Chaos Canyon in Rocky Mountain National Park closed due to significant rockslide |

Chaos Canyon in Rocky Mountain National Park closed due to significant rockslide

Sky-Hi News staff report
An image from Google Earth shows the area of the June 28 rockslide on Hallet Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Google Earth/Courtesy photo

Rocky Mountain National Park is reporting that it has closed all areas in Chaos Canyon to the west of Lake Haiyaha to users due to significant rockfall activity and continuing potential impacts from forecasted precipitation.

Several outcrops fell in the Upper Chaos Canyon area of Rocky Mountain National Park around 4:30 p.m. yesterday, according to park Public Affairs Officer Kyle Patterson and the park’s Facebook. The rocks slid off the south shoulder of Hallett Peak.

Facebook user Samuel Forsyth posted a video of the rockslide to the Friends of Rocky Mountain National Park page.

According to Patterson, the rocks slid off the south shoulder of Hallett Peak. Patterson said 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 slop can be evaluated by park service 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 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. For additional information on the park, visit the park’s web page or call its information office at (970) 586-1206.

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