Trailhead Conditions Report 5/20/2018

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The high mountains are still heavily blanketed with snow. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t hiking and camping to be had at lower elevation trails and trailheads. Below 8500 feet, roads and trails around Pinedale are open and in good shape. There’s not much standing water due to below-average snowfalls here in the valley. Above 9000 feet, the Wind River Range stands at just over 100% of normal for total snowfall. At this point in time, we are on track for having a nice, lengthy summer.

Green River Lakes Trailhead: Getting to the trailhead is the easiest I’ve ever seen for this time of year. Nearly bone-dry roads all the way to the trailhead, with no snow on the trails in the valley itself. Getting into Clear Creek Canyon is possible, and the snow has retreated up higher than that. Be aware that the bridge crossing Clear Creek (going towards Slide Lake) washed out during runoff last year, and the Forest Service has no intention of repairing it.

New Fork Lake Trailhead: It is possible to drive to the campground and trailhead on nearly dry roads. However, the trail itself will be muddy for some time, at least until after runoff.

Elkhart Park Trailhead: It is not possible to drive to the trailhead as of the writing of this conditions report. Given another two weeks and sunny, warm weather, this could change. However, be aware that because of how treed-in the initial approach is out of the trailhead, the trail does not become hike-able until sometime in late-June. Because of the high-use nature of this trailhead, please be respectful of the trail and do not cause unneeded erosion.

Boulder Lake Trailhead: Completely dry drive in to the trailhead and campground. Blueberry Lake and Lovatt Lake are both accessible on dry, snow-free trails. The trail up Boulder Creek is open for about 2 miles before large snow drifts will be encountered.

Big Sandy Trailhead: At the Lander Cutoff Rd. and Big Sandy Rd. junction, motorists will encounter snow still blocking the way to the trailhead. Historically, even when this snow is gone, the meadow immediately following stays flooded until runoff subsides. This unfortunately blocks access to the trailhead. Extensive road maintenance was done to this section of road to try and divert the water towards Big Sandy Creek, but this meadow still stays quite wet and muddy. Please understand the high-use nature of this road and respect the condition of the road so that many may continue to use it.

Overall, conditions for this time of year are ahead of schedule for getting into the mountains. With warm weather and rain comes mountain access. The staff at the Great Outdoor Shop will continue to monitor conditions in the mountains and update you with what we find. If you have any questions about specific trails, need some trip planning help, or have gear questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call at (307) 367-2440. We carry a shop full of quality gear to make your mountain experience as comfortable and worry-free as possible, and it would be our pleasure to help you make your next Wind Rivers jaunt one you will never forget!