“Back Forty” of Mammoth Lakes District Trail Condition Report

PCT/JMT south of Mammoth

This “Back Forty”  of the Mammoth Lakes District is where hikers will run into challenging obstacles as a result of the massive November 30, 2011 tree blowdown. The trail is clear until Purple Lake, at which point the trail crew is still cutting  a path through the flotsam & jetsam.  Thru-Hikers have created fairly easy-to-follow “go-rounds”, so route finding is not so much a trouble, but travel times should be adjusted for the extra effort.  These obstacles are intermittent from Purple to timberline en route to Silver Pass.  Equestrian travel through this zone would be inappropriate until trail crews have completed clearing the way. 

Camping at Purple Lake

Many of the sites around Purple have been eliminated by blowdown debris. There is a site-specific 300ft camping restriction around the outlet of Purple. The best areas to look for appropriate sites are along the outlet creek, down out of view of the lake, and upslope along the trail, south of the outlet.

Food Storage

From Donohue Pass to Tully Hole, Bear-resistant canisters are required. The bears are out and on the trail, so please help us to keep them wild, by protecting them from your food at all times: Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty!

Considerations For Overnight Travel

A free Wilderness Permit is required for overnight visitors and is available at the USFS Visitor Center.  There are New Wood Campfire Restrictions, in addition to the 10,000 ft elevation closure. These new regulations are in response to the impact of repeated visitation and use, designed to protect habitat.  it is your responsibility to be aware of and respect these site-specific regulations; ask at the Visitor Center & reference your Wilderness Permit.

Wilderness means that humans are but passing visitors. Please act as a Wilderness Steward and keep the place wild & healthy by Leaving No Trace of your visit, and have a great adventure!

Prepared by Michael Rodman, Friends of the Inyo Wilderness Steward

June 29, 2012