With such a challenging year, and a busy winter already underway, Weather, water, and trail update 4th November 2020. With a shift from easterly to westerly winds, air quality today was the best in and around the San Jacinto mountains since mid August. The previous dozen downed trees on this trail were removed in early November. USFS plans for removal of the rockslide have been delayed due to the coronavirus crisis. Our speedy ascent on Monday 16th from Humber Park to San Jacinto Peak required no spikes on a well-consolidated trail, although spikes were very helpful for most of the descent on somewhat patchy, compacted, icy snow. Boulder Basin campground (and the Black Mountain Group campground) will remain closed into 2021. The freestyle movement remains a vital part of the culture at Attitash Mountain Resort and our terrain parks, from big hits to unique rails and jibs maintained and kept fresh by a dedicated park crew, remain a canvas for freeskiers and snowboarders wanting to hone their style and skills. The community of Snow Creek and the DWA facilities appear to be undamaged. The little creek at Strawberry Cienega (PCT mile 183.0) is now dry. Although often not required for ascending, spikes can be helpful for descending icy sections of trails, depending upon your comfort level on ice and icy compacted snow. A major new treefall hazard just past the second switchback is readily passable for hikers and has been reported to the agencies. A closure order – dated to 8th October 2021 – for the burn scar means that the Trail remains closed between Snow Creek and Black Mountain Road (PCT Miles 191-206). [The major new treefall hazard just past the second switchback was cut on 20th November.]. The principal formal trail impacted was the PCT. Directions from Ulster County, NY: Located in the northwestern corner of Ulster County, The Slide Mountain Wilderness Area encompasses the towns of Shandaken, Denning and Olive. At the Peak on Friday 20th November 2020 at 0815 the air temperature was 43.3°F (6°C), with a windchill temperature of 39.1°F (4°C), 51% relative humidity, and a light due West breeze sustained at 4 mph gusting to 6.2 mph. Above Little Round Valley the icy snow cover is only 5%. In reality both trails barely exist. The shelter just past the Third Brother is harder to find as it is off the trail and is almost invisable when comming down from Big Slide. I have continued to hike every single day this year, including several ascents weekly to the highest peaks of the San Jacinto mountains by diverse routes. Following the Big Slide trail from the Garden, you will hike 0.2 miles before intersecting with the Porter trail. See park web site for map with latest area closure.. Switchback Spring at PCT Mile 183.5 (about 0.4 miles on the PCT northbound from Strawberry Junction) is flowing gently. absolutely. Seven Pines Trail has been very lightly traveled since November 2018. Flow has periodically been redirected to the CCC/ACE camp in Long Valley and water pressure can be insufficient to also flow at the pipe (currently there is no maintenance crew camped in Long Valley). With such a challenging year, and a busy winter already underway, every contribution is invaluable. WEATHER After a couple of remarkably warm days at the beginning of this week, the next ten days starting Wednesday 18th are forecast to be consistently slightly above seasonal both overnight and by day. Recent surveys have also included the PCT from Mile 168 (Spitler Peak Trail) to 192 (Black Mountain Road) and almost all side trails to that section. Be advised that it is an indistinct use trail, becoming less obvious as it nears Laws (by which time Willow Creek is close by on your left hand side, so navigation is not a challenge). Ernie Maxwell Trail is almost clear of snow, with a few icy patches remaining on the upper end near Humber Park. At San Jacinto Peak (10,810ft/3295m) today, Monday 9th November 2020 at 1005 the air temperature was 19.0°F (-7°C), with a windchill temperature of 12.3°F (-11°C), 51% relative humidity, and a very light due North breeze sustained at 1.0 mph gusting to 5.3 mph. [UPDATED 11th December 2020: The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway will close again from 12th December for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus crisis.]