LONE PINE (CBS SF) — A 5.8 magnitude earthquake rattled Inyo County near the eastern Sierra Nevada town of Lone Pine Wednesday, sending tons of boulders and debris crashing down at the Whitney Portal camping area.

Thursday Update: Eastern Sierra Earthquake Sent Massive Boulders Crashing Onto Mt. Whitney Hiking Trails

The Into County Sheriff’s Department posted on Facebook that they have closed the popular camping spot.

“The campgrounds are being evacuated due to rockslide south of the main parking lot,” the post read. “No injuries were reported at this time… It is believed that this slide was triggered by the recent 5.8 earthquake near the Lone Pine area.”

However, they said it was “unclear at this time if the main Mt Whitney trail has been affected.” Deputies did post that Horseshoe Meadows Road was closed due to rocks and debris.

“I was in that parking lot when it happened,” Christine Defendi posted on Facebook along with a photo of the large dust cloud kicked up by the slide.

The Whitney Portal is the gateway to Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States and is the trailhead for the Mt. Whitney Trail.

The initial quake struck at 10:40 a.m. in a rural area of the Owens Valley Fault System, which is known to occasionally produce big quakes. The epicenter of the quake was near the town of Lone Pine and about 45 miles east of Mt. Whitney.

It has been followed by more than a dozen aftershocks ranging in magnitude from 4.6 to 2.5. On Monday night, the same area was struck by a 4.6-magnitude temblor.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries elsewhere. The quake was felt as far away as Bakersfield, Stockton and throughout the Central Valley.

The area is located between Sequoia National Park and Death Valley National Park, about 170 miles north of Los Angeles.

Comments (9)