Big Sandy & Elkhart current conditions
View of Fremont Peak in the Wind River Mountains from Photographer's Point on Monday, July 5th. Photo by Dave Bell.
Snow above about 12,000 feet, mosquitoes
by Dawn Ballou
July 5, 2005
Here is a report on current conditions for the high country from Elkhart Park (middle Wind River Range) and Big Sandy (southern Wind River Range/Cirque of the Towers) areas, as of Monday, July 5th. The Big Sandy area report comes courtesy of the folks at Big Sandy Lodge, located near the trailhead. The Elkhart Park report comes from Dave Bell who just hiked the trail to Photographer’s Point on Monday, July 5th.
Big Sandy/CDT/Jackass Pass/Cirque of the Towers:
Big Sandy Lodge had hikers who went up to North Lake two days ago. Got that far, but beyond that had too much snow to continue on. Snow level is about 12,000 feet, which means that there is still snow on Jackass Pass and over into the Cirque of the Towers and on the high mountain tops. Figure another couple of weeks yet to get over Jackass Pass and rock climb without dealing with snow.
The Forest Service has cleared downfall from the trails to Dad’s Lake. Trails to Big Sandy, Clear Lake and Black Joe Lakes are clear now. Trails are mostly dry, with some wet spots where it is low or places that don’t get a lot of sun. "The fishing is good! Skeeters are bad! No sign of bears."
They had some Continental Divide Trail (CDT) hikers pass through on their way north last weekend. They reported the trail was pretty good for the most part, except a lot of downfall in some places.
Big Sandy Lodge reminds CDT hikers who want to use them for a drop-off/pickup point that their packages must be sent to arrive 2 WEEKS prior to the intended hiker’s arrival date. Big Sandy Lodge is in the remote high country. Mail is delivered to Rock Springs and must be driven from there up to the lodge in the mountains, which is a once a week trip.
Big Sandy Lodge also mentioned they are in need of help at the lodge. They need help for cabin cleaning, kitchen help and for horse trips. Someone who is willing/able to do all of this would be great. This is a great opportunity for anyone who loves the outdoors, is friendly and enjoys meeting new people, and would like to work the summer at a beautiful and historic remote guest lodge. Note that there is no electricity or hardline phone at the lodge. You won't be able to get online from there to check your e-mail, and you have to drive down the road a ways to get to a place where a cell phone will get reception. The nearest town is many miles away. Facilities are rustic but quite comfortable. If that sounds like a dream-come-true job to you, call or e-mail them for more information. (Tell them you read about the job here on Pinedale Online so they know how you heard about it.) More info on the web: www.big-sandy-lodge.com
Elkhart Park/Photographer’s Point:
"The trail is mostly dry, but has significant patches of mud, in the usual places. The trail crew has been through so the trail is clear of downfall. There is some snow, but nothing significant--that is not a problem. I would expect that there is probably significant snow on north facing slopes above Eklund Lake and towards Hobbs. Can't really speak about above that level, but would expect considerable snow. Down low--parking lot to +350 vertical feet, lots of mosquitoes. Above that and on to Photographer’s Point, not a problem. They just haven't gotten there yet. All the depressions, tarns and basins are FULL of water. It is incredible to see how much water is up there. I experienced this same thing on the Scab Cr Trail several weeks ago. Could not believe how much water is being held in all the low places. The skeeters are gonna be really something in a couple of weeks--man o man." – Dave Bell, July 5, 2005. Dave Bell Scenic Photo Gallery