Wind River Blowdowns Situtation...

eobie

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May 2, 2021
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6
Hey all.. new here!

My buddy and I planned a trip out to the Wind River Range the first and second week of July. Already bought plane tickets. Today I discovered the massive wind storm that hit this past September that has left many of the trails impassable.

We planned on doing this trail first. https://www.hikingproject.com/trail/7096678/summit-lake-loop

Anyone have any knowledge if these trails have been cleared?

Thanks in advance for any info!

Ed
 

LarryBoy

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Jan 4, 2015
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Yeah early July is still on the front edge of the trailwork season. Thankfully the lower, densely wooded areas (e.g. where wind damage is most consequential) should be melted out by then and work will have commenced. Unfortunately, Bridger-Teton NF doesn't publish trail regular trail condition reports. They did publish the below doc about 2.5 weeks after the storm, but there were still a few weeks of decent weather after this report was written (though at that point all the conservation corps volunteer contracts have expired so progress is slower).


Your best bet, honestly, is to call the Pinedale Ranger District and ask about trail conditions. Not only can they tell you what trails were cleared last fall, but they can tell you what the clearance schedule looks like for 2021 - e.g. what trails they'll be working on first. I'm sure they'll be cagey with their answers, but be persistent and you can probably find out the information you need. Just be prepared to change gears and hike a different route in the range if your preferred one isn't available.
 

eobie

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May 2, 2021
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Yeah early July is still on the front edge of the trailwork season. Thankfully the lower, densely wooded areas (e.g. where wind damage is most consequential) should be melted out by then and work will have commenced. Unfortunately, Bridger-Teton NF doesn't publish trail regular trail condition reports. They did publish the below doc about 2.5 weeks after the storm, but there were still a few weeks of decent weather after this report was written (though at that point all the conservation corps volunteer contracts have expired so progress is slower).


Your best bet, honestly, is to call the Pinedale Ranger District and ask about trail conditions. Not only can they tell you what trails were cleared last fall, but they can tell you what the clearance schedule looks like for 2021 - e.g. what trails they'll be working on first. I'm sure they'll be cagey with their answers, but be persistent and you can probably find out the information you need. Just be prepared to change gears and hike a different route in the range if your preferred one isn't available.

Thank you. I’m going to give the Pinedale Ranger Station a call tomorrow. I actually tried to call them earlier today but didn’t get an answer.

We are fully able to change gears. Thought about staying the night in a motel on arrival and hit up the outdoor store in the AM for some trail reports and then just pick one and go, haha.

I’ll follow up with whatever info I get just in case someone else is in the same predicament.
 

Bob

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East side was not affected like the west side...
 

eobie

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May 2, 2021
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East side was not affected like the west side...

this is the west side, no?

you have any west side locations to recommend?


Edit: Just realized I may have misunderstood. Did you mean the east side of the loop? I was thinking the same since there appears to be less vegetation.
 
Last edited:

OldBill

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I'd be surprised if Pine Creek is cleared. Pole Ck and Seneca L trails were among first to be cleared due to high usage. (I'd also be surprised if Roaring Fk will have been cleared near the Green River Lakes by late summer.) You can also call the Great Outdoor Shop for info. We went in via Scab Ck right after the storm and it wasn't bad, even though no clearing had been done. Could loop through Middle Fk and/or Bonneville Basin, Europe Canyon.

In and Around the Winds, Sept 2020
 

eobie

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I'd be surprised if Pine Creek is cleared. Pole Ck and Seneca L trails were among first to be cleared due to high usage. (I'd also be surprised if Roaring Fk will have been cleared near the Green River Lakes by late summer.) You can also call the Great Outdoor Shop for info. We went in via Scab Ck right after the storm and it wasn't bad, even though no clearing had been done. Could loop through Middle Fk and/or Bonneville Basin, Europe Canyon.

In and Around the Winds, Sept 2020


Thanks for the info. Your thread has me even more excited now, haha! Going to call the forest district first and then the Great Outdoor Shop. I'm east coast so I gotta wait till they open... :)
 

Bob

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this is the west side, no?

you have any west side locations to recommend?


Edit: Just realized I may have misunderstood. Did you mean the east side of the loop? I was thinking the same since there appears to be less vegetation.
East side of the entire mountain range .... Specifically where I was in Dinwoody out or Torrey trail head
 

eobie

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May 2, 2021
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Some info... just got off the phone with the Pinedale Ranger District. Good news, all that trail has been cleared. She said the only part that hasn't been clear, is a portion of that trail that has never been maintained. She said the last 2.5 miles of the loop (if you were doing it counter-clockwise) is unmaintained, and any blow down in that area will remain. She said to do and in and out... or to do a different loop if a loop is what we wanted. She suggested going in counter clockwise, hitting up island lake, then south to Cooks lakes, and then finally west toward the trailhead we entered in at. The loop is a bit smaller (only 25 miles).

She also said that when we arrive to simply reach out to them and they could also give us other ideas. Very nice people and very informative.
 

OldBill

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Not surprised. Pine Creek was tough before the storm (same with upper Roaring Fk). I do believe it was maintained not that long ago. Then again, I'm old.

You miss Elbow L which is nice country. The loop you posted doesn't specifically hit Titcomb, but assume you are doing that. Depending on what else you are doing in the 2 weeks, could go N through Shannon, over Knapsack, into Titcomb, off-trail to Wall L, down to Cook and back on Pole Ck. First/second wk in July might have a lot of snow still on Knapsack.
 

eobie

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May 2, 2021
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Not surprised. Pine Creek was tough before the storm (same with upper Roaring Fk). I do believe it was maintained not that long ago. Then again, I'm old.

You miss Elbow L which is nice country. The loop you posted doesn't specifically hit Titcomb, but assume you are doing that. Depending on what else you are doing in the 2 weeks, could go N through Shannon, over Knapsack, into Titcomb, off-trail to Wall L, down to Cook and back on Pole Ck. First/second wk in July might have a lot of snow still on Knapsack.

Not sure the exact route yet. So far in Basecamp I drew a route going up to Island Lake, to the basin, back down to Cooks and then back out and it's right around 37 miles. I live at sea level so I'm planning what I def want to do, and then will adjust once I'm there and my body acclimates to altitude.
 

Stickerbumper

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May 16, 2017
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The trail from Crow's Nest Lookout was abandoned as of July 2018. Back then it was a partial bushwhack and sometimes hard to follow, so it's probably in terrible shape after the big storm last year. The same was true for the section between Little Trapper Lake and Prospector Lake, though that was not quite as bad.

I'm also not sure if they maintain the bridge (which could have been damaged during the storm). You defenitly want to make sure that crossing still exists, because there is no way you wade thru that river.
 
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Diane Greer

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Nov 28, 2013
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I find the trail conditions page on the Great Outdoor Shop (located in Pinedale) very useful for getting the latest info on trail conditions in the Winds:


If you look back at the prior reports, especially right after the blow down in Sept 2020,, you will see which trails the forest service and others started to clear in the fall and how far they progressed.
 

Mike K

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Jul 6, 2012
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@Diane Greer , good tip to look at those prior reports. It helped me know that a lot of it has been cleared for Scab Creek.

@OldBill , your information was also helpful to know that Scab Creek trail was usable shortly after the storm.

I'm thinking about a trip from that trail head in the coming weeks. Thanks you two (and others)!
 
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