One of the most popular hikes through the Zion National Park, the Zion Narrows, take adventurers through the narrowest section of Zion Canyon. For anyone fortunate enough to enjoy the hike, it is absolutely amazing.
The National Park only allows around 90 people per day to hike the trail that brings hikers to the beautiful slot canyon. The 16-mile hike offers a breathtaking view of the thousand-foot cliffs surrounding the area.
But, now the hike is in danger. Hikers recently began noticing “No Trespassing” and “For Sale” signs around the famous area. Part of the trail leading to the Narrows goes through private property that for the last 50 years has been owned by the same family. Recently, that family has decided to sell the land. They would like to sell the land to the federal government, but they have been unable to work out a deal.
Since the signs went up, the park has stopped issuing permits for the full Narrows hike, creating a waiting list that is growing quickly. Hikers must now plan their trip months in advance, some potentially being turned away. Luckily, the park service and the county have reached a temporary deal with the owners of the land.
For the last three years the owners have been trying to sell the land to the federal government, saying it should belong to the public, but they claim that they have not been offered a fair amount for the land. So far, no deal has been able to be reached for 880-acres of land. After years of negotiating it seems like the owners have had enough and posted their signs.
A new appraisal of the land involved is being prepared. But if the Forest Service turns down the new estimate then the land could sell on the open mark and the new owners could decide to close off access to the Narrows permanently.
This isn’t the first time the Narrows have been at risk. Five years ago, a developer wanted to build ranchettes near the Chamberlain Ranch trailhead. Before it could happen, the Trust brokered a deal between the federal government, Utah, and another conservation group, to pay $1.4 million to keep The Narrows open to hikers.