Forum Index » Pre-Trip Planning » Trip Ideas - Utah or Western Colorado in June


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John Harper
(johnnyh88) - M

Locale: The SouthWest
Trip Ideas - Utah or Western Colorado in June on 03/19/2014 21:41:00 MDT Print View

I am looking to plan a 7+ day trip in early June. I'm currently in OR, but my hiking buddies are in AZ, so I was thinking we could meet in the "middle" - maybe somewhere in Utah or Western Colorado (although I suppose somewhere in California is also a possibility).

My goals for the trip are:

1. Be dog-friendly
2. Allow for some fishing (i.e. backcountry lakes and rivers)
3. Avoid snow (for the most part)

Being early June, I am wondering if there is anywhere that is likely to be snow-free but still have some lakes?

I spent a week in the Uintas in September last year and had an awesome time, so I was thinking of returning there. Does anyone have an idea of the current snow levels there? Last I read, Colorado was above average for snow this year.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Pecos? on 03/19/2014 22:05:43 MDT Print View

The Pecos in New Mexico might fit the bill for you. Close to Santa Fe (where I assume there is an airport). I was just up there (on snow shoes).

All that said I might stick with the Unitas, bigger area, and probably just as scenic if not more so.

Edited by Cameron on 03/19/2014 22:06:52 MDT.

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - M

Locale: 40°N,-105°W (Near enough)
Colorado SNOTEL on 03/19/2014 22:10:45 MDT Print View

Take a look at the SNOTEL snowpack graphs for the major basins in Colorado at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/co/snow/products/?cid=nrcs144p2_063323

You'll see that although statewide we're running at 115% of normal snowpack, much of the southern and southwest part of the state is currently running below normal, including San Juan, Animas, Dolores, San Miguel and Rio Grande basins. We're still 4-6 weeks from normal peak snowpack, so it's really too early to tell with certainty.

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - M

Locale: The SouthWest
Re: Trip Ideas - Utah or Western Colorado in June on 03/19/2014 22:26:07 MDT Print View

I had actually considered the Pecos (it's been on my list for a couple years now), but I forgot to mention I don't want to fly, so it'd be a far drive from OR.


Thank you for the SNOTEL link. I will have to explore the various areas. The San Juans or Rio Grande areas could be good ideas.

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - M

Locale: The SouthWest
Re: trip ideas - Emigrant Wilderness? on 03/20/2014 16:32:27 MDT Print View

I've been doing some more research and came across the Emigrant Wilderness in CA. From looking at the map, it seems like many of the lakes are around 8000' - 9000'. Does anyone have an idea if these would be mostly snow-free by late May or early June?

I called the ranger's office for the Uintas. She said the Western side is having about average snow levels (meaning things won't clear up until about mid-June), but the Eastern side of the Uintas is below average and could be hike-able as early as Mid-May.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: trip ideas - Emigrant Wilderness? on 03/20/2014 19:21:48 MDT Print View

Sure - June is fantastic at the lower elevations in the sierra. Fish are hungry. So are mosquitoes. Lots of dog friendly places, and I think that might split the distance with your friend - maybe even better. 8000 ft is usually clear in June during a "nomal" year. Short of an act of God this year should be perfect.

Take a look at the Tahoe rim trail. But Emigrant has a ton of lakes and fishing opportunities, and much of it should be perfect (except for the aforementioned mosquitoes) by early June.

Edited by millonas on 03/20/2014 19:31:45 MDT.

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - M

Locale: The SouthWest
Re: Emigrant Wilderness and Mosquitos on 03/26/2014 20:12:01 MDT Print View

Any guesses on the whether the mosquitos would be worse in mid May or June around the Emigrant Wilderness? May would be colder but June will probably be drier...

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: Emigrant Wilderness and Mosquitos on 03/26/2014 20:29:45 