JACKSON, WY— In light of a handful of national news outlets sensationalizing the closure at Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point, Grand Teton National Park officials want to set the record straight:
The park is very much open. Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point are the only areas that remain closed as a result of a crack in a rock buttress above Hidden Falls viewing point. Park officials are monitoring any growth or movement in the crack and making sure the rock won’t come loose and fall onto the highly-trafficked Hidden Falls viewing area.
Still, Public Affairs Officer Denise Germann said the closed area is a “very small part of the park.” The rest of the park, even the rest of the Jenny Lake area, is still open.
Some national news outlets, including Fox News and the UK’s Daily Mail, have taken creative liberties with the natural phenomenon, suggesting that it is perhaps related to the supervolcano that is Yellowstone. Daily Mail called the closure “urgent,” noting that Grand Teton National Park is just 60 miles from the “Supervolcano” and “scientists are working to better understand Yellowstone in hopes of predicting its next eruption”—as if the closure and the caldera are related.
But the United States Geological Survey, USGS, has responded to the articles, assuring the public that the rock fissure does not, in fact, have anything to do with volcanic activity.
Yellowstone is still not likely to erupt anytime soon, and rock fissures are a common occurrence in the “naturally dynamic environment of mountains,” GTNP said in a press release.
“We’re just exercising an abundance of caution,” Germann said. “Human safety is our priority.”
The Hidden Falls Viewing area will remain closed while park officials and scientists complete a risk assessment. But there’s no need to reschedule or cancel any visits to Grand Teton National Park, Germann says. There’s still plenty of park to safely enjoy.
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