Snow survey results are in for the April 1 survey. Usually the first question is was there snow. If there was snow, then how much is there and how does that compare to the average. The answer to the first question this month is yes, there was snow.
Thankfully with the storm system that blew in this past weekend and again earlier this week, new snow was dropped into the Sierra Nevada mountains. Not all sites have reported in yet, but the Kern River is at 24% of normal this year. Last year the average was 29% (source).
How should you plan your trips into the Golden Trout Wilderness this backpacking season? Planning should be done with extra care. If you can go earlier in the season, do so. Water sources may be more plentiful earlier rather than later. The lack of water these past few years could mean dryer conditions.
Conditions are very dry in the wilderness this year. The Soda Fire is a good example on the Sequoia National Forest side of the wilderness. The fire survived a series of winter storms in February and kept on burning. One could expect fire restrictions to come early this year limiting or excluding a camp fire. As soon as the federal agencies release that information, it will be posted here on the site.
In order to help fellow backpackers and equestrians, consider sharing some or all of your trip with the website this season. You can simply contact us stating, “we went to Big Meadows for a weekend and the meadow was dry! No water could be found anywhere” or if you wanted to be more specific as to what creeks along the way were dry this would be helpful to so many users of the site.
Continue to submit trails reports too as they have been helpful to users as well as to the federal agencies. The federal agencies can then direct volunteer groups and sometimes staff to go out and fix the problems along a trail based on the reports given. It is our public land so lets keep it looking great for generations to come.