On June 28, 2022, a large debris slide event occurred on the south slope of Hallett Peak, resulting in rock sliding and falling downhill into Upper Chaos Canyon. Rocky Mountain National Park staff have been working with colleagues at the NPS Geologic Resources Division (GRD) and the US Geologic Survey (USGS) to help us understand why this debris slide occurred.
Image pictured above: A view of Hallett Peak from Lake Haiyaha
Based on initial observations, taken June through August 2022, the Hallett Peak event appears to be a debris slide, largely mobilizing existing debris, the overlying snowfield, and stripping the debris down to bedrock in some parts of the overall area. By using the term “debris,” this implies that the area contains a wide assortment of sizes of material, from small clay to large boulder sizes.
The area is still highly unstable and active. Saturated areas are still sliding and large boulders may still slide downhill, especially during or after large precipitation events.
All areas in Chaos Canyon to the west of Lake Haiyaha remain closed in Rocky Mountain National Park to all users due to significant debris slide activity. Chaos Canyon is a popular area for bouldering. While there are always inherent risks involved with recreating in wilderness areas, entering the closure area is prohibited.
There is no known time on when this closure will be lifted for visitor and staff safety.
The hiking trail to Lake Haiyaha, Lake Haiyaha itself, and hiking trails on the north side of Hallett Peak remain open. The bouldering area in lower Chaos Canyon, on the north and east shore of the Lake Haiyaha, remains open.
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Last updated: October 24, 2022