Because of stranger-than-average weather patterns over the past two weeks, we’re still seeing quite a bit of snow left above 10,000 ft. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday saw rain down low and sporadic snow and sleet up high in the mountains. The snow up high kept temperatures low and added to the snowpack already in place. However, warmer weather in the near forecast may start to release some of the snow left up high. The Upper Green River valley and surrounding areas are still sitting on snowpack that’s around 200% of average.
Green River Lakes trailhead is currently unreachable. The road has washed out below the campground, preventing access to the trailhead. Otherwise, the snowline has receded up to Slide Lake and has held steady there for the past week or so. The Highline trail is accessible to Three Forks Park, but river crossings are high, swift, and should not be attempted without bridge access.
Elkhart Park’s Pole Creek trailhead is open all the way up to the parking lot. Many people have been pushing all the way to Photographer’s Point, but hitting snow very soon after leaving the trailhead. As was the case last week, skis and snowshoes are still recommended if going out of Elkhart.
The Pine Creek Canyon trailhead out of Elkhart Park is open as of the last few days. The hike down to Long Lake and up the Pine Creek Trail is open and snow-free. Glimpse Lake is also open.
Big Sandy Opening is accessible as of today. Unfortunately, the road may not be open for long because of flooding from Dutch Joe Creek and Big Sandy River. Big Sandy road will stay open, however, up to Forest Service Road 856, the road to Sedgewick Meadows trailhead.
The snow line continues to hover around 10,000 ft. Flooding down lower in the major valleys around Pinedale has closed off some of the major trailheads. Skis and snowshoes continue to be the easiest way to get around in the high country. Because of how wildly the temperatures have fluctuated over the past few weeks, it can feel like the snow may never melt. But slowly and surely, the high peaks are opening up and we will be there before we know it.
As always, be aware that high water poses risks. Because of the state of the above-average winter we had, many river crossings that are open may be unsafe, and some bridges that are usually crossable this time of year may be underwater. Practice backcountry safety at all times. Due to the excess water, riverbeds are not reliable-what once was a shallow crossing may now be several feet deep due to underwater shifting. Water temperatures are very cold, and the currents are very swift. Do not attempt a crossing if you are uncertain as to it’s depth.
If you have any questions about conditions or want to chat about a trip you had coming up soon, feel free to give us a call at (307) 367-2440 or shoot us an email at [email protected]. We have boots on the ground and always have the most up-to-date conditions reports this side of the Divide.
Link to Wyoming SNOTEL data: