The final snow survey for 2019 has been completed for the Kern River Basin. April 1 was the big date for the State’s water allocation, so May does not get as much attention in the news. However, for those wanting to head out into the local forest / wilderness, it is a big deal. May gives a picture into how long or short the season may be. A lot of snow likely, but not always, means delays for people accessing trailheads. In the case for the Golden Trout Wilderness, it looks to be that way going forward.
The snow survey results are 178% of normal. Water content is anywhere from 42% to 55%! This means nearly half of the existing snow pack is water. This is great news for streams, aquifers, and the forest’s health. Finding water should be a lot easier this year compared to some of the past years. However, this much snow means you’ll either have to work harder to get out into the wilderness this season.
Typically when the snow pack is well above average, it takes longer to melt (assuming average temperatures). This results in either people not being able to access some of the popular trailheads or needing to change their plans for Memorial Day weekend and the month of June. You can expect to see updated reports here on GTW.org as we get closer to the holiday weekend and into the summer season. Please feel free to share what you discover about road access and trails this season!