Trail Conditions

 
 
 
A backpacker looks over a vast alpine landscape
Mather Pass

Jessie Wheeler

Here you will find the most recent trail conditions available to us. Conditions are continuously changing and wilderness hikers need to plan for inclement weather. Winter storms start early in the High Sierra and can surprise unaware wilderness travelers. Do not rely on trail updates in spring, fall, and winter when there are very few rangers in the field. Consider all possibilities before you head out on your trip and check out the Trail Safety page for more information on the potential hazards of wilderness travel. For the most up to date information on frontcountry trails, check in at the visitor center closest to your trailhead.

You can help us by sending an email to report trail conditions. For more information please call the Wilderness Office at (559) 565-3766.

For snowpack data, visit the California Department of Water Resources snow survey website.

 

Cedar Grove and Roads End

Wilderness Trails

Avalanche Pass

7/2 - Trail crew is clearing from Roaring River to Avalanche Pass today.

7/6 - Report of tread damage to constructed switchbacks south of Bubbs Creek

7/26 - "Stock-stopper" tree blocking trail at the northernmost creek crossing. 6 foot section of rockwork has fallen several feet down the cliff 1/4 to 1/2 from Sphinx Creek junction. Passable to humans, may not be passable to stock.

Lewis Creek and Kennedy Pass

7/1 - Trail mostly clear, a few downed trees, Trail kind of disappears for a short period of time just after Frypan Meadow, but then picks up again.
7/1 - Kennedy Pass: Patchy snow above 10,000 ft, mainly on north facing slopes, a tiny bit of snow on the N. side of Kennedy Pass. No snow impeded travel, was able to cut east from East Kennedy Lake through Volcanic Lakes region to Granite Pass, which was claer of snow. Lots of mosquitoes in Granite Basin.

Copper Creek and Granite Pass

6/15 - The trail was 100% snow free all the way to Grouse lake and virtually snow free all the way to the top of
Goat Mountain. There were only small patches that were easy to avoid. There were only 3 downed trees on the trail and they were easy to cross.

Woods Creek, Bubbs Creek, and Glen Pass (Rae Lakes Loop)

6/5 – Woods Creek trail is snow free to Upper Paradise Valley. Bridge is out at Upper Paradise and the crossing is wide with about 2 ft. deep and swift.

6/15 - The Kings River crossing at Upper Paradise is passable. There is a shallow section just down stream from the old bridge. There is also large logjam less than 1/4 mile downstream from the old bridge. Hikers should use caution if attempting to cross on the logjam as they can shift without warning.Glen Pass: The North side of the pass has a well-established snowfield crossing and then some navigation required down the scree field to meet back up with the trail a few hundred feet down.The scree field is a bit loose.

6/21 - Bubbs Creek crossing at East Lake Junction, water is swift ~3ft deep. Not recommended for stock. Hikers should seek an alternate crossing.

7/12 - Glenn Pass Snow-free. There is a stock-stopper boulder on the South Side; hikers won’t have a problem going around it.

7/23 - Charlotte Lakes: Multiple reports of bears obtaining food rewards from improperly stored food in Kearsarge Lakes, Charlotte Lake, Vidette Meadow, and Bubbs Creek areas. Bears appear to be unfazed by mild hazing.

Gardiner Pass

6/10 - No report at this time.

Sixty Lakes Basin

6/10 - No report at this time.

Don Cecil

6/5 - Based on parkwide snow levels, trail likely free of snow to Lookout Peak. Expect many downed trees across the trail.


Frontcountry Trails

Hotel Creek

6/10 - No report at this time.

Kings Canyon- West of Sierra Crest

Wilderness Trails

East Lake

7/23 - Creek on the north end of East Lake is knee deep and swift; trekking poles recommended.

Goddard Canyon

6/10 - No report at this time.

Tehipite Valley

6/10 - No report at this time.

Middle Fork Kings

7/13 - Palisade Creek Crossing at Middle Fork/PCT junction- 2 feet deep and swift for abou 5 feet. Crossable with caution- trekking poles and water shoes advised.

Grant Grove and Jennie Lakes Wilderness Area

Wilderness Trails

Big Meadows Road

6/10 – Road is open (Hume Lake Ranger District).

JO Pass

7/16 - JO Pass to JO Pass/Twin Lakes jtn: 7 downed trees- one may be stock impassable. Otherwise trail is in good condition.

Seville, Ranger, and Lost Lakes and Belle Canyon

7/16 - via Rowell Meadow: Trails are in good condition. Many downed trees, all are stock passable.

7/16 - Ranger Lake to Belle Canyon Pass Trail (including spur trails to Lost Lake and Seville Lake) is in good condition.

Redwood Canyon

7/16 - Redwood Canyon Road: Road bumpy but in good condition, passable for 2WD low-clearance vehicles with caution.

7/16- Creek crossing 1/4-mile from southern Sugarbowl/Hart Tree/Redwood Creek trail junction is confusing. Area has been clarified with a line of rocks and cairns. Navigation tools are recommended.

7/16 - Redwood Canyon Sugar Bowl Trail, obscured by brush in parts. Not difficult to follow. Downed trees have been cleared.

7/16 - Redwood Canyon Hart Tree, Trail in good condition. 2 adult bears spotted along trail.

Sugarloaf Valley and Roaring River

6/10 - Roaring River to Kern Ranger Station: All stream crossings 2 feet or less, not swift but slippery.

7/2 - No downed trees from Marvin Pass to Roaring River via Sugarloaf Valley.

7/6 - Marvin Pass to Comanche Meadow: Trail obscured by white thorn bushes in several spots. Trail is navigable despite thorns.

Weaver Lake: camp at least 100 feet away from lake

6/10 - No report at this time.

Jennie Lake: camp at least 100 feet away from lake

6/10 - No report at this time.

Frontcountry Trails

Panoramic Point

6/10 - No report at this time.

Lodgepole, Wolverton, and Crescent Meadow

Wilderness Trails

Twin Lakes Trail

5/28 - Observed from Little Baldy. Silliman Pass appears clear of snow, possibly holding snow in shaded areas.

7/8 - Trail is in good condition. 2 downed trees- both are stock passable. To Ranger Lake, Trail in good condition. 5 downed trees- all are stock passable.

Alta Peak Trail

5/28 - Patchy snow fields on final approach to summit. Summit clear of snow. Patches of snow along the ridge line to summit, advise staying way from edge to avoid possible overhanging cornice. Snow level approximately 10,000ft.

Lakes Trail (Pear Lake)

6/5 – Watchtower Trail is clear of snow and open. Designated campsites at Pear and Emerald Lakes are snow free. Privies are open.
6/11 - All trails are clear of snow and trees. There are a few spotty sections of Panther with debris, but all of it small enough to walk over.
7/23 - Marble Fork above Pear Lake Ranger Station dry with the exception of a few stagnant pools.

Tablelands

5/28 – Observed from Little Baldy. Western Tablelands appear to have ~10% snow coverage.

High Sierra Trail

5/28 - Many scattered snow fields above Hamilton on approach to Gap, possibly avoidable.

6/17 - There’s an area of the trail climbing out of Buck Canyon (away from Crescent Meadow) that is pretty eroded. Kaweah Gap was passable with a bit of trail finding through very small snowy areas.

6/27 - Between Kern Hot Springs & JMT Junction, trail is stock passable. 8 trees 4 miles north and lower than Hot Springs, most are easy ride arounds, a couple are more complicated, but all are passable with stock. All creek crossings fordable on logs, rocks, or shallow wading.

7/10- Creek crossing between Kern Hot Spring and Kaweah Gap easy fording and no snow.

7/10- Chagoopa Plateau: Several down trees, not good for equestrians. Moraine Lake passable.

Copper Mine Pass

7/10 - Small snow patch, easily avoidable, rest is clear.

Colby Pass

6/26 - North side small patches of snow no special equipment nessisary.

7/7 - 4 downed trees between Roaring River and Big Wet Meadow. One of those is 1/2 -mile before Big Wet Meadow- It is a 'stock stopper.' Trail crew hopes to remove these trees next week.

Elizabeth Pass

7/2 - Roaring River to Elizabeth Pass clear of downed trees. North side of pass has a few small patches of snow.

Foothills

Wilderness Trails

Middle Fork Trail

6/10 - Middle Fork Road is open.

Garfield Grove Trail (South Fork)

12/15 - Numerous downed trees and some hanging snags for the first 2-3 miles that require climbing over or off-trail passage. Downed trees are scattered approximately every 20-50 yards apart. Occasional or sporadic downed trees after that. Snow line approximately 4,500'. Drainages and creeks are passable with caution. Snow depth at Snowslide Canyon approximately 12 inches.

7/4 - From Garfield Grove to South Fork Crossing approximately 12 downed trees. 2 stock-stoppers.

Ladybug Trail (South Fork)

11/13 - Several trees have fallen across the trail, but almost all are passable without having to go around.

Lower Colony Mill Trail (North Fork)

6/10 - No report at this time.

Frontcountry Trails

Marble Falls

6/10 - No report at this time.

Paradise Creek

11/13- Be cautious of potential hazard trees that may drop branches or fall.

Mineral King and Kern Canyon

Wilderness Trails

Paradise Ridge Trail

6/10 - No report at this time.

Timber Gap

5/28 – south side of Timber Gap appears snow free.

Tar Gap

6/10 - No report at this time.

Black Rock Pass

6/5 - Observed from Moro Rock. West side of pass appears mostly clear of snow.

6/22 - West side, snow free. East side, patches of snow, easily avoidable.

