Wind Rivers: Clear Lake, Faler Lake and Roaring Fork

alpineboreas

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Aug 12, 2018
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Wondering if anyone has been up to Clear Lake, Faler Lake or Roaring Fork to the top of the pass this year and the conditions of the pathways. Mostly how bad is the blow down past the natural bridge up to Clear Lake?
 

Bob

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Mar 3, 2013
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Past natural bridge has always been bad.....
 

alpineboreas

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Aug 12, 2018
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Thanks Bob! We went up there in 2018, but word has it there was a bad blow down last year and it went from bad to worse...
 

OldBill

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Aug 18, 2015
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Tried it twice before last year's event. Decided I didn't like torture or the possibility of being impaled on a pine shard.

Roaring Fk been unmaintained for years but pretty decent trail existed before last year. Just got off call with Pinedale FS. Said to expect significant blowdown. Similar to what was on CDT before clearing.
 

seekinglost

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Jun 18, 2015
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I have done a LOT of bushwhacking, and the route above Clear Creek to Faler Lake was TERRIBLE in August 2021. Downright terrible. In some spots, there are multiple layers of blowdowns, at the 1ft, 3ft, 5ft levels, to weave and climb through. I wish I had my photos with me to post. We came down Faler to Clear Lake, and when we reached the shoreline, was hoping for some sort of trail around the lake to avoid the thick blowdowns on steep terrain. However, there was nothing. There are cliffs along the shoreline too, that force you to climb 200+ ft up and over them to continue making progress. It's best to keep a higher route above the shoreline. Coming down from Faler Lake, we stayed on the east side of the creek for quite some time, before crossing over to the west side. In retrospect, we should have crossed the creek much higher up. Crossing it farther downstream was difficult. The whole route was a real pain, it took us something like 8 hours to go from Faler lake to the Natural Bridge. Just about the only viable campsite we saw the entire way was somewhat near the outlet of Clear Lake on the east side.
 

Janice

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Dec 5, 2017
Messages
497
I have done a LOT of bushwhacking, and the route above Clear Creek to Faler Lake was TERRIBLE in August 2021. Downright terrible. In some spots, there are multiple layers of blowdowns, at the 1ft, 3ft, 5ft levels, to weave and climb through. I wish I had my photos with me to post. We came down Faler to Clear Lake, and when we reached the shoreline, was hoping for some sort of trail around the lake to avoid the thick blowdowns on steep terrain. However, there was nothing. There are cliffs along the shoreline too, that force you to climb 200+ ft up and over them to continue making progress. It's best to keep a higher route above the shoreline. Coming down from Faler Lake, we stayed on the east side of the creek for quite some time, before crossing over to the west side. In retrospect, we should have crossed the creek much higher up. Crossing it farther downstream was difficult. The whole route was a real pain, it took us something like 8 hours to go from Faler lake to the Natural Bridge. Just about the only viable campsite we saw the entire way was somewhat near the outlet of Clear Lake on the east side.
Sounds like that was quite a challenge. I just looked at your website and saw your list of great trips, including a bunch near me. (Well, relatively near - not out West or East.) Am I correct in guessing you're a fellow Michigander?
 

seekinglost

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Jun 18, 2015
Messages
98
Sounds like that was quite a challenge. I just looked at your website and saw your list of great trips, including a bunch near me. (Well, relatively near - not out West or East.) Am I correct in guessing you're a fellow Michigander?
You guessed it, Michigander. I'm sure some of the lesser known MI hikes give that away, not many people travel to MI for the High Country Pathway, haha. such. These days though, trying to distance myself from the cold and grey Michigan winters. Built a camper van earlier this year and will be spending my first winter in the southwest :)
 

Janice

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Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
497
You guessed it, Michigander. I'm sure some of the lesser known MI hikes give that away, not many people travel to MI for the High Country Pathway, haha. such. These days though, trying to distance myself from the cold and grey Michigan winters. Built a camper van earlier this year and will be spending my first winter in the southwest :)
We love Nordhouse and others on your list.

It will be so nice for you to see blue skies this winter. I don't mind the cold, and I really enjoy the snow. But the grey skies here in SE Michigan are such a downer - ugh... Have a great time in the southwest!
 
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