The past few days has brought some much needed moisture to the Winds; a low snow year and hotter-than-average temps left us with a very early deficit of water to draw from. Unfortunately this deficit leaves the Mountain West in a precarious position in terms of wildfire risk, and at a very early point in our summer season.
Although the Forest Service has not yet issued a fire ban for the Bridger-Teton National Forest, we would ask that you use caution when choosing to start an open fire. Only a spark is needed to start a blaze of irreversible damage. Don’t be the reason that the Winds experiences the worst fire it’s seen in known history.
The warmer weather is set to ramp back up on Tuesday with some small bouts of rain forecasted over the next few days. Remember that afternoon thunderstorms are very common in the Summer, almost expected. Keep this in mind if hiking or climbing peaks. Many times these storms move in without warning, so it’s important to keep an eye on your surroundings. The mountains are beautiful until things go south.
Green River Lakes has been open to some time, though it seems that the Highline Trail is open from Green River Lakes to Elkhart and Spring Creek. Keep in mind that the blowdown past Trail Park will still be an issue that is still being dealt with; once you get above tree-line the blowdown is nonexistent.
Spring Creek Park is dealing with substantial blowdown just past Glimpse Lake all the way to Summit Lake. Many of the trails out of Spring Creek are affected to the point where hiking is not possible. Crows Nest Trail is in bad shape and will not be maintained.
Elkhart Park, backpackers are making it to Island Lake and in to Titcomb Basin. In Titcomb Basin, expect snow on the trail and muddy/wet conditions. There is plenty of open camping in the Basin. Indian Basin is open enough for camping and an ascent of Fremont. Be aware of snow on the approach and patches on the ascent ridge.
Boulder Lake trailhead has been open and hikeable for quite some time. Lake Vera is accessible, but be aware that the blowdown will be substantial at that elevation (~9800 ft).
At Scab Creek trailhead, expect to make it to the Highline Trail. At this point, a traverse of the Highline Trail in the southern portion of the range is possible.
Out of Big Sandy Opening, the trail is passable to Shadow Lake, although the trail is rerouted in MANY places and will not follow the trail on the map. Past that, the East Fork is accessible. The Fremont trail has been cleared past Mirror Lake to Dad’s Lake.
The high country is OPEN! It seems that the backpacking season in the Wind Rivers has officially begun.
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 9PM. You can reach us by phone (307) 367-2440. Because of the large volume of itinerary questions we’ve been receiving lately, we prefer that you call so that we can get to the questions that arise.