7/23 - Snow free and no obstructions from Little Five Lakes to Pinto Lake via Blackrock Pass.

Glacier Pass

6/22 - Large patch of steep snow on north side of pass; rangers used ice axes for descent. Traction devices recommended. If crossing in morning.

Sawtooth Pass

5/28 – West side of pass appears to have only small patches of snow.

6/26 - Mostly snow free 4 patches of snow 1 mile before Monarch Lake.

6/29 - Small snow plug on east side of pass - easily bypassed, otherwise snow free. Monarch Lakes: One lingering snow patch - can traverse below trail or shimmy between snow and rock above trail.

7/13 - Upper Monarch to Upper Crystal route: Several steep patches of snow on route above Upper Monarch

Farewell Gap

5/28 – north side snow line appears to be ~9600 ft.

Franklin Lakes and Franklin Pass

5/28 - Franklin Creek crossing about calf-deep.

White Chief, Eagle Lake, and Mosquito Lakes

6/10 – Eagle Lake Trail has been cleared of logs.

6/19 - Large tree down 100ft before Mosquito trail junction

Atwell/Hockett Trail

6/19 - Trail clear from TH to Hocektt Meadow. Coming down from Hockett to South Fork trailhead there were multiple (<10) trees down over the trail - many requiring going around. South Fork river crossing was ankle deep. Lower part of the trail was fairly overgrown with brushy veg, including some poison oak.

6/26 - Passable, but several sections are severely overgrown. Also, both Putnam and Snowslide Creeks are dry, hikers should pack enough water. Water can be obtained in one of the earlier drainages about a mile in (before Putnam). Also, mosquitos and flies very active.

Sierra Crest and East Side (Inyo National Forest)

For more information on trails starting on the east side of the Sierra Nevada, contact the Inyo National Forest Wilderness Permit Office at (760) 873-2483 or check their trail conditions page for more information.

Bishop Pass/Dusy Basin

6/19 - Bishop Pass- E. side, lower down 10 to 20 foot, long patches covering trail, avoidable. Last of switchbacks has 30 foot-long patch avoidable by crawling over boulders. Not recommended for stock. 100 foot patch of snow on top of Pass. On the park side some snow- no special equipment required.

7/4 - Bishop Pass mostly snow free; east side switches shoveled out, 150ft flat snow on top. 2 large rocks (2ftx3) on lower switches, partially blocking the trail.

Evolution Basin

6/28 - Evolution Creek crossing 20 inches deep trekking poles recommended. Downed tree below Evolution Lake at 10,300' blocks stock access to Evolution Basin.

7/12 - There is one remaining snow patch along Evolution Lake; it is not stock-passable. Hiking poles recommended.

Mather Pass

7/2 - North Side: half-dozen patches of snow, only partially cover the switches, easily avoidable by hikers. South side: small rockfall that would make stock travel difficult.

7/12 - Snow-free on the South Side. The North Side had a few small patches of snow that could be avoided by going on the edge of the trail or on rock. There is a stock-stopper boulder on the North Side; hikers won’t have a problem going around it.

7/21 - Snow free, large boulder on bottom switchback on the south side of the pass. May make stock passage difficult.

Upper Basin

6/10 - No report at this time.

Dawin/Bench

7/12- Snow free, South Fork of the Kings: At the trail crossing the water is about a foot deep. There are logs and rocks to cross on, but this isn’t recommended as the logs move.

Piute Pass

6/29 - About 25 yards of snow on the east side. Melting quickly.

Muir Pass

6/22 - South side of Muir Pass:Trail is snow-free to lake below Helen Lake. Between that lower lake and Helen Lake there are two steep snow patches 20 feet long. Helen Lake to Muir Pass: 50% snow-covered. Snow is rotten, route-finding is necessary and trekking poles are necessary. Trail follows the best route through this area.

7/12 - There are ten 10-20ft long snowfields on the North Side. Most can be avoided by going around on rock. Hiking poles recommended. The South Side has one small remaining snow patch.

7/23 - Snow free, except for one 50ft section of snow below Helen Lake. It may be stock passable if stock groups are able to do a bit of shoveling.

Lamarck Col

6/29 - South side - snow free. North Side - about 120 yards of snow field. Many foot prints to follow. Crossed without needing special equipment. First mile north of Col - three smaller snow fields covering trail at various locations. Straightforward crossings.

7/12 - The West side is snow-free. The East Side holds a 100ft long, steep, rotten patch of snow. Traction devices are a good idea if crossing early in the morning or late in the day. Hiking poles recommended. Below the tarn there is a much bigger snowfield; it can be avoided by going around on loose sand and rock.

Pinchot Pass

7/12 - Snow free and stock passable.

Sawmill Pass

6/10 - No report at this time.

