Welcome back to the Dan Bailey’s Hiking Trail Report! Thanks to everyone who has been sending us info and pictures, we really appreciate it and it helps keep us all safe and informed. Now that Memorial Day is behind us, our summer has “officially” started! Now is the time to get out in the mountains and enjoy this beautiful state.
Couple things to keep in mind before heading out. First, we’re getting into the pattern of afternoon storms and the area has been getting a good bit of rain in the afternoons. You can expect to encounter some muddy trails around, and it’s important to treat them with respect. Don’t walk around muddy parts of the trail as this causes more erosion. This is the time of year when waterproof hiking boots really shine!
On the note of weather, storms in the mountains can be pretty dangerous. If you see a storm approaching and you’re in the high country, head for lower ground. Don’t think you can beat it, don’t think you can race it, just get out and don’t chance it. Mountain weather is unforgiving. If you’re planning a hike in exposed places like peaks, be sure to check the forecast and plan accordingly.
Lastly, remember that bears are out and active. Be aware of your surroundings and carry bear spray and know how to use it. The best advice we have to carrying bear spray is keep it in a place where you can easily get to it if you need it. Your belt is a lot better spot than the water bottle holder on your pack!
Here’s how the local trails are looking:
The trail is clear and the wildflowers are out! Expect good conditions, with the low lying spots being a bit muddy after the couple days of rain. The creek crossing is manageable, but might be a little high so use caution. Remember to leave the wildflowers for all to enjoy.
South Fork Deep Creek
This has been a pretty popular hike over the past few weeks, and it’s easy to understand why. Good trail conditions, but be careful on the creek crossing. The mountain creeks and streams are going to be running even higher than normal with the amount of rain we’ve had this weekend.
Our own Aidan and his brother hiked Livingston Peak earlier this week. They encountered scattered snow fields near the peak and in north facing aspects, but he called the hike “fairly good early summer conditions”. Mind the forecast if you’re headed for a more exposed peak these days!
The road above Snowbank is open and there are tons of great hikes and opportunities up here. This is a pretty highly used area, so please be patient and respectful with everyone else out here. We’re all out here to enjoy the same thing! Passage Creek Falls is always a great choice, and is an easy hike with young ones too. The trails off both the East and West Fork of Mill Creek are dry and in great shape. You could spend an entire summer up this drainage and enjoy every moment of it!
The trail to the falls is clear and in great shape, and some folks have been pushing to the lake. Our good friend Steve Caldwell was up there last week, and had this to say: “Got curious about Pine Creek lake and decided to do a little recon this morning. The trail is mostly dry up to the logjam crossing, which is manageable with a little care. Above that are several gullies with drifts, large trees, and assorted debris from wet slides, and snowfields are pretty continuous by about mile 3 1/2. I only made it to around half a mile before the lake before starting to drop through a rain-saturated snowpack. Poles are definitely recommended.”
Hyalite Canyon has some awesome hikes, most of which are pretty popular so be ready to see busy trails. You can hike during the week or leave just a little earlier than everyone else if you’re after solitude. The waterfalls up here can be pretty spectacular this time of year with the higher water! Take your pick of options and go enjoy it.
Have you been out recently and have a report to share? We want to hear it! Having updated information is important, especially at this point in the year when things change on a daily basis. If you have any info or pictures to share, please reach out to email@example.com. Our goal is to make this report as accurate and community focused as we can to become a useful resource for everyone to use and enjoy.
Huge thanks for Aidan Higgins and Leann Mitchell for sharing their photos!