The weather forecast for the next week is sunny with highs in the 70s – it seems like summer may finally be here! The official NOAA weather forecast in Wyoming for the month of June is “dry and sunny”; that’s great news for mountain access. As river levels in the valley continue to rise, snow levels in the high country slowly subside. The snowline is hovering around 9400-9500 ft. Most all trailheads are open and in hiking condition, the only exception being Union Pass which is closed to through-traffic because of snow. A few updates on trail conditions:
Union Pass/Gunsight Pass: The gauging station for Gunsight Pass still reads just over a foot of snow (13 in) at 9800 ft. Cyclists and through-hikers trying to get over will most definitely encounter large snow drifts at the top, with mud quickly following once the snow melts.
Green River Lakes: The trail is open and clear of snow all the way to Three Forks Park. The trail is dry and in great condition for this time of year. Be aware of creek crossings, which may give hikers trouble. The recent rain has turned the road leading to the trailhead into a bit of a mud pit. That is expected to dry out soon with the warm weather.
New Fork Lake: The trail continues to be muddy, but the snow level in the valley itself has retreated almost all the way up to the rim. As the lake fills up, be aware that water will begin to back up the canyon and the trail will stay wet for some time.
Spring Creek Park: The road to Spring Creek Park is snow-free, but very muddy. It’s ill-advised to drive all the way to the end of the road. The trail itself is clear a ways past Spring Creek Park.
Elkhart Park: The snow has retreated up the trail about half a mile, and open areas such as Miller Park are showing bare patches of ground. The lakes around 9400-9800 ft are beginning to ice off around the edges and inlets and outlets are running with spring snow-melt.
Boulder Creek: The trail is open and free of snow to Ed’s Lake. Blueberry Lake Trail is open and free of snow until Christine Lake. Trails are wet, but passable.
Scab Creek: The trailhead is open.
Big Sandy Opening: The trailhead is open, and a shop employee was able to get to Big Sandy Lake without encountering too much snow. The area around Big Sandy Lake is snow-free, but hiking over Jackass Pass or towards Deep Lake area, hikers will quickly encounter snow blocking the trail.
As was mentioned in the last trail conditions update, we are looking to be about two weeks ahead of schedule in terms of hiking, backpacking and climbing in the mountains. Above 10,000 ft, expect another two to two-and-a-half weeks before being somewhat accessible. Creek crossings will continue to be a hazard, and, drum roll… THE BUGS! Get your bug spray and head nets out.
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. Be sure to tag us in your Wind Rivers’ adventures on Instagram, @greatoutdoorshop. 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!