Just like that, peak backpacking season is upon us. The Winds’ last vestiges of snow are on their way out and most anywhere you’d want to go is accessible. The stream crossings are down from their spring run-off levels and the trails aren’t too muddy. The biggest issue now is the inescapable mosquito population, but that should start waning in a few weeks as nighttime temps drop back down near freezing. All factors considered, now through September is the perfect time to lace up your boots and explore the deepest areas of the range.
For you Gannett-goers, reports indicate the snow bridge is still intact and should be for another week or two. We are still in prime time for an ascent, but it will pass fast. If you are planning on an August (or later) ascent, don’t be surprised if you encounter bare rock (5.2YDS) where the snow bridge should be.
As a result of the slowing rate-of-change in the Winds, this will be my last “real” trail conditions report of the summer. If there are any major developments or weather events, I will post an update, but for now it is safe to assume most routes through the high country are good to go. It has been a real privilege putting together these reports over the last few months. Your questions, contributions, and feedback have allowed me to keep these write-ups in-depth and useful to the outdoor community, and meeting many of you in person has been so much fun, so a HUGE thank you for your support. If you have any specific questions moving forward, we are always happy to help you out directly; just give us a call at 307-367-2440, or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
One last time, here’s the latest on the trailheads:
Big Sandy Trailhead (9,085’) – Snow Depth: 0″
Big Sandy Trailhead is open. The trails are dry all the way into the Cirque of the Towers, where negligible snow is still holding around Lonesome Lake. The popular Cirque loop trails that take you over Texas, Washakie, and Haley Pass are ready, with only patches remaining at the highest elevations. The trail to Deep Lake is good to go. Snow is thinning out substantially on Temple Pass, so ascending/descending is possible.
Scab Creek Trailhead (8,200’) – Snow Depth: 0″
Scab Creek Trailhead is open. Trails are dry until you hit the Raid Lake/Dream Lake area. You can now connect Scab Creek to the Highline Trail, so any number of miles is possible.
Boulder Lake Trailhead (7,300’) – Snow Depth: 0″
Boulder Lake Trailhead is open and all trails are ready to hike.
Elkhart Park Trailhead (9,350’) – Snow Depth: 0″
Elkhart Park Trailhead is open. Long Lake Trail and Pole Creek Trail are both ready to hike. The trail into Titcomb Basin is still wet in places, but is fully accessible. Cook Lakes are now seeing visitors. Knapsack Col and other high passes in the area are still holding patchy snow, but nothing impassable. An ascent of Fremont Peak is possible with minimal snow crossing. These are the true depths of the Winds and they’re finally inviting us in.
Spring Creek Park Trailhead (8,200’) – Snow Depth: 0″
Spring Creek Park Trailhead is open. Glimpse Lake Trail has yet to be cleared of downed trees past Glimpse Lake (contact US Forest Service for information). Trapper Creek Trail is ready to hike all the way to its link-up with the Highline Trail.
New Fork Lakes Trailhead (7,900’) – Snow Depth: 0″
New Fork Lakes Trailhead is open and all trails are dry. Patchy snow may be encountered, but only in the highest, most shaded portions of trail, and shouldn’t present any issues.
Green River Lakes Trailhead (8,040’) – Snow Depth: 0″
Green River Lakes Trailhead is open. The Green River Lakes loop is ready to hike. Clear Creek Natural Bridge is accessible. Slide Lake is accessible and the creeks are more easily navigable now. Summit Lake, Peak Lake and beyond are accessible.
Shoulder season seemed to last forever this year, but we’re finally through it, so get out there, have some fun and stay safe. Until next time!
GOTCo, Pinedale Area Hiking/Fishing Shuttles
Recreate Responsibly, Friends of the Bridger-Teton
Bear Wise Wyoming, WY Fish & Game
Wyoming Fishing Regulations, WY Fish & Game