Yosemite National Park rockfall forces closure

FRESNO, Calif.

Highway 120 is now closed between the Foresta junction at Big Oak Flat Road -- and the Highway 120 -- Highway 140 El Portal Road junction.

Work crews are carefully clearing the large rocks that came crashing down onto the section of Highway 120 in Yosemite Saturday night.

"The rocks came across the big oak flat road and actually destroyed a big portion of the road," said Kari Cobb. "So there is a whole lane and a big part of the retaining wall that's now missing."

Federal highway officials are coming to the park Thursday to assess the damage and figure out a plan for repairs. But it could be weeks or even months before the road is re-opened.

Kari Cobb said, "We do a lot of travel in between the park, so this has definitely impacted our resources and what we do on a daily basis, but we are a big park, we can pull from other places around the park, so we're really making due and making the most of the situation."

The closure also means visitors from the Bay Area must now use the Highway 140 entrance instead. But those we spoke with didn't mind the extra half hour of driving.

Despite the obstacle of the rock fall, park rangers say there are still plenty of good reasons to visit Yosemite right now. The park has received several inches of snow in recent days, and is finally ready to open Badger Pass Ski area on Thursday. Tourists are also enjoying the wintery white landscape.

Steven Behar said, "I think it is awe inspiring, it's just absolutely breathtaking, and nothing gets better."

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