Dirt road flooding with water with minimal vegetation.

Flash Floods: Tread Safely

Flash floods can happen at any time after heavy rainfall and quickly, even if it is not raining yet in your location. Flash flood conditions in desert landscapes may happen when heavy rainfall is not soaked into the desert sands. These conditions may become dangerous if you encounter fast-moving, high water.


Know Before You Go

Check the local weather conditions for the area you plan to visit in Utah. Be prepared for changes in weather and stay informed on weather warning alerts. 


Stay Safe On Your Next Adventure

If you encounter flooding or rain, seek higher ground.

  • You may encounter debris, washed out roads and trails, and/or standing water. Wait until the water recedes before attempting to hike out. When you go across a dry wash, think about how to get back. A dry wash may collect or fill with water before you return.
  • Even if it is not raining where you are there is still a chance of flooding from rain upstream. Narrow slot canyons are especially susceptible to flash flooding. Always plan ahead and check the weather before going out.
  • Please plan ahead to avoid vehicles getting stuck or needing to call emergency services. Do not attempt to cross flood waters on foot or in a vehicle. 
  • Traveling on wet or flooded dirt roads (especially those crossing high clay content soils) creates ruts and can cause damage. Once it dries, those ruts can harden and make it very difficult for others to use the road.


Tread Safely in Slot Canyons 

Slot canyons in Utah can be deadly in flash flood conditions. Watch the Tread Safely in Slot Canyons video to learn more about safely exploring slot canyons and public lands.