark Jones

Flooding forces closure of St. George Airport.

Flooding in the area has forced the closure of the St. George Regional Airport.

8 months ago

Sponsored Articles

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

People ignoring signs, recreating in flooded areas up Provo Canyon