THIS JUST IN!
The following Conditions Reports are from FOI’s Wilderness Steward., Deb Bayle.
A longtime Wilderness Ranger, Deb is working this summer, along with fellow Steward, Michael Rodman, to provide friendly faces in the Wilderness Areas (Ansel Adams, John Muir, Owens River Headwaters, and Hoover) on the North Zone of the Inyo National Forest.
Funded through a number of sources, including Mono County, Columbia and the National Forest Foundation, Friends of the Inyo’s Wildenress Steward program, in partnership with the Inyo National Forest, seeks to ensure our local Wilderness Areas enjoy the benefits of professional, seasoned Stewards walking and maintaining the trails, talking with visitors and doing the myriad things to preserve our enduring resource of Wilderness.
May 25, 2012 – MAMMOTH LAKES BASIN TRAILS:
The Lake Mary Road is open to Horseshoe Lake. The road to Coldwater Campground and the Duck Pass Trail is NOT yet open.
The trail to Panorama Dome is closed until further notice.
The road to Lake George is open.
The trail to TJ and Barrett Lakes is mostly snow free, although there are still a few trees across the trail.
The trail to Crystal Lake is approximately 80% snow covered.
The bike trail around Horseshoe Lake has been cleared of fallen trees, but still has a significant amount of snow and ice cover.
The trail from Horseshoe Lake to Mammoth Pass has been cleared of fallen trees. Crews are still working to clear branches and repair trail damage. Please read the advisory posted at the trailhead before hiking this trail.
May 19, 2012-
LAUREL LAKES, Mammoth District, INF:
The 4 WD (high clearance needed) road to Laurel Lakes is snow free from Sherwin Creek Road to above the upper switchback near the head of the canyon. A few snow patches remain on the road above the switchback, but they are easily bypassed on foot.
The turn-off from this road to the trail up to the Bloody-Laurel Col, as well as at least the first ¼ mile of trail, is covered in snow. Be extra careful when hiking on snow. It often melts out underneath, leaving a hollow space between the snow and the ground.
Please note that this trail leads into the John Muir Wilderness. If you plan to camp in the wilderness, pick up a free permit at the Ranger Station and consider using a bear can to store your food, scented items, and garbage. Bears getting into your food can make a mess, ruin a trip, and increase their dependence on and aggression toward humans.
May 20, 2012 – SHERWIN AND VALENTINE TRAILS, Mammoth District INF
Both the Sherwin Lakes and Valentine Lake Trailheads are open. The trails are in good condition, although there are still a few trees down across the trails. Only a few snow patches persist on the switchbacks just below Valentine Lake. I expect they will be gone in a week or two. Be extra careful when hiking on snow. It often melts out underneath, leaving a hollow space between the snow and the ground.
Camping and campfires are permitted at both Valentine and Sherwin Lakes. For camping at Valentine Lake, please pick up a free wilderness permit at the Ranger Station/Visitor Center. For camping at Sherwin Lakes, pick up the guidelines for “Dispersed Camping in the Mammoth Area” and a free fire permit. If having a campfire, collect dead and down wood only, use an existing fire ring, and drown the fire with water before leaving camp. Escaped campfires often turn into raging forest fires.
Bear cans are recommended for overnight food and trash storage in both areas and are available for rent at the Visitor Center.
Help keep these areas beautiful, healthy, and wild by Leaving No Trace of your having been there.