Mount Whitney campground, road closed by earthquake

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Wednesday’s earthquake of 5.8 magnitude triggered several rockslides in the Whitney Portal area, causing closure of the road to the Mount Whitney trailhead and the campground there.

The campground was evacuated and will remain closed until further notice, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department said. Horseshoe Meadows Road, the access to the Cottonwood Creek campgrounds, was also closed.

Nobody was reported injured or missing after the quake. As of Wednesday evening, it was not known if there was any damage to the 11-mile trail to Mount Whitney’s summit.

Photos from the sheriff’s office show large rocks on the road and rubble near the parking lot. Cars in the lot were covered by a thick layer of dust.

The quake struck at 10:49 a.m. Wednesday. The epicenter was in Owens Lake, about 10 miles south of Lone Pine and 17 miles southeast of Whitney Portal. The U.S. Geological Survey’s Did You Feel It? website got reports from a wide area of California and Nevada, extending from Las Vegas to the Pacific coast and from Reno to Los Angeles.

The quake has been followed by about 30 aftershocks, the largest of them 4.6.