Taboose Pass

6/10 - Taboose Pass Trail on the Inyo National Forest is closed. For more information please see the Inyo National Forest website and closure order.

Baxter Pass

6/10 - No report at this time.

Kearsarge Pass

6/19 - Kearsarge Pass: snow-free/stock-passable

7/2- 1 tree down on the West side of Kearsarge Pass, maybe stock passable. Tree is 1/2 mile down from the Kearsarge Lakes juction on the High Trail.

7/12 - Snow-free. There is one tree down about ½ mile down from the Kearsarge Lakes junction that could be a stock-stopper. There is no way around it for stock, maybe they could go over it.

7/23 - Kearsarge Lakes: The food storage locker at Kearsarge Lake was moved last season and will not be replaced/moved back until a trail crew is able to make it out there (later in the season). Visitors should not expect to be able to store their food in a food storage at Kearsarge Lakes.

Forester Pass

6/22 - North side of Forester Pass: 80% snow coverage from 12,200 ft to Pass. Route-finding skills and trekking poles necessary. Snow is melting quickly. At 12,200 ft there is a stock-stopping boulder on the trail. JMT between Vidette Meadow and Center Creek: many small trees and tree limbs over trail. One 3 foot diameter tree. None are impassable to stock.

6/27 - South side has short stretch of moderately steep snow that crosses a shoot, trekking poles and caution recommended. Below the chute, between Forester Pass and Tyndall, there are a few more small patches of snow.

7/6 - South side is snow-free. One large boulder will make stock travel difficult. Other areas of smaller rockfall will also make stock travel difficult. North side is mostly snow-free. Please follow trail rather than cutting switchbacks to avoid the snow.

7/21 - North and South sides snow free on pass, obstacles on trail may make it not stock passable

7/27 - Trail is now stock passable. Stock users are advised to be extra cautious as always on this pass. (Trail crew removed large rock on north side of pass and built a 'ride-around' around the boulder on the south side of pass.)

Shepherd Pass

6/23 - Park side of pass is snow free. Inyo side above 11,500 ft patchy snow. 1 snow field on the last switchback trekking poles and traction aids recommended. All creeks crossings in the Tyndal area are manageable. May require shallow wading to get across some.

7/28 - Pass is snow-free. Stock travel is discouraged due to trail washouts on the east side.

Mount Whitney Trail

6/29 – The Whitney Portal and Portal Road is closed until at least 6/29 due to earthquake and rock fall.

6/29 - JMT from Crabtree to Mt.Whitney summit: Crabtree to Guitar Lake: snow-free. Guitar Lake to Mt. Whitney switchbacks to one-mile from Whitney summit: a few small snow patches. Last mile before Whitney summit: several large snowfields, some route-finding necessary. Trekking poles helpful. Traction devices may be useful depending on time of day. East side of Mt. Whitney: Ranger viewed small patches of snow at the top of the switchbacks

7/25 - Snow free from Crabtree to Whitney Summit and from Trail Crest to Whitney Summit.

Mt Langley

6/22 - Mostly snow-free. There are a few small patches that can be avoided by going around on loose sand and rock.

6/29- Cairned route mostly snow free

John Muir Trail (JMT)

7/2 - South Fork of the Kings Crossing (JMT) River is low, approximately 1 ft. deep.

Army Pass

7/4 - Still significant snow on steep, high-consequence. New Army Pass is the recommended route.

7/21 - Some snow patches with high consequences; Stock passable for experienced packers

New Army Pass

6/8 - New Army Pass had large patches of snow and one patch of ice on 6/8, majority of it was up at the pass descending into Cottonwood Lakes basin, used microspikes and poles for a short section up there to get down

6/16 - Not stock passable.

6/22 - There is a 20 foot section of steep snow on the East Side of the pass. Hiking poles are recommended ; traction devices are recommended if attempting early in the day.

7/2 - New Army Pass :There is a persistent 10-foot high patch of steep snow covering the very last switchback on the east side of New Army Pass.Hikers can bypass the snow by scrambling up blocky rocks to the right side of the snow (a couple of Class 3 steps, little exposure).

7/21 - Snow free and Stock passable.

Cottonwood Pass

6/6 - Was clear of snow, good trail conditions. The PCT from the junction from Cottonwood Pass to Upper Rock Creek Lake was alos clear of snow, good trail conditions.

6/19 - Horseshoe meadows to the Siberian Outpost/PCT Junction is completely snow-free and stock-passable.

Miter Basin

6/20 - 90% snow-free. Small patches of snow above 11,000ft, bigger patches of snow above 11,800ft.

Kern Canyon

6/10 - No report at this time.

Guyot Pass

6/10 - No report at this time.

Rock Creek

6/10 - No report at this time.

Siberian Pass

6/10 - No report at this time.

 
New Army Pass
New Army Pass

Photo by N. Ver

 

Last updated: August 3, 2020

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