Large Rockfall Closes Section of John Muir Trail

A significant rockfall in California’s Yosemite National Park has left a small part of the John Muir Trail damaged and closed to hikers. Shortly before midnight on 15 April, the rockfall deposited “hundreds of boulders,” along with downed trees and other debris, on a nearly 1,000-foot stretch of trail between Clark Point and the summit of Nevada Falls, according to Yosemite National Park.

Although the incident occurred several weeks ago, the park first announced the closure on Thursday. This section of trail was already closed for winter and will remain off limits for “at least several more weeks,” say park officials, as it will require extensive repair. Geologists are still assessing the potential for more rockfalls in the area.

It remains to be seen whether this closure will impact the hiking season. The closed section of trail is near the JMT’s northern terminus, Happy Isles. Most JMT section and thru-hikers won’t hit the trail until July or August. Even if the closure lingers into summer, hikers can bypass it via the upper portion of the Mist Trail, which intersects the JMT at Clark Point and again near the top of Nevada Falls.

Featured image: Yosemite National Park Service.

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