OUTDOORS + RECREATION

Bridal Veil Falls to stay closed for at least another month

Jun 24, 2023, 11:30 AM | Updated: Oct 19, 2023, 9:36 am

With weather heating, there are renewed calls for people to stay away. (Mark Less, KSL-TV)...

With weather heating, there are renewed calls for people to stay away. (Mark Less, KSL-TV)

(Mark Less, KSL-TV)

PROVO — With the weather heating up, there are renewed calls for people to stay away from Bridal Veil Falls and the large debris field from this winter’s avalanche.

“We want people to stay away from it,” said Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon. “We understand how attractive this area is and how much people want to get here and enjoy it as much as they can.”

Cannon reminded that the area remains closed. He urged people to be patient and look for other outdoor areas to enjoy because it could be another month until Bridal Veil Falls reopens.

The melting of the avalanche deposit has accelerated in the past few weeks, Cannon said, making it dangerous for the people who go around the trail-closed signs and climb on the ice and snow.

“It’s a very real risk if something happens as they’re walking on this avalanche deposit,” Cannon said. “They’re in an area that they think is 10 feet deep of snow and it’s only 2 or 3 inches, and they fall through, it could cause very serious injuries to them.”

The melting ice and snow are revealing more of the damage to the Provo River Parkway Trail below the falls.

“Once the snow and ice are gone, we will have to clean up any debris and evaluate what damage was done,” Richard Nielson, director of Utah County Public Works, said.

The trail bridge appears destroyed, Nielson said. Once the damage assessment can be made, the repair work will begin.

“We think it will be at least the end of July before we can open the area to public access,” Nielson said.

Cannon said the paved sections of the trail could also have damage from the large boulders and tree trunks that came crashing down in the January avalanche.

Earlier this month, the sheriff’s office eliminated one of the main safety hazards when it used explosives to destroy the ice bridge that the avalanche formed over the Provo River. It was done to prevent people from falling through and also to keep thrill-seekers away.

“We got rid of that,” Cannon said of the ice bridge. “That doesn’t remove all of the danger here, but it did remove a large part of the danger.”

The Provo River is still running high because of releases from reservoirs. Cannon cautions those visiting the canyon to avoid the rushing water.

“Stay away from the water,” he said. “If you’re with children up here, don’t just keep an eye on them, keep a hand on them.”

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Bridal Veil Falls to stay closed for at least another month