Rock slides close popular trail at Dinosaur National Monument

Published: Thursday, June 20 2013 7:10 p.m. MDT

DINOSAUR, Colo. — The National Park Service has closed a popular trail and surrounding lands inside Dinosaur National Monument because of "an active rock slide."

The closure affects the Jones Hole Trail, an adjacent section of Jones Hole Creek, and surrounding National Park Service land from the boundary of the Jones Hole National Fish Hatchery to Ely Creek, monument superintendent Mary Risser said Thursday.

The first rock slide occurred Tuesday, when a slab broke free from a cliff face about a quarter mile from the hatchery, which is on the Utah side of the monument.

"One fisherman reported having to run from a boulder that landed in the stream not too far from his location," Risser said. "After receiving reports, park rangers checked the scene and did not see any further activity."

But there were two more slides Thursday — a small one in the morning, and a massive one early in the afternoon.

"The slide was large enough to send boulders across Jones Hole Creek and the trail," Risser said. "Numerous trees were also reported to be knocked down and currently blocking the trail."

Monument staff is still assessing the extent of the damage caused by the multiple slides, the superintendent said. Rangers will issue citations to anyone who violates the closure order.

The 4 ¼-mile Jones Hole Trail connects the hatchery with the Green River. It is popular with anglers due to its access to Jones Hole Creek, Risser said.

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