As no doubt many of you have heard already, a massive storm and wind event rolled through the Wind River Range on Monday. Although most of the projected snow hit the east side of the range, the wind that followed the storm downed hundred of trees across trails below treeline. Though the extent of the damage is still being evaluated, its clear so far that many of the major trailheads in the Winds have been affected.
As many have also noticed, the big storm has pushed in the cooler fall weather. Expect mountain temperatures up high to reach the 60s during the day, with lows in the mid to high 20s.
And now onto what we do know, based on what we’ve heard from eyes on the ground:
Green River Lakes has hundreds of trees down, starting from the newly renovated bridge over Clear Creek, up to, and possibly beyond, Beaver Park.
New Fork Lakes is one of the only trailheads not severely affected by the storm. Expect a few downed trees over the New Fork Canyon Trail and clear trails up the Doubletop Mountain Trail. Currently, New Fork Lakes trailhead is your best bet for accessing the mountains in the northern part of the range.
Spring Creek has yet to be determined. Expect downed trees up to Glimpse Lake and possibly father.
Elkhart Park has been severely affected, and the trail has been covered completely in many places. Expect downed trees from the trailhead and past Hobbs Lake leading to Seneca Lake.
Scab Creek trailhead was affected quite severely as well. However, Tip Top Search and Rescue cut many trees low in order to perform a rescue for a stranded horse packing group. You should still expect downed timber, but low enough to make hiking possible.
Big Sandy Opening was also severely affected. The Forest Service has cleared the road leading in but expect lots of downed trees in the 6 miles leading to Big Sandy Lake.
Remember that the wind may have dislodged other loose trees that may be standing precariously or leaning on other downed trees. Use caution and common sense when negotiating the newly fallen deadfall.