Two people are dead following a rockfall incident inside Yosemite National Park, the Mariposa County Sheriff’s office confirmed.
In a Tuesday tweet, the National Park Service (NPS) confirmed the “significant rockfall” incident but did not mention injuries or deaths. The rockfall occurred on El Portal Road, which leads into Yosemite along Highway 140 from the east.
The park said only that it had closed the road at the time but that access to the park was still possible via two other entrances.
El Portal Road (continuation of Highway 140 into Yosemite Valley from El Portal) is closed due to a significant rockfall. Access to Yosemite Valley is still possible via Hwy 41/Wawona Road and Hwy 120/Big Oak Flat Road. Tire chains may be required. 209/372-0200 for road info. pic.twitter.com/BH2dUndZDS
— Yosemite National Park (@YosemiteNPS) December 27, 2022
Rockfall is relatively common in Yosemite. Varyingly large segments of El Capitan have calved off multiple times in recent years, and the NPS told CNN 47 rockfalls happened in 2021, which made it a “relatively mild year.”
GearJunkie has contacted the NPS for further comment. A Mariposa County Sheriff’s spokesperson only confirmed that the office is handling two coroner cases “as a result of the incident.” Because it happened within park boundaries, it occurred within NPS jurisdiction, and further announcements will be the agency’s responsibility.