The snow pack is not doing so great as of the February 1 survey. However, we still have this month and March to go. They are both typically the wetter months. If the snow pack does not improve significantly, what will you do? Will you plan an earlier trip into the wilderness or go at your usual time?
The snow survey results are in for the state of California. As far as the Golden Trout Wilderness is concerned, the Kern River is the main watershed. How much snow is up there? Well if you have already been tuned into the news, we do not have much.
The average snow pack for the month of February is 14% of normal. If there is no more snow for the rest of the year, then the April 1 average is 9%. Remember that the April 1 date is important for the State regarding water allocations and planning for the summer months. Quite the contrast from last year! However, we do have two more months to get some snow on the ground. Let’s hope for a wet snow as that means more water!
As 2017 comes to a close, it is a reminder of one backpacking season finished and another one coming soon. Here is a playlist of all the videos submitted via YouTube regarding places in the Golden Trout Wilderness. As you look back on 2017, may some of these videos remind you of a journey into the GTW. Enjoy.
DISCLAIMER: Videos are intended to be family friendly. No nudity, vulgar language, and/or inappropriate behavior are contained within the videos. However, if you find something that violates this ideal, please let me know. Each video has been reviewed, but human error is always a factor. Thanks!
In the beginning of the late spring/summer backpacking season, 4 adventurers head out into the Golden Trout Wilderness. Due to the large snow pack, a detour was needed to arrive at their destination. Their trip went from 10 to 40 miles as a result! Curious as to how it all worked out? Check out this 28 minute video documenting their journey.
Roads accessing the Golden Trout Wilderness have been closed for the season. Users can still access the wilderness, but it will just take longer. Several road closures signs mean adding up to 14 miles of hiking just to a trail head. If you do plan to still head out into the winter wonderland, make sure you have the skills and experience to do so. Otherwise, consider another destination until the roads re-open in the spring.
A visitor to the wilderness, Dan Hall, during the week of Thanksgiving started at Jerkey Meadow and went out to Lion Meadow. Here is what he reports:
Thanksgiving week I did a backpack trip from Jerky Trailhead to Grey Meadow, then hiked up toward Lion Meadow and looped back through Burnt Corral Meadow, in the Golden Trout Wilderness. Regarding trail conditions, there was only one place with a problem. There is a blowdown across trail 32E12, about a quarter mile after the Jordon Trail Junction, on the way north down to Fish Creek and Grey Meadow. It is 16 inches in diameter, stretching 20 plus feet uphill and downhill. Getting past it is already a little hard for hikers and it will be very hard for stock to get around it. More importantly, if stock goes around it, they will cause erosion onto or below the trail because the hillside is steep there.
Regarding the Lion Fire burn area that I hiked through, and other details, they are best described in the captioned photos and videos at http://tinyurl.com/yaz88zub
Thanks Dan for the info and a link to your photos and videos. I am sure other users of the site and wilderness will enjoy them.
Back in June a large group of young women headed out to the Golden Trout Wilderness and what looks like up to Cottonwood Lakes area. User Lindsey Raymond published a video last year summarizing the adventure in 2016. Looks like they have returned for another adventure. Enjoy the smiles, laughter, and experience!
Remember the Lion Fire? Well it is still active and now at 90% containment. The cooling temps and now an expected storm should get the last 10% remaining. At least, that is what the officials are predicting. Here is the official announcement.
The Lion Fire grew to 18,900 acres, and is currently 90 percent contained. The fire continues to hold along containment lines with very few hot spots remaining in Leggett Creek near Forest Trail 33E01. Firefighters will continue to patrol the Fire by helicopter until winter weather arrives and the fire can be declared out. A storm is expected this weekend, which will likely extinguish all remaining hot spots.
If you haven’t heard already via our Facebook page, the trails closed due to the Lion Fire on the Sequoia National Forest side of the wilderness are now open. Below is the exact wording about this update.
The Forest Closure was terminated on Monday October 23rd, all trails have been reopened for backcountry travel in the Golden Trout Wilderness. Please call the Western Divide Ranger District Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. or go online on the Sequoia National Forest website to obtain a wilderness permit for overnight stay in the Wilderness.
There is still time to get some fall backpacking into the Golden Trout Wilderness. However, this time of year the weather can be quite unpredictable and on the colder side. Make sure to check the weather service during your planning phases and before heading out. Currently they are projecting high temps next weekend in the upper 50’s for the day and lows in the upper 30’s at night around 6500 feet elevation.