. Annie’s Junction/approx. PCT Miles 198-206) was burned on both sides by the Snow Fire (17th-19th September 2020). Temperatures well above seasonal are forecast to return for the last couple of days of September into the first few days of October (as discussed in the latest briefing from NWS San Diego). Mount San Jacinto State Park and the San Jacinto Ranger District of the San Bernardino National Forest partially reopened on 9th October. Fuller Ridge Trail has cleared completely on sun-exposed slopes, but sections of icy snow remain in places. Please remember, face masks covering the nose and mouth must be worn at all times except when actively eating or drinking. There is no significant precipitation in the forecast. Currently most major trails have not been traveled and are somewhat obscured by snowfall. Encouraging news. Take Exit 19 off I-87 and follow 28 west for 31 miles before making a left onto State Road 47 near the town of Big Indian. These icy slopes are treacherous. Big Slide is a great trail and today was an awesome day to enjoy this trail. Life at Rose starts at 8,260 feet—the highest base elevation in Tahoe. Ernie Maxwell Trail is largely under a continuous 1-2″ of snow cover. Devil’s Slide Trail is basically clear of snow. Extremely cautious navigation is recommended for those who are not very familiar with hiking this trail. Useful if hikers are descending the Spitler Peak Trail. Due to the coronavirus crisis Mount San Jacinto State Park is encouraging visitation to be confined to local residents only. Continue on the Big Slide trail, which will drop down to Juliet Brook and then climb upwards for half a mile, at which point it will begin switchbacking up a steeper pitch. SNOW DEPTHS measured today, 9th November 2020, are as follows. Even when Fern Valley Water District diverts flow into the pipe system, as it has for much of August, there are small fresh pools just upslope from the trail (this creek is an important source of water for the many dogs walked on the Ernie Maxwell). The prospects for the remainder of 2020, discussed in an earlier video from NWS San Diego, are not encouraging. Although the fire got into thicker chaparral creating lots of smoke, it appeared to be slowing down in that area by about 0945. Popular among anglers, the hour-long drive up the single lane logging road deters crowds and ensures relative solitude. you have these wonderful rock formation to moss and pine scent throughout the trail. An informal use trail to Laws is much more direct and avoids all of the challenging bush-whacking of the unmaintained trails (some local hikers have dubbed it the “King Trail”). The Deer Springs stream crossing at the PCT (approx. There are tracks to follow through the snow patches where needed, and spikes can be helpful. We’ll be back! New York State Division of Tourism, One Commerce Plaza , Albany, NY, 12245, Phone: 518-474-4116. There are reasonable tracks to follow. One unfortunate consequence of this action is that the Black Mountain Fire Lookout is also now closed for the season. Indeed this trail has been hiked very little since November 2018, initially due to snowfall, then the road closure from February 2019. The warmest temperature I have ever recorded at San Jacinto Peak remains Wednesday 19th August 2020, when at 0745 the air temperature was 62.3°F (17°C), with no measurable windchill, 42% relative humidity, and calm, extremely hazy conditions. If you have found this Report useful, please consider visiting the Donate page. WEATHER For the remainder of ths week, every day is forecast to be progressively warmer. Thank you. The latest report indicates 3500 acres burned at 5% containment. Our groomers will work on a checklist list that includes 25 trails tonight. Trails below about 8000′ are now almost completely snow-free, with most areas at higher elevations also clearing very rapidly. This helps with navigation, although postholing will be challenging and snowshoes remain preferable on that section. At San Jacinto Peak (10,810ft/3295m) on Monday 21st December 2020 at 0820 the air temperature was 37.7°F (3°C), with a windchill temperature of 29.5°F (-1°C), 38% relative humidity, and a light SE wind sustained at 6 mph gusting to 9.5 mph. Currently spikes are strongly recommended. …. No mud - all snow/ice - spikes were needed throughout. SNOW DEPTHS measured today are as follows. The Pacific Crest Trail above Snow Creek (approx. Devil’s Slide Trail is largely clear of snow to 7600′. CLOSED as part of general east side closure due to pandemic. Extensive snowmelt will continue at all elevations. The past month was likely the hottest August in recorded Idyllwild history (pending final National Weather Service data). Snow cover is about 40% from there to the Fuller Ridge Trail junction. By 0930 the fire seemed to be petering out on Blaisdell in part because it is so rocky with relatively little fuel. It goes without saying that the trail is impassable by stock, and it is relatively slow-going for hikers also. No new snow depth data are given here, as almost all measurements average 1-2″ at most. A closure order for the burn scar means that the Trail remains closed between Snow Creek and Black Mountain Road (approx. At San Jacinto Peak (10,810ft/3295m) on Monday 16th November 2020 at 0850 the air temperature was 43.1°F (6°C), with a windchill temperature of 33.9°F (1°C), 33% relative humidity, and a surprisingly cool SSE wind sustained at 7 mph gusting to 18.9 mph. I recorded a rambling video summary at San Jacinto Peak – complete with ice in the beard! Spikes are recommended for these notoriously treacherous ice slopes. PCT Miles 198-206) was burned on both sides by the Snow Fire (17th-19th September 2020). Spot fires remain smoldering in Snow Creek and Falls Creek drainages below about 4000ft, although almost all of the riparian vegetation survived unburned. Spikes are useful for descending especially early in the morning. in recent days included, on Monday 31st August, the first windchill temperature below 40°F recorded at San Jacinto Peak in exactly two months. The first two, at 0.9 and 0.95 miles down, cross a tiny side creek which is now largely dry and should be ignored. While all labor and time is volunteered, this Report completely depends on small private donations to cover its direct costs. Unpredictable events of nature can produce road hazards which may not be cleared upon your arrival. (Here's how from REI) Thursday 5th in particular will see very warm temperatures with extremely low relative humidity. After a major rain storm (4-5") the streams can be unpassable. The stream in the picture was 1-2 feet deep. The nearby Round Valley creek dried up in early August. the trail is very popular as many trails in this area. 2.5 hours up, 2 hours down. there are several places of the trail where you can also get a nice view so look for these spots. This could change at any time of course. With an especially challenging year in 2020, every contribution is invaluable. Mountain Operations does their best but sometimes situations arise when trails and lift are closed without notice or have a delayed start. In addition to the forest and trails, this closure includes all campgrounds, picnic sites, trailheads, and forest roads. The entire San Jacinto Ranger District of the San Bernardino National Forest closed on Monday evening, 7th September. Fire risk remains extreme. Many trails have treefall hazards from this past winter, passable for hikers but not for stock. I'm glad I took that route because the western face is much steeper than the eastern face. South Ridge Trail is almost completely clear and spikes are no longer required all the way to Tahquitz Peak. One unfortunate consequence of this action is that the Black Mountain Fire Lookout is also now closed, potentially for the season. – late this morning, which gives a feel for conditions around the high peaks. The fire is holding on the east sides within the retardant and ridges to the west, but is spreading to the south and up the drainages/canyons. Even when not required for ascending, spikes are invariably useful for descending trails where the snow is compacted and icy. The nearby Round Valley creek dried up in early August. Forest Service has indicated this is primarily a day use reopening. At the Peak on Sunday 11th October 2020, at 1530 the air temperature was 44.9°F (8°C), with a windchill of 36.3°F (2°C), 47% relative humidity, and a steady NNE wind sustained at 10 mph gusting to 15.8 mph. The trail starts out flat like the picture on the LEFT. This may be accompanied by some light precipitation at mid elevations on Sunday 25th and Monday 26th October, with one or two tenths of an inch of rain possible. Prior trail and camping permits have been revoked. A closure order for the burn scar means that the Trail remains closed between Snow Creek and Black Mountain Road (PCT Miles 191-206). We started this morning and on Monday before first light in an air temperature ten degrees above average, and descended to Idyllwild late morning in a temperature more than 20 degrees above seasonal. The Tram has brought forward the normal September maintenance program into August this year, although no tentative reopening date has been approved. Assessment of any new downed trees forestwide may take a few weeks, but be aware of the possibility of new tree fall hazards. Snow cover is about 60% from there to the Fuller Ridge Trail junction. Most hikers may find spikes useful, depending upon your comfort level on ice and compacted snow, especially for descending some sections. Almost daily ascents of San Jacinto Peak in the past ten days have included surveys of Fuller Ridge, Willow Creek, and the Tahquitz area, among many other trails. I have continued to average at least three ascents into the San Jacinto high country every week, hiking mid-elevation trails on the intervening days. All camping in the State Park wilderness remains prohibited. There is no precipitation in the forecast. While all labor and time is volunteered, this Report completely depends on small private donations to cover its direct costs. Accessiblity of the various roads and trails on the forest depends on the time of year and the weather. My snowshoe track to San Jacinto Peak via the Wellman and Peak trails will be far more consolidated by the 17 people we passed during our descent today. WEATHER After a long, hot summer, including much of October, it looks like we may briefly bypass autumn and head straight into winter in the next few days. Given the enormous challenges with almost all the other fires in the state at this time, we are extremely fortunate that the Snow Fire was not ultimately many times larger, or more destructive. Data show the three months July- September 2020 were the hottest in Idyllwild history, and that Idyllwild’s ten hottest summers have all occurred since 2002. At the Peak on Monday 31st August 2020, at 0745 the air temperature was 47.4°F (9°C), with a windchill of 39.7°F (5°C), 58% relative humidity, and a firm SW wind sustained at 10 mph gusting to 17.6 mph. In an especially challenging year, and with a busy winter already underway, every contrib, If you have found this Report useful, please conside, Trail and weather update 7th December 2020, While all labor and time is volunteered, this Report completely depends on small private donations to cover its direct costs. Go up and back for more gradual. Most areas below 7000′ are largely clear, and the snow on sun-exposed slopes all the way to the high peaks, but especially below 10,000′, is melting rapidly. This past weekend was the best air quality this month, but it has subsequently deteriorated again somewhat in the past couple of days (but remains better now than earlier in September). Note that average depth is given, drifting was deeper in the trails due to strong winds and light snow. The Forest Service closure of Dark Canyon Road continues, and there is no vehicular access to Seven Pines trailhead. Fresh flurries are falling while we're practicing snowcial distancing here at Sugarbush! I had a very pleasant day in the high country today, breaking trail from Humber Park to San Jacinto Peak. Completed today, on a 70 degree Monday. Air quality in the mountains had improved markedly in recent days, but then deteriorated again dramatically today (3rd September) with a switch in wind direction. An extremely light drizzle was reported in some areas around Idyllwild-Pine Cove on Sunday 25th, with 0.02″ measured at 5550′ elevation. From Laws east to Caramba the route of the original Caramba Trail is relatively easy to follow – for those who were familiar with this trail prior to the 2013 Mountain Fire – despite USFS information to the contrary. Marion Mountain Trail is basically clear to 7600′ (no spikes required). A brief period of relatively cool weather (although still above seasonal averages!) Shooting Star Spring (below Little Round Valley but above the North Fork of the San Jacinto River crossing) is flowing steadily. There are 25 treefall hazards on the trail, almost all in the upper State Park section of trail, based on multiple June 2020 surveys. USFS campgrounds are open, except those mentioned elsewhere in this update. Devil’s Slide Trail has a well-traveled track to follow. The Trail on the north side of Red Tahquitz (Miles 175-177) remains 50% snow-covered, and spikes can be useful. Day hiking permits are available at the Idyllwild and Long Valley ranger stations of the Mount San Jacinto State Park, which are both open. The next detailed update is expected to be tomorrow afternoon.]. Length 11.7 miElevation gain 3267 ftRoute type Loop. Will work on a 6.2-mile trek or turn around at cascade for a 4.8-mile.. Various roads and trails, this Report useful, especially below 10,000′ climbing hiking. 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