Snow in the Wind River Range is melting rapidly, and the rivers have stabilized. The snowline is sitting at approximately 9700 – 9800 ft. The warm temperatures and cloudless days continue to contribute to getting into the mountains way ahead of schedule. Not much has changed in the past week, except the snowline rising.
Gunsight Pass/Union Pass: Finally open! The gauging station at gunsight pass reads zero inches at 9800 feet. Be aware that it will be very muddy up Union Pass Road, even more so as you drop off the backside towards Dubois. Remember that rutting up the road doesn’t help anyone and impairs access in the long-run.
Green River Lakes: River and creeks are still ripping, but snow has retreated onto the high peaks and out of the valleys. Hiking past Three Forks Park is possible, and hiking up to Porcupine Pass is possible, but on some snow.
New Fork Lake: Snow in the canyon has retreated all the way up the rim of the canyon, and getting to the Hidden Lakes area is possible, on snow. The higher lakes are melting off quickly.
Spring Creek Park: It is now possible to get all the way to Spring Creek Park using the Forest Service road. Reports have come in of hikers getting to Trapper Lake as early as three days ago. Expect trails and roads to be muddy.
Elkhart Park: Photographer’s Point is accessible on mostly snow-free trails; however, the trail is muddy. Past Photographer’s point there is still 2-3 feet of snow covering the trail. If going above 9700 feet, expect to be camping on snow. Titcomb Basin is completely buried under snow and will be for a few weeks longer.
Boulder Lake: The trails are melted out and accessible and getting near Lake Victor is certainly possible on a little bit of snow.
Scab Creek: The trailhead is open, and trails are melted off to Rainbow Lake.
Big Sandy Opening: The trail to Big Sandy Lake is free of snow. Once past the first switchbacks, expect to encounter snow for the next week or two. The Cirque of the Towers itself will be filled with snow still, as will the Deep Lake area. Lots of dry rock for climbers willing to hoof it back there. Lots of bugs around the lakes!
We can see the snowline inching its way higher and higher as each week comes and goes. It will still be a few weeks before the true high country will be accessible to hikers and climbers on dry trails. That said, we are still ahead of schedule. The bugs are a problem just about everywhere, where the water is warming enough for them to hatch and become active. At Higher elevations, the water is simply too cold (or frozen) for any hatches to take place. That’s good news but will change very rapidly as the snow above 10,000 feet thins.
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!