Early Winter Day Hike to Packard Lake Plus Murdock Fire Recon

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Perry

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Last November I had an opportunity to get onto the Uinta Highline trail in November. Pretty usual that the Mirror Lake Highway was still open. I picked Packard Lake as a destination for the day and arrived early on a Saturday morning. There was only three or four inches of soft snow on the trail making foot travel nice. No need to for snowshoes or spikes.

Here's a video of the day if you would like to follow along with me or skip it and read on.



I had heard reports that the Murdock fire had burned all the way up to Scudder Lake so I was curious to see how much damage had occurred. The fire definitely reached that area.

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The burn was pretty extensive north and east of Scudder. Many downed trees made locating the snow covered trail difficult in many places. The burn was pretty complete.

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Board walks and bridges were pretty much gone only leaving charred remnants and piles of nails.

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Arrived at ice covered Packard Lake which presented an impressive view of Mount Agassiz looming in the distance.

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Had lunch a few yards south of Packard Lake where I spent way too much time staring at this fantastic view of the Duchesne River drainage.

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Back through the Grave Yard on the way back to the trail head.

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Some nice evening light on the way out of the area.


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Ugly

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Watched most of the video too... Interesting to see more of what this looked like, and interested to see how it looks later this summer. Looks like lots of trailwork to do too.

Glad to see this as a trip report!
 

Perry

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Watched most of the video too... Interesting to see more of what this looked like, and interested to see how it looks later this summer. Looks like lots of trailwork to do too.

Glad to see this as a trip report!
Yeah I’m hoping the ground cover can make a quick recovery but it’s going to be open and bare as far as a tree canopy goes for some years.


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Titans

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uh.... @Perry - I had to take a couple of deep breath during the video, so sad to see all the devastation. Thanks for sharing.
 

Artemus

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Perry!
Great TR but you caught me out running through the TR hoping you walked it TODAY! I had to force my eyes to read the words Last November ! Dang. When do you expect we can walk it with only 3-4" in 2019?

Thanks bud.
 

Perry

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Perry!
Great TR but you caught me out running through the TR hoping you walked it TODAY! I had to force my eyes to read the words Last November ! Dang. When do you expect we can walk it with only 3-4" in 2019?

Thanks bud.
I fear its gonna be a while this year! (sigh)
 

DrNed

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interested to see how it looks later this summer.
Me too.

I've got two planned hikes through this stretch in July & August. It's usually not a favorite,
but if there is limited tree cover it might provide for some better views and better hiking.

@Perry I was there over Labor Day Weekend, great weather and no snow and I still lost the trail
2x so I can only imagine what doing it in the snow was like.
 

Dave

Broadcaster, formerly "ashergrey"
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Thanks for the view of the fire aftermath. Having hiked through that trail section while finishing the Highline, and having watched the fire burn through that area in real time, I have a different perspective than some others here. I don't see devastation. On the contrary. This was a good burn. Good for the forest ecosystem, good for views along the trail, no real loss of property and no loss of human life. The fire's extent was not particularly wide, all things considered.
 

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