Yosemite National Park’s Royal Arches Area Temporarily Closed; Active Crack Makes It Unsafe

by Mallika Khurana
Yosemite National Park’s Royal Arches Area Temporarily Closed; Active Crack Makes It Unsafe

Yosemite National Park is a natural wonderland that has drawn adventurers and nature lovers for generations. It is tucked away in the heart of the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. This famous park is well-known for its rock climbing opportunities in addition to its stunning granite summits and pristine pine forests. The Royal Arches are one of Yosemite’s numerous climbing locations that stands out among the others. This rock climbing location in California recently had to consider closing because a sizable crack appeared in a huge granite cliff.

Yosemite National Park’s Royal Arches Area Is Closed

Yosemite National Park California
Photo Credits: Canva

Climbers reported the new crack on the western side of the Royal Arches formation near the popular climbing route known as the ‘Super Slide.’ Upon investigation, park authorities discovered that the crack had partially detached a large pillar of rock and that active cracking was occurring. As per the NZ Herald reports, an area encompassing multiple climbing routes was closed on August 30. A brief section of the Yosemite Valley Loop Trail, which had a detour set up was also closed to ensure safety.

Yosemite experiences frequent rockfalls caused by natural processes each year, mainly due to a weathering phenomenon known as exfoliation. This process leads to the slabs of granite falling away, creating distinctive arcs on the cliff face that give Royal Arches its name. Other famous Yosemite landforms, including Half Dome, have also been shaped by this geological process.

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Rock Climbing Gem Faces A Formidable Fissure

Photo Credits: Canva

Yosemite National Park attracts numerous tourists and climbers who come to explore the pine forests and witness the awe-inspiring scale of the granite summits in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The region has gained prominence through documentaries featuring master rock climbers. However, the outdoor environment in Yosemite is subject to the unpredictability of the natural world, with factors like adverse weather, shifting landscapes, and eroding rock formations posing challenges to visitors in this fragile ecosystem. 

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Yosemite’s outdoor environment is nevertheless subject to the unpredictable nature of the natural world. Elements like bad weather, shifting topography, and crumbling rock formations pose difficulties for visitors in this sensitive ecosystem. To ensure they are properly prepared, visitors are advised to regularly check the website and official app of the National Park Service for alerts. These sources offer useful information on road closures, seasonal weather patterns, air quality, and climbing-related updates.

Due to the park’s poor phone reception, it is crucial to let someone know you will be going and to take precautions the entire time you are there to ensure your safety and enjoyment.

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva