Rockslide buries, closes entrance to Yosemite National Park

A large rockslide has blocked off access to one of Yosemite National Park's entrances. (June 13, 2017)

A large rockslide has blocked off access to one of Yosemite National Park’s entrances.

The El Portal Road and Arch Rock Entrance into the national park could remain closed at least through the weekend of June 17 and 18, National Park officials said.

Crews have begun the rock removal process, but they have not confirmed an exact date for the road’s reopening.

The rockslide happened around noon Monday, dumping roughly 4,000 tons of rock detached from a parallel cliffside. The slab slid down the cliff, which is about 1 mile east of the park boundary along Highway 140, hit a ledge and broke into many pieces, park officials said.

Park officials estimate roughly one-third of the debris that landed on El Portal Road is covering an area of road about 150 feet long under up to 15-20 feet of rock debris. The largest boulder on the road is about 130 tons, and there are several other boulders that are only somewhat smaller.

The road sustained damage, both to the paved surface and the retaining wall.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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