It may take the National Park Service until August to fully repair a popular hiking trail damaged by a large rockslide last month, according to the National Park Service.
About 16,000 tons of rock fell from about 500 feet above the base of a cliff around 1:30 p.m. March 31, between Wapama and Rancheria falls. The debris destroyed about 400 feet of Rancheria Falls Trail east of Wapama Falls, the only hiking path to the northern portion of the park that’s open at this time of year.
All destinations beyond Wampana Falls — including Rancheria Falls, Tiltill Valley and the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River — are inaccessible due to the rockfall and seasonal road closure.
“Hetch Hetchy is kind of a gateway into the backcountry, so that’s why it’s unfortunate this happened right now,” said Park Service spokesman David Miyako. “There are other entrances once Tioga (Road) opens.”
Park Service road crews opened Glacier Point Road on April 14, and work is underway to clear Tioga Road. The road opened on May 11 last year, but park officials have yet to determine the date for this season’s opening.
For the complete story, see the April 21, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.