What to Do If There Is a Flash Flood in Zion National Park

Whether it is a short trip or a lively vacation, unexpected things can happen, and you should always remain prepared for the unusual circumstance. However, there aren’t many problems and difficulties that you might encounter when visiting Zion National Park, even if you are an inexperienced hiker or traveler. You should know that the monsoon seasons are the peak periods for flash floods and water events in the Virgin River Narrows and the slim canyons in the park.

However, what the previous incidents and events point towards is the need for preparation. Further, you should know that flash floods can be dangerous.

Signs and Forecasts of Flash Floods in Zion National Park


There are basically four signs and signals of weather and flash flood forecast in Zion National Park that can help you decide what you should prepare for. Here are those:

  • Expected: refers to the high probability of many canyons experiencing flash flooding.
  • Probable: the probability of some canyons to expect flash flooding
  • Possible: few canyons might experience flash flooding
  • Not Expected: no forecast for potential flash flooding 

During bad weather, it is advisable not to travel into the narrow rivers and canyons of the ZNP. Here are some of the signs that you should look for in order to assess the potential chances of a flash flood:

  • Floating debris
  • Bad weather
  • Water changes (e.g., clear to muddy)
  • Clouds buildup in the sky
  • Thunder
  • Increase in water roar up a canyon

One of the best approaches after identifying such signs is seeking higher ground. Since flash floods can reach up to 12 feet in height, you should be on a high level to protect yourself from their impact. Do remember that flash floods may occur without any relative forecast, so it is a good idea always to adopt safety measures.

What Should You Do During a Flash Flood?

Pay Attention to Footwear

The Virgin rivers and most of the canyons of the ZNP feel like slippery bowling floors. For a perfect balance and grip, pay attention to the footwear that you choose. This can be helpful in the case of unexpected flash flood news or updates.

Hiking boots can help you reach the higher ground with much more flexibility and strength. Avoid jumping, as it is pretty common to slip and experience leg injuries in the case of flash floods.

Carry Water Sources

Carry enough water for a day or two. This can roughly make up to one gallon per person for a 24-hours drinking period. It is hard to come by freshwater sources in the wilderness of the park.

Consider Waterproofing

Waterproof equipment, activewear, and footwear will help you enjoy the hiking experience. Moreover, in case of a flash flood, you can safely find the nearest shelter without experiencing cold or chills.

Hypothermia Cases (Flash Floods)

Hypothermia can occur due to heavy heat loss from the body. In the case of water submersion, as in a flash flood, you might not be able to get out easily. Therefore, take your safety items into account and reach the nearest shelter in case of such emergencies. Sticking with the hiking group is the best course of action if a flash flood occurs.


Plan ahead and work with the best planning/guide experts. At Ferber Resorts, we employ highly educated, trained guides and other personnel. Your safety is our top priority, and that is why we always ensure that our customers enjoy the adventure they hope for in the ZNP.

Give us a call at 435-772-3237 or visit our official website for more information on our services.

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