As the summer season quickly approaches, the Forest Service office and IPWA have started receiving more emails and questions from visitors asking about trail conditions and snowpack in the high country. When its a hot 90+ degrees in the front range, visitors are often unprepared for the colder temperatures and wintery conditions at higher elevations. This year, statewide the snowpack levels are almost twice as high as they were in 2018, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Local channel 9News published an article The good and the bad that comes with record snowpack, which highlights the good impacts (reduced risk of significant fires, drought reduction and increased water supply) and the bad (dangers from runoff and flooding, avalanches and prolific mosquitos).
For those headed into the high country, expect snowy conditions later into the summer which will delay road openings and trail accessibility. Keep an eye on road and trail conditions and weather forecasts when planning a trip, and make sure you are prepared with winter gear and skills (such as avalanche safety). Remember, to keep your safety as top priority and turn back if needed.
Here are some photos of the conditions at Brainard and Long Lake this past weekend: