These views will still be here after this all blows over. Now is not the time for a desert vacation. Max Ritter photo.
Earlier this week, the Southeast Utah Health Department issued an order closing lodging facilities and campgrounds around Moab to visitors, in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19 by stopping the flow of outside visitors. Moab and the surrounding area are traditionally full of visitors looking to rock climb, mountain bike, or visit National Parks this time of year. With schools and workplaces closing around the country, it became clear that Moab was thought of as a quarantine “destination,” which would have severely strained the already limited medical and emergency resources in the area. Moab’s hospital is simply not set up to care for a pandemic, so limiting the number of humans in the area was the only logical step. It is unclear how long these restrictions will last.
The public health order specifically requires hotels, lodges, and all forms of campgrounds (including dispersed camping) to no longer accept reservations from anyone other than “essential visitors,” officially classified as those coming to the area for business.
Other mountain towns around the country, like Truckee and Mammoth Lakes, California are asking visitors to stay away, even though the idea of escaping to the mountains might seem appealing. Truckee, Aspen, and even Jackson Hole are now reporting cases of the virus, and locals are taking every measure they can to self-isolate and help stop the spread of COVID-19.
UPDATE: A rescue on Teton Pass's Taylor Mountain is currently still ongoing by Teton Search and Rescue after a slide was reported yesterday afternoon. TCSAR received a distress call at 3:20 p.m. on Wednesday, after two snowboarders triggered an avalanche on the south side of the mountain at about 2:45 p.m. A partner beacon search was unsuccessful, and TCSAR responded in full force to try and locate the presumably buried victim. The search was called off at dark, and rescuers are resuming
After closing access to the Tuckerman Ravine Headwall earlier this week, the Forest Service has made the tough decision to fully close Tuckerman and Huntington Ravines, as well as the Gulf of Slides area to all use. Individuals violating the closure may face a fine of up to $5000 and/or six months imprisonment, according to a press release from the Mt. Washington Avalanche Center. RELATED: Stay Stoked- Your Guide to TGR's Best Content According to the release, "The
On Tuesday evening, a magnitude 6.5 earthquake was recorded in Idaho, with an epicenter just north of Stanley in the Sawtooth Range. The earthquake occurred during a period of heavy snowfall and high winds, which had sent the avalanche danger to High. As a result of the quake, the Sawtooth Avalanche Center reported multiple large avalanches, including some from observers in Stanley that could hear them rumbling for up to a minute from town. RELATED: Now is Not the Time to "Try" Backcountry