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Rock slide closes monument trail
December 24, 2015 Jerry Purvis   

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Courtesy photo A rock slide caused extensive damage to the upper and lower parts of the hiking trail at Scotts Bluff National Monument and remains closed until further notice.

A rock slide the night of Dec. 14 has closed the Saddle Rock Trail at Scotts Bluff National Monument until further notice.

Bob Manasek, the monument’s Resource Management Specialist, said the slide was reported by a visitor.

The damage was probably caused by continuous freezing and thawing on the south side of the monument.

“The slide is pretty substantial,” Manasek said. “It’s not just a cleanup operation on the lower portion of the trail because the rockslide also undercut a portion of the trail above it. We need to call in an expert to examine the slide and determine what has to be done.”

An expert could determine whether the trail can be reopened after cleanup, or if more extensive repairs will be needed.

“All we know now is that it’s too risky to let people walk on that part of the trail because it could collapse,” Manasek said.

The slide is above Scott Springs on the Saddle Rock Trail and can be seen from the highway in front of the monument.
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