Watch a Flash Flood Wash Out Capitol Gorge in Minutes

If you’re riding out West, keep an eye on the weather. Flash floods are no joke.

A flash flood at Capital Gorge washed away vehicles.YouTube

The United States offers some of the most impressive off-roading on the planet, and much of that is situated out West. The American desert is packed with spectacular vistas, open deserts, and winding canyons, and it’s easy to forget that much of that landscape was sculpted by powerful natural forces. Locals know that while canyons may appear dry and dormant, a little bit of rain can turn the steep sandstone walls deadly in no time when flash floods appear. It’s something that most of us on the East Coast have no concept of, and it’s how so many visitors find themselves in trouble each year.

Last month, tourists at Utah’s Capitol Gorge found themselves in that exact situation. What started as a thunderstorm with some hail quickly turned dangerous as a 2-foot-high wall of water obliterated the road and washed vehicles downstream. The crazy part is how quickly it happens. In the video below, you can see how a fun day out in nature snapped to a survival situation in a matter of moments.

If you’re riding out West and canyon exploring is on the schedule, make certain you check the weather as often as possible. Even if a storm is a mile away, all that water has to go somewhere, and that somewhere is usually downhill into a canyon. Stay alert, and if a storm hits, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Head out of the canyon.

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