Yosemite Rockfall: Massive Boulders Block TrailBy: Jasmine Allen - April 8, 2014
A rockfall on March 31 at Yosemite National Park in California has blocked a hiking trail.
About 16,000 tons of rocks fell from a cliff near the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, causing a cloud of smoke.
The fall was reportedly a 500 foot drop.
Some of the boulders broke into pieces hitting nearby trees before tumbling into water. Other boulders have caused the Rancheria Falls Trail to be closed.
The boulders caused damage to the trail. Park officials decided to close the area for safety reasons.
Now that the trail is currently blocked off, there are other routes hikers can take to the park’s attractive Wapama Falls, which is one of the largest waterfalls positioned on the northern wall of Hetch Hetchy Valley.
According to Fox 40: “The trail is the primary route to Wapama Falls, and will be closed until further notice. However, hikers can still access Wapama Falls by starting their hike from the O’Shaughnessy Dam.”
Yosemite National Park extends across the Sierra Nevada Mountains and covers more than 745,000 acres.
The park is commonly known for its impressive cliffs, streams, waterfalls, and of course, trails.
Approximately 95 percent of the park consists of wildlife including White-tailed Jackrabbits, Rubber Boas, Mountain Beavers, and Great Grey Owls.
The Yosemite park is made of older rocks and granitic rocks. Rock climbing is a big part of the park’s available attractions, which provides classes for rock climbers.
Additionally, the open trails at the park span over 800 miles in distance. Since the park is divided into five sections, there are trails available to hikers in various areas.
The last deadly rockfall occurred in 1996 when 162,000 tons of boulders fell to the ground. The incident reportedly killed one out of 12 hikers in the Yosemite Valley that day.
Nobody was injured during the massive rockfall at the Rancheria Falls Trail.
Here is very brief footage of rocks falling at the park:
Image via Wikimedia Commons