Stay safe around Gunlock waterfalls, parks office cautions

Waterfalls at Gunlock State Park, 2019. Courtesy Utah State Parks

GUNLOCK STATE PARK, Utah — Officials are cautioning visitors to Gunlock State Park in Southern Utah to be extra careful near the reservoir’s popular waterfalls.

After one person died and three other injuries in the past three weeks, Utah State Parks released a statement on the potential dangers of recreating at the park — especially at the waterfalls that began flowing this year.

“The waterfalls at Gunlock State Park are a beautiful and rare sight to behold,” the release stated. “After being absent for about a decade, the falls began flowing this year in early March.”

Since March, the parks office says thousands of people have gone to see the waterfalls. Officials anticipate they will stop flowing in a few weeks, however.

The office says that very few accidents and injuries occurred at the falls at first, but recently they have increased.

“Recreating on the rocks near the waterfalls is dangerous. Rocks are slick, water is swift, and covered hazards exist in the pools. We strongly encourage families to use caution and be observant in the area,” the release stated.

The parks office also urged visitors to be cautious in all other recreational activities at Gunlock, such as boating, hiking or sightseeing. And while they warn that it is up to individuals and families to be safe, park staff and rangers have worked to caution visitors of the potential hazards in person and by putting up signs.

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