Landslide Dangers Continue on Manti La-Sal National Forest

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Landslides, slumping, and rock falls are common on the Manti-La Sal National Forest, and this year’s heavy snowfall and summer rains have resulted in more slides than usual.

Several roads and trails have been closed in recent weeks due to slides.

“People traveling on the Forest need to be prepared for the eventuality that a slide may block their way,” said Sanpete District Ranger Jeff Gardner. “A recent slide trapped cars uphill for a couple of hours until it could be cleared and the road opened.”

Being prepared includes carrying extra food and water, blankets, jackets and other supplies when visiting the Forest.

Also, those using trails should not be surprised to find their way blocked due to slides and rock falls. They can happen at any time. Although the nearest Forest Service office has information regarding most roads and trails closed due to slides, they may not be aware of every blocked way.

If you come upon a slide, do not attempt to drive around it. The downhill edge of a road is the weakest part and may be soft given the weather conditions.

The following conditions warn of slide activity. If you notice any of them in your vicinity, “don’t delay, move away.”

  • New (or expanded) cracks and scarps in an existing slide, roadbed, trail tread, cut slope or fill slope.
  • Sounds of trees cracking or rocks tumbling or knocking together.
  • Leaning trees and the movement of other natural or man-made objects.
  • Swelling or bulging of the ground on any part of an existing slide or nearby slope.
  • A small flow or fall of mud, rock, or debris on an existing slide or nearby slope.
  • Sudden spring or seep of water from an existing slide or nearby slope.
  • A sudden increase or decrease in water flow, or a change from clear to muddy flow along a stream or channel.

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