Workers resurface the red roads of Zion

Posted at 7:28 PM, Sep 18, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-18 21:28:41-04

ZION NATIONAL PARK - Southern Utah is known for their red rock, so it may be no surprise Zion National Park has red roads.

This week, road crews are resurfacing the streets, and they said the secret to that rust color is locally quarried cinders that have a historical significance.

“Historically, Zion had red roads,” Park Spokesperson Aly Baltrus said. “We did at one point in time turn them black a couple of years ago. And everyone’s like, ‘Oh no!’ So we have returned to our signature red roads.”

And visitors are glad. They said it’s an attraction that’s almost as popular as some of the rock formations.

“We love them,” park visitor Jeff Lamping said. “We’re from New England where it’s all black asphalt, and the red rock is just gorgeous on the roads.”

This week, crews are chip sealing about 20 miles of road throughout the park, including the main scenic highway, so road closures have temporarily shut down some access and forced longer walks to others. But visitors didn’t seem to mind.

“I think it’s marvelous, and the construction allowed for an opportunity to walk on them that was beyond our wildest imagination,” park visitor Melinda Mowery said.

There will be some minor closures throughout the rest of this week and into next week. Baltrus said any visitors coming into the park should keep in mind there may be some slowing.