Yosemite Rockfall Leads to Hiking Trail Closure


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A hiking trail has been closed at Yosemite National Park after 16,000 tons of rock fell 500 feet near Hetch Hetchy Reservoir on March 31, the National Park Service said Monday.

According to Yosemite National Park officials, nobody was hurt in the rockfall.

The rockfall reportedly occurred during the afternoon of March 31, when the rocks fell 500 feet, then slid off of a cliff and dropped onto the ground below. It crushed trees and about 400 feet of the Rancheria Falls Trail.

The trail is the primary route to Wapama Falls, and will be closed until further notice, park officials said. Wapama Falls is still accessible to hikers via the trail that starts at the O’Shaughnessy Dam.

All areas of Yosemite National Park affected by the Rim fire last August were reopened last week.

The Rim fire started in Stanislaus National Forest on Aug. 17, and burned approximately 255,000 acres, including 77,000 acres within Yosemite National Park. The fire was not fully contained until late October, when the park celebrated its 123rd anniversary. The affected areas were closed until recently.

Upon reopening the areas, park officials cautioned visitors to the affected areas, which include Hetch Hetchy hiking trails, about potential risks such as "hazardous trees, uneven ground, potential rockfall, and down and dead debris on trails."

Fire restrictions were also lifted, but could be put in place again later this year because of California's extreme drought conditions, park officials said.

Current maps and information on conditions in Yosemite National Park may be found here.


Image via Wikimedia Commons