Blowdown Trail Condition Update Sept. 25, 2020
by Pinedale Ranger District, Bridger-Teton National Forest
September 25, 2020
Date of incident: Monday, September 7, 2020
Incident: Massive wind event with gusts in excess of 60+mph throughout the Wind River Range, causing trees to cover roadways and trails. All main Forest roads have been cleared and you can drive to trailheads.
Trail report as of Friday, September 25, 2020:
Green River Lakes
• Lakeside Trail: has large trees down. Impassable to stock. Stock users use Highline Trail.
• Highline Trail south to Trail Creek Park (13 miles total): Cleared as of 9/21/2020
• Rocky Mountain Youth Corps crew logged about 4 miles of the Porcupine Trail.
New Fork Lake
• New Fork Trail to New Fork Park up to Palmer Lake and back down on Double Top Mountain Trail past Rainbow Lake to trailhead: Passable as of 09/11/2020
o Forest Service crews have not walked these trails, but this trail was not as significantly impacted as other locations. The outfitter cleared a few trees from this loop to report the trail was passable with stock.
Spring Creek Park
• Secondary information is that there are trees down, but passable to hikers to the Wilderness Boundary, about 2.5 miles. Then the trees increase to Glimpse Lake, another 1.5 miles. Completely impassable to hikers and stock from Glimpse Lake on. Report from 09/16/2020 o On 9/22/2020 the Forest Service Crew made it 1000 feet past the Wilderness Boundary, so about 2.5 miles of the trail to Trapper Lake is clear.
• Glimpse Lake Trail: Clear first 4 miles to Glimpse Lake as of 9/23/2020. Completely impassable to hikers and stock beyond Glimpse Lake.
• Trapper Lake Trail: Mostly used by outfitters and hunters. Cleared 3 miles from parking area on 09/24/2020.
• Pine Creek Trail (down to Long Lake): unknown.
• Pole Creek Trail: The first 4 miles of this trail to Photographer’s Point was completely obliterated. Green trees were blown over by their root wads and stacked 10 feet tall. Unable to even find the trail. From Photographer’s Point to Seneca Lake (6 additional miles) the trail is tree covered, but passable to hikers. Not recommended for stock.
o Forest Service has had crews working on the Pole Creek Trail since 09/14/2020
o Trail is clear about ˝ mile from Photographer’s Point as of /21/2020
o Since entering the Bridger Wilderness, progress has been about 1000 feet per day
▪ Crew of 5 Wilderness Rangers from the Pinedale Ranger District
▪ Additional 4-5 Jackson Ranger District Wilderness Rangers will be working on the Pole Creek Trail on 9/23 and 9/24 • Crews had a day off from work on the Pole Creek Trail on 09/22/2020. Jackson Trail Crew will be starting at Miller Park 09/23/2020.
• The Jackson Trail Crew will be continuing to work on the Pole Creek/Island Lake corridor 09/24/2020.
• Clear to Photographer’s Point as of 09/24/2020. After 11 days straight of work on the Pole Creek Trail, our crews are taking a few well-deserved days off and will start again clearing towards Seneca Lake on Monday, 09/28/2020.
• Ruff Lake Trail: Clear to Wilderness Boundary, about 2 miles just prior to Blueberry Lake, as of 09/20/2020.
• Boulder Creek Canyon Trail: Clear to Wilderness Boundary (.5 miles) as of 9/20/2020. Secondary information that stock groups are continuing to Ethel Lake and then beyond to Pipestone Lakes area as of 09/17/2020 Meadow Lake Trail
• Forest Service crew cleared trail to Wilderness Boundary on 09/17/2020.
o Public reported unable to reach wilderness boundary on 9/20/2020. We did have wind and very little moisture on Saturday 9/19/2020.
• Firefighters from zone engine crews will be working to clear the Burnt Lake Trail prior to the Wilderness today 09/25/20 unless they are called to a smoke report.
• Scab Creek Trail: Clear to Wilderness Boundary, about 2.5 miles, as of 09/09/2020. About 25 trees down between boundary and Little Divide Lake, 6 miles from the trailhead. Less than 5 are difficult to travel around with stock. Passable with stock, but difficult. Another 10 trees or so between Little Divide and Dream Lake. Passable with stock. Report from outfitter on 09/13/2020.
• Lowline Trail: No updates.
• Highline Trail north: No Forest Service crews have been working on this trail as of 9/21/2020. Big Sandy Lodge has started clearing this trail. Our reports from the public is it is taking 7 hours to travel the 4 miles from Big Sandy Trailhead to Dad’s Lake.
• Big Sandy Trail: No Forest Service crews have been working on this trail as of 9/21/2020. Reports from the public say this 6 mile trail to Big Sandy Lake was less impacted than the Highline Trail north, but still significant blowdown. Plan on 2-3x longer to get to Big Sandy Lake.
o. Passable to hikers. Not recommended for stock. Snow on Jackass Pass Trail, less than 6 inches.
• Big Sandy Camp Hosts reported that private individuals have cleared some of the Big Sandy Lake Trail. Hikers are getting up to the Cirque of the Towers as of 09/24/2020. Not recommended to take stock.
• The Pinedale trail crew will begin work on Highline Trail north from Big Sandy Trailhead on Monday 09/28/2020.
SAFETY ALERT: Be aware that there are many current and potential hazards along this trail and surrounding area, so plan accordingly. Passing storms may bring winds which could blow over additional trees blocking trails or cause personal injury.
Pinedale Ranger District Office
29 E. Fremont Lake Rd.
Open Mon – Fri, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
To Report a wildfire, call 911 or 307-739-3036