Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel

Trip Start May 27, 2009
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Trip End Sep 19, 2013


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Flag of United States  , Utah
Thursday, September 9, 2010

Construction of the 1.1 mile Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel began in the late 1920's and was completed in 1930. The purpose of the building the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel was to create direct access to Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon from Zion NP.

Due to many accidents in the tunnel prior to 1989, it forced a study by the Federal Highway administration. The study found that large vehicles could not negotiate the curves of the tunnel without crossing the center lane. To insure safety, the NP service began an escort (traffic control) service in the spring of 1989 for small to mid size vehicles and prohibited large vehicles from using the tunnel.

The definition of large vehicles is any vehicle that is 13 feet 1 inch tall, semi-trucks, vehicles carrying hazardous materials, vehicles weighting more than 50,000 pounds, single vehicles over 40 feet long, combined vehicles over 50 feet long.

An escort is required for any vehicle that is 7 feet 10 inches in width and/or 11 feet 4 inches in height or larger. Escort fee is $15.00 and is good for two trips through the tunnel for the same vehicle within seven days of purchase.

Today the tunnel is basically the same as it was upon its completion over eighty years ago. The road is currently being repaved; night closures occur from 8:00 p.m. to 8.00 a.m.
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