Click to join an upcoming live event

Turn off Ads (click)

Click on your language to translate this article:

Afrikaans Afrikaans Albanian Albanian Amharic Amharic Arabic Arabic Armenian Armenian Azerbaijani Azerbaijani Basque Basque Belarusian Belarusian Bengali Bengali Bosnian Bosnian Bulgarian Bulgarian Catalan Catalan Cebuano Cebuano Chichewa Chichewa Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Traditional) Chinese (Traditional) Corsican Corsican Croatian Croatian Czech Czech Danish Danish Dutch Dutch English English Esperanto Esperanto Estonian Estonian Filipino Filipino Finnish Finnish French French Frisian Frisian Galician Galician Georgian Georgian German German Greek Greek Gujarati Gujarati Haitian Creole Haitian Creole Hausa Hausa Hawaiian Hawaiian Hebrew Hebrew Hindi Hindi Hmong Hmong Hungarian Hungarian Icelandic Icelandic Igbo Igbo Indonesian Indonesian Irish Irish Italian Italian Japanese Japanese Javanese Javanese Kannada Kannada Kazakh Kazakh Khmer Khmer Korean Korean Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kyrgyz Kyrgyz Lao Lao Latin Latin Latvian Latvian Lithuanian Lithuanian Luxembourgish Luxembourgish Macedonian Macedonian Malagasy Malagasy Malay Malay Malayalam Malayalam Maltese Maltese Maori Maori Marathi Marathi Mongolian Mongolian Myanmar (Burmese) Myanmar (Burmese) Nepali Nepali Norwegian Norwegian Pashto Pashto Persian Persian Polish Polish Portuguese Portuguese Punjabi Punjabi Romanian Romanian Russian Russian Samoan Samoan Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic Serbian Serbian Sesotho Sesotho Shona Shona Sindhi Sindhi Sinhala Sinhala Slovak Slovak Slovenian Slovenian Somali Somali Spanish Spanish Sudanese Sudanese Swahili Swahili Swedish Swedish Tajik Tajik Tamil Tamil Telugu Telugu Thai Thai Turkish Turkish Ukrainian Ukrainian Urdu Urdu Uzbek Uzbek Vietnamese Vietnamese Welsh Welsh Xhosa Xhosa Yiddish Yiddish Yoruba Yoruba Zulu Zulu
Travel News

Ahwahnee Hotel evacuation forced by rockfall

Written by editor

Geologists are monitoring the cliffs behind Yosemite National Park’s majestic Ahwahnee Hotel after tumbling boulders from the Royal Arches formation forced the evacuation of all 300 guests Wednesday.

Geologists are monitoring the cliffs behind Yosemite National Park’s majestic Ahwahnee Hotel after tumbling boulders from the Royal Arches formation forced the evacuation of all 300 guests Wednesday.

A series of falling rocks, some as large as microwave ovens, tumbled at least 100 feet from the base of the cliff and into the valet parking lot, where several cars were damaged, park spokesman Scott Gediman said. No injuries were reported.

“It’s all very mellow right now,” Gediman said. “We asked people to leave as a precaution while geologists investigate.”

Dust from the avalanche, which started around noon, temporarily obscured views of Half Dome.

Guests of the historic 125-room hotel were directed to the south lawn behind the hotel while geologists checked the stability and assessed the likelihood that more rocks would fall. Gediman expected they would be allowed to return to their rooms by late afternoon.

Rockfall is a potential danger in the park formed when retreating glaciers cut dramatic formations from solid granite. Royal Arches towers 1,600 feet behind the Ahwahnee, a massive arts-and-crafts-style hotel with dramatic views of Half Dome, Yosemite Falls and Glacier Point.

In October park officials permanently closed one-third of Curry Village under Glacier Point after the equivalent of 570 dump trucks of rock hit 17 cabins and forced the evacuation of more than 150 youngsters on a field trip. No one was seriously injured.

The century-old Curry Village is the most family friendly lodging in the park, consisting of cabins, stores and restaurants run by an outside company.

An Associated Press story last year said that geologists have warned for at least a decade that the granite face of Glacier Point above the village was dangerous. Despite two deaths and an increase in the frequency and severity of the rockfalls since 1996, park officials had been reluctant to act.

Gediman acknowledged Wednesday that rockfall is a potential danger and something park geologists monitor.

“Yosemite continues to be affected by rockfall and rockfall continues to be a part of the ongoing development of Yosemite Valley,” he said.