• Rainbow over Half Dome

    Yosemite

    National Park California

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  • Big Oak Flat Road is closed; no access to Yosemite via Highway 120 from the west

    The Big Oak Flat Road is temporarily closed west of Crane Flat; there is no access to Yosemite via Hwy 120 from the west (except to Hetch Hetchy). Tioga Road is open and accessible if entering the park via Hwys 41 and 140, and Hwy 120 from the east. More »

  • Campground Closures Due to Fire

    Crane Flat, Bridalveil Creek, and Yosemite Creek Campgrounds are temporarily closed. All other campgrounds, including Hodgdon Meadow, are open. More »

Yosemite National Park to Reopen Mirror Lake Loop Hiking Trail on October 18

New trail through fresh granite boulders
NPS Photo

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News Release Date: October 17, 2012

 Trail Closed in 2009 Due to Large Rockfall

Yosemite National Park will reopen the Mirror Lake Loop hiking trail tomorrow, Thursday, October 18, 2012, at 5:00 p.m. The five mile loop that follows Tenaya Creek around Mirror Lake in Yosemite Valley has been closed since March 28, 2009 due to a large rockfall from Ahwiyah Point near Half Dome.  

Yosemite Trail Crews have constructed a new trail on the edge of the talus slope near Tenaya Creek. Work consisted of removing trees and rock in order to create new trail alignment. Several blasting operations have occurred over the past several weeks in order to remove large pieces of granite from the trail corridor and create new material for retaining walls and trail construction. Trail crews will be present on the trail over the next several days to complete the work.  

Rocks fell approximately 1,800 feet to the floor of Yosemite Valley from Ahwiyah Point, knocking down hundreds of trees and burying hundreds of feet of the trail on the southern portion of the loop. The impact of the rocks hitting the ground generated a magnitude of a 2.4 earthquake. The rockfall was estimated to be approximately 43,000 cubic meters, or 115,000 tons. No injuries or structures were affected by the rockfall. The Ahwiyah Point rockfall is the largest rockfall documented in Yosemite National Park since the Middle Brother rockfall event in 1987.  

Rockfalls are a natural and dynamic geologic process. Due to its steep, glacier-carved cliffs, Yosemite Valley experiences many rockfalls each year. Natural processes like rockfall help to create the beautiful and changing scenery in Yosemite National Park.

Did You Know?

Yosemite Museum

When it opened to the public on May 29, 1926, the Yosemite Museum became the first museum building in the national park system, and its educational objectives served as a model for parks nationwide. It still functions much as it was originally intended, and currently exhibits items which mainly reflect the Native occupation of Yosemite Valley and its surroundings. When in the park, you can visit with one of three cultural demonstrators who primarily staff the Museum.