CASPER, Wyo. — A “massive wind event” on Sept. 7 involved wind gusts of over 60 mph throughout the Wind River Range, according to the U.S. Forest Service-Bridger-Teton National Forest.
The winds snapped hundreds of trees, covering roadways and blocking trails. Trees also fell on the damaged the Big Sandy Lodge in the Pinedale Ranger District, leading to closure of the lodge.
While all main roads in the Bridger-Teton National Forest have been cleared, the U.S. Forest Service says that safety concerns remain for people using trails in the area.
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People can drive up to all trailheads, but some trails have not been fully cleared following the wind event. The Forest Service’s safety alert notes that “many current and potential hazards” exist in the area.
“Passing storms may bring winds which could blow over additional trees blocking trails or cause personal injury,” the safety alert notes.
The Forest Service provided a trail report on Tuesday, Sept. 22:
Trail report as of Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Green River Lakes
• Lakeside Trail: Cleared as of 9/21/2020
• Highline Trail south to Trail Creek Park (13 miles total): Cleared as of 9/21/2020
New Fork Lake
• New Fork Trail to New Fork Park up to Palmer Lake and back down on Double Top Mountain Trail past Rainbow Lake to trailhead: Passable as of 09/11/2020
o Forest Service crews have not walked these trails, but this trail was not as significantly impacted as other locations. The outfitter cleared a few trees from this loop to report the trail was passable with stock.
Spring Creek Park
• No Forest Service crews have been to this location. Secondary information is that there are trees down, but passable to hikers to the Wilderness Boundary, about 2.5 miles. Then the trees increase to Glimpse Lake, another 1.5 miles. Completely impassable to hikers and stock from
Glimpse Lake on. Report from 09/16/2020
• Sending crew of two to Spring Creek Park Trailhead to start Glimpse Lake Trail today 9/22
• Pine Creek Trail (down to Long Lake): No updates.
• Pole Creek Trail: The first 4 miles of this trail to Photographer’s Point was completely obliterated. Green trees were blown over by their root wads and stacked 10 feet tall. Unable to even find the trail. From Photographer’s Point to Seneca Lake (6 additional miles) the trail is tree
covered, but passable to hikers. Not recommended for stock.
o Forest Service has had crews working on the Pole Creek Trail since 09/14/2020
o Trail is clear about ½ mile from Photographer’s Point as of /21/2020
o Since entering the Bridger Wilderness, progress has been about 1000 feet per day. Crew of 5
Wilderness Rangers from the Pinedale Ranger District Additional 4-5 Jackson Ranger District Wilderness Rangers will be working on
the Pole Creek Trail on 9/23 and 9/24
• Ruff Lake Trail: Clear to Wilderness Boundary, about 2 miles just prior to Blueberry Lake, as of
• Boulder Creek Canyon Trail: Clear to Wilderness Boundary (.5 miles) as of 9/20/2020. Secondary information that stock groups are continuing to Ethel Lake and then beyond to Pipestone Lakes area as of 09/17/2020
Meadow Lake Trail
• Forest Service crew cleared trail to Wilderness Boundary on 09/17/2020.
o Public reported unable to reach wilderness boundary on 9/20/2020? We did have wind and very little moisture on Saturday 9/19/2020.
• No updates.
• Scab Creek Trail: Clear to Wilderness Boundary, about 2.5 miles, as of 09/09/2020. About 25 trees down between boundary and Little Divide Lake, 6 miles from the trailhead. Less than 5 are difficult to travel around with stock. Passable with stock, but difficult. Another 10 trees or so
between Little Divide and Dream Lake. Passable with stock. Report from outfitter on 09/13/2020.
• Lowline Trail: No updates.
Big SandyU.S. Forest Service
• Highline Trail north: No Forest Service crews have been working on this trail as of 9/21/2020. Big Sandy Lodge has started clearing this trail. Our reports from the public is it is taking 7 hours to travel the 4 miles from Big Sandy Trailhead to Dad’s Lake.
• Big Sandy Trail: No Forest Service crews have been working on this trail as of 9/21/2020. Reports from the public say this 6 mile trail to Big Sandy Lake was less impacted than the Highline Trail north, but still significant blowdown. Plan on 2-3x longer to get to Big Sandy Lake.
This article originally appeared on Oil City News. Used with permission.