Christmas Meadows to Ryder Lake

graywolf

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Oct 6, 2015
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I will be driving up from New Mexico arriving at Christmas Meadows on Sunday June 26. A friend and I, along with our 2 dogs, are planning on backpacking to Ryder Lake and setting up base camp. From there we will do some day hikes and fly fishing. Then we will hike out on Friday July 1. My questions are, will there likely be snow and can we expect to see crowds even though it will not be over a weekend? Thanks in advance for any advice.
 
High peaks in the vicinity will have snow patches, but the Stillwater Fork is snow-free. You might have a few remaining patches of snow in the lake basin, but nothing serious.

As for crowds, unless you come across a group of scouts, I wouldn't worry about it.
 
i was just at christmas meadows - no snow and wildflowers are starting to bloom. bugs were starting to become an issue
 
I had stayed at Christmas Meadows on a Monday night in July of last year and backpacked up to Kermsuh Lake the following day. A nearby scout camp was using Christmas Meadows as an overnight staging area for scout troops leaving for and returning from backpacking trips up to Ryder Lake or Amethyst. For some reason, campground management was allowing the BSA get away with exceeding the 8 person limit for occupying a single sized campsite. I believe this was going on throughout the summer. If that situation is continuing this summer, you're just about guaranteed to have some scouts around. I hope your experience is better than mine was. The scout troop I had to contend with at Christmas Meadows and on the trail were particularly rude. Lousy leadership.
 
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