The cruddy spring weather seems to want to linger, even as we inch our way towards late-spring and early-summer. Above 9,800 feet, 6-12 inches fell over the last few days, keeping the high-country covered for a little longer. Believe me when I say that the warmer weather promised to us for the next few days is being looked forward to! On a high note, the terrain below 9700 feet is mostly melted out from winter. The mud, is another story. Although all the trailheads on our side of the divide are open, expect mud and wet trails wherever you decide to take a hike this Memorial Day weekend.
The campgrounds have opened as well and the steady flow of campers, vans and RVs signal the start of another summer season. With the next few days of sunny weather, the BLM and Forest Service land around the valley will dry out and dispersed camping will be available as well.
Another sign of spring hasn’t yet reared its head – the mosquitoes. Thankfully, the night-time lows have kept the pesky bugs at bay, but they will be out and about in the next few weeks. Be sure to pack your bug spray and head nets when you decide to venture into the mountains. It seems odd, but on the low snow years, the bugs seem to be the worst. Here’s to hoping this year will be an exception.
Although the big storm that hovered over the valley and mountains this past week kept the snowline at mostly the same place, expect the warm, sunny weather forecasted to push the snowline higher than it was before. The snow line is hovering around 9600-9700 feet. Below that, expect very muddy trails with the recent snow that’s melting. The highs in the mountains are looking to be in the high 50s, with lows in the 30s. In the valley, highs in the upper 60s; its going to be beautiful this weekend!
Forest Service trail crews are starting for the summer and continue to clear trails affected by last September’s wind event. The most affected trailhead, Big Sandy Opening, will take the most work with trail clearing, but has been cleared to Dad’s Lake. The owners and staff at Big Sandy Lodge continue to clear the V Trail and Meek’s Lake Trail. Be sure to stop by in a few days when they open the bar to grab a burger and a beer and thank them for their hard work!
Scab Creek is the other unknown in terms of downed tree damage to the trail. The Scab Creek Trail was cleared early on after the wind event to get horses out of the high country, but the trail was only cleared enough to get stock out of the mountains. There is much more cleanup that needs to be done to get the trail in 100% hiking shape again. Note that the trail is hike-able in its current state, you just may lose the trail in the more affected, treed sections of the trail.
New Fork Lakes continues to be the most accessible trailhead. Other than the mud and stream crossings, a trip to the upper canyon is within the realm of possibility and makes for an easy overnight trip. Be on the lookout for swift creek crossings. We’ve had some reports of downed trees about four miles in, that are over the trail but passable. Travel on the Doubletop Mountain Trail is possible to the top of the ridge.
Spring Creek Park is open, and the trail is hike-able to Glimpse Lake. Big thanks to Sublette Trails Association for helping clear the downed trees in that area!
Be on the look out for trees that have the potential to fall over. Especially when the ground finally thaws, some trees that were on the verge of coming down now don’t have the strong soil to keep them in place. And please report sections of downed trees to the Forest Service; this gives trail crews an idea of where to concentrate their resources.
As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any gear or itinerary questions regarding the Wind River Range or surrounding area. We’re open seven days a week, from 8AM to 6PM. You can reach us by phone (307) 367-2440 or send us an email, email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you!
Enjoy your Memorial Day and long weekend!