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Star National Park Service Watch Page A6 Star

September 1, 1996

Landslide Closes Upper Yosemite Fall Trail

by Staff Journalists, The Daily Republican Newspaper

Related Yosemite National Park Stories:

FRESNO DESK - A landslide in Yosemite National Park on Sunday closed the popular Upper Yosemite Fall trail. No injuries or deaths were immediately reported and no one was reported missing, park officials said.

The slide was considered moderate, said a park Service dispatcher. The Upper Yosemite Fall Trail slide started a mile above the Valley floor and buried nearly 200 feet of the rugged trail, which steeply ascends to the top of the 1430 feet Upper Yosemite Fall. This week the trail is mostly dry and hot as the waterfall has dried-up for the season. The Upper Fall Trail is the main access point used by hikers to the North Valley Rim, El Capitan, Tuolumne Meadows, and the back country.

Daily Republican reporters on the scene Sunday said trees and boulders blocking the ledge upon which the trail is cut were very unstable. NPS rescuers had not been able to search the debris for any hikers who may have been trapped under the slide. Helicopters were seen hovering above the trail, during the afternoon.

Back country hikers trying to return to the Valley via the Upper Fall trail are being diverted Easterly to the Snow Creek trail at Tenaya Canyon.

Yosemite Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in the world. It has a total drop of 2425 ft. and is composed of the Upper Fall at 1430 ft, the Middle Cascades at 675 ft., and the Lower Fall at 320 ft. For waterfall viewing in Yosemite, early Spring is the best season.

Park attendance had been light at the time of the rock slide possibly due to news of 57,000-acre wildfire on the North Western quadrant of the Yosemite area.

[Note: Yosemite was a State Trust Area yet part of the State of California. Theodore Roosevelt determined that it was in the public interest for the Federal Government to take-over its lands, its flora and fauna, its big trees, its waters, and its breathtaking vistas. Since then, the Department of the Interior, and the National Park Service administer the site under a Master Plan. Congress appropriates funds for Park operations and trail maintenance, annually.]


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