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  • Road Closures Due to El Portal Fire

    The Big Oak Flat Road between Crane Flat and the El Portal Road is temporarily closed. There is no access to Yosemite Valley via the Big Oak Flat Road or Highway 120. Tioga Road is open and accessible via Big Oak Flat and Tioga Pass Entrances. More »

  • Campground Closures Due to Fire

    Crane Flat, Bridalveil Creek, and Yosemite Creek Campgrounds are temporarily closed. More »

  • Yosemite National Park is Open

    Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, and Wawona/Mariposa Grove areas are open and accessible via Highways 140 and 41. Tioga Road is not accessible via Highways 140 and 41 due to a fire.

Yosemite National Park Searches for Missing Person Near Upper Yosemite Falls

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Date: June 19, 2011

Yosemite National Park is searching for 30 year old George Penca, from Hawthorne, California. Penca was last seen on the Upper Yosemite Fall trail in Yosemite Valley where he was hiking with a group of people from his church. He has been missing since Friday, June 17.

At approximately 9:00 p.m. on Friday, the Yosemite Emergency Communications Center received a call from a member of the group reporting Penca as a missing person. The group began hiking to Upper Yosemite Fall earlier in the day. Once at the top of Yosemite Falls, the group dispersed. Upon return to Yosemite Valley, the group noticed that Penca was absent and thought he may have returned ahead of the party. Penca did not return to Yosemite Valley and a missing persons report was filed.

Yosemite National Park is asking anyone in the area of the Upper Yosemite Fall Trail who may have information on George Penca to please call the Search and Rescue Command Post at 209-372-0311 or 209-372-0252. Penca is 5’ 10” tall, weighs 240 pounds, and has dark brown hair, blue eyes, a stocky build. He was last seen wearing gray sweatpants with white stripes, a black t-shirt that says “D&B” across the chest, or a black tank top, and gray/blue running shoes. He was carrying a blue cloth bag and had very little food and water. The group was intending to hike to Upper Yosemite Fall as a day-hike.
The park helicopter has been assisting ground teams in the search for Penca. Additional Search and Rescue teams include personnel from Yosemite National Park Search and Rescue, Mariposa County, Mono County, Fresno County, Marin County, and Yosemite Search and Rescue Dog Teams.

Did You Know?

Vernal and Nevada Falls

In Yosemite Valley, dropping over 594-foot Nevada Fall and then 317-foot Vernal Fall, the Merced River creates what is known as the “Giant Staircase.” Such exemplary stair-step river morphology is characterized by a large variability in river movement and flow, from quiet pools to the dramatic drops of the waterfalls themselves.