Snow and rain continue to fall on the Rockies above 10,000 feet, bringing the snowpack to about 110-130% of average. Overall, all trails below 9000 feet are snow free and hikeable, but be aware of muddy trails and high stream crossings as our temperatures inch up. Always check NOAA forecasts for the Pinedale area to get an idea of the weather we’re experiencing. Throughout May and June the weather has almost given us whiplash, and last night was very cold and windy. But! It’s now the first day of summer, so we’re optimistic that maybe, just maybe, the weather will even out a bit moving forward.
Head’s up: The mosquitos are starting, ( cue dramatic music: dun, dun, dunnnnnnnnn!) and as the snow continues to melt off, there’s a lot of standing water around, so be prepared with bug spray and headnets. Long sleeves and pants are recommended. The animals are also out and about, so remember to please give them plenty of space and respect their right to be wild out there. Be responsible with your food and campsites and carry bear spray always. Water crossings are rising and the currents are high and swift. Snow travel can be treacherous if you are not properly prepared, so think things through before you go out. We love our local Search and Rescue crew, but we also love people not putting these wonderful volunteers in harrowing, dangerous conditions that could have easily been avoided with a little research. Be safe-when in doubt, pick a new route.
Green River Lakes – The road to the lakes is open and clear of snow. The Highline Trail is clear to Three Forks Park, and the Porcupine Trail is accessible for about 7 miles. High country lakes such as Lozier Lakes are still frozen and the terrain is completely snow-covered with about 2 feet of snow. You absolutely cannot do the Lozier Lakes loop snow-free yet.
New Fork Lakes – The road to the trailhead is open and in good shape. The trail up the valley is hikeable, but muddy. Bugs will be bad down in the valley and in the willows-watch for moose! Both campgrounds are open.
Spring Creek Park – The road is open and in about as good of shape as it always is. Expect some boggy stuff in the trees and watch for mosquitos.
Elkhart Park Trailhead – The Pine Creek Canyon Trail is accessible to Long Lake, but the Pole Creek Trail is still holding quite a bit of snow. Sacred Rim is not accessible. There’s a full 2 feet of snow at Miller Park.
Boulder Lake Trailhead – The trail to Blueberry Lake is open, and the trail up Boulder Canyon is open to the confluence.
Scab Creek Trailhead – The road is passable and dry up to the campground, which is open, but no services are available. The trail is hikeable up to about 9000 feet. Scab Creek Buttress is dry and in good condition to climb.
Big Sandy Trailhead – Big Sandy is open and accessible. The trail toward Dad’s Lake is very snowy. Patchy snow for a couple miles, and then it gets about three feet deep around the halfway point to Fish Creek Park. On the river side of the trail, the trees are holding more snow than the Dad’s Lake side, but you still encounter full snow conditions pretty quickly. Watch for some muddy sections along the road. The bugs are thick at the trailhead/campground.
Be safe and enjoy! If we can help with any trip planning, please feel free to give us a shout anytime!
*cover-Gannett Peak on June 19. Photo courtesy of TipTop Search and Rescue.