A rockfall at Yosemite National Park led to a closed trail. Over 16,000 tons of rock fell from up above and made the trail not worth traversing.
A rockfall occurred at Yosemite National Park on March 31st, 2014. It was a good thing that no one was injured. However, it blocked the path to Rancheria Falls.
"A rockfall in the Hetch Hetchy area of Yosemite National Park closes trail east of Wapama Falls. At approximately 1:30 p.m. on March 31, a large rockfall occurred from the cliff just east of Wapama Falls above the Hetch Hetchy reservoir. No visitors were injured. However, the trail was closed just east of the Wapama Creek footbridges for safety purposes, and due to boulders preventing access beyond Wapama Falls," stated NPS.
About 16,000 tons of solid rocks fell down from a height of 500 feet. The boulders hit the ground causing a lot of dust and many of them split up into jagged-edged parts. They annihilated roughly 400 feet of the Rancheria Falls Trail. Hikers have been warned not to approach the area and the trail is strictly off limits to them.
The rocks had fallen a considerable distance from a cliff up above. It was sheer luck that there were no hikers on the trail when the incident occurred. The rocks had flattened and mangled many trees along the way. Efforts are underway to repair the trail that has been badly damaged. But no timetable has been given regarding the revamping of the trail.
A big problem is that the rocks that have fallen in the area are still precariously balanced on top of the trail’s boulders. That means that these unbalanced rocks could essentially lead to another landslide. And that could prove very costly in terms of human lives.
So it is a series of complex decisions that the park authorities will have to take in order to restore the pristine quality of the trail. The hikers will however be allowed to traverse the terrain once the damaged trail has been mended.
It was one of the largest and most devastating rockfalls ever recorded in the history of Yosemite National Park. Several notices and warnings have been given to hikers in other areas of the park regarding landslides and rockfalls.
They can get seriously injured thanks to these unpredictable geological catastrophes. After all, there’s no accounting for the whimsical nature of the planet which sends disasters such as floods, volcanoes and bad weather at a moment’s notice much to the chagrin of puny man.