Yosemite Rock Risk: Falling Boulders Pose Threat

One of the most popular tourist destinations in the national park system, Yosemite National Park will be closing areas of its vast location as falling boulders are posing a great threat in certain areas, according to reports obtained by AP.

“Rock falls are common in Yosemite Valley, California, posing substantial hazard and risk to the approximately four million annual visitors to Yosemite National Park,” reads the opening line.

Certain locations such as Glacier Point are causing such a great threat to visitors in the area that park officials are considering the action of deeming them unsafe for tourists. A Glacier Point closure would be an enormous disappointment as it serves as a beautiful backdrop to events being held at the park and would leave certain lodging areas uninhabitable.

“There are no absolutely safe areas in Yosemite Valley,” says park geologist Greg Stock, however, they hope to raise awareness by highlighting “hazard zones” that are meant to make visitors mindful of the dangers in a particular area.

Moves are also being made to close certain parts of the very popular Curry Village as investigations were prompted by the 2008 rock fall that saw over 570 dump trucks of boulders hit 17 cabins, destroy one, and risk the safety of school children in the area. Originally, 233 of the 600 cabins in the area were closed for safety reasons, and now an additional 18 will be closed off in light of the report.

Park officials work diligently to protect its visitors from potential hazards, but admit that the ability to know every hazard is impossible.

“We are about as close to predicting these events as others are at predicting earthquakes — which is to say not very close,” Stock said.

What do you think of the rock risks at Yosemite National Park and the decision to close certain areas?