Massive Rockfall Forces Closure of Significant Portion of Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

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Yesterday, the Two Towers on 12,719′ Hallett Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park fell down in a humongous landslide. As a result, park officials have shut down all areas in Chaos Canyon to the west of Lake Haiyaha.

Despite Chaos Canyon being a popular area for bouldering, no injuries were reported from the rockfall event on Tuesday, according to a park press release. At this time the cause of the rockfall remains unknown.

Rocky Mountain National Park shared in a press release:

“All areas in Chaos Canyon to the west of Lake Haiyaha are closed in Rocky Mountain National Park to all users due to significant rockfall activity and continuing potential impacts from forecasted precipitation.

On June 28, 2022, at approximately 4:30 pm MT a large rockfall event occurred on the south slope of Hallett Peak, resulting in sliding rock falling into Upper Chaos Canyon. The area of the rockfall event is highly unstable. Additionally, rainstorms are in the forecast for this area through July 3, which may contribute to additional rockfall activity. This closure will remain in effect until the projected rainstorms pass and the slope can be evaluated by NPS geologists.

The hiking trail to Lake Haiyaha, Lake Haiyaha itself, and hiking trails on the north side of Hallett Peak remain open. The bouldering area in lower Chaos Canyon, on the north and east shore of the Lake Haiyaha, will remain open.

There have been no reported injuries from Tuesday’s rockfall event and there are no designated hiking trails in the closure area. Chaos Canyon is a popular area for bouldering. The cause of this rockfall event on Hallett Peak remains unknown.

Park visitors planning to recreate in rocky terrain areas of the park are reminded to always practice due diligence and use caution. Rocky slopes on and near mountain peaks can be unstable. Recreation users should know their own limits and choose routes that are within the abilities of everyone in their party.” – @rockynps

The powerful, chaotic force of nature will not hesitate to cause destruction given the proper alignment of conditions to produce such awesome natural phenomena such as this rockfall evet. Be safe while recreating outside this summer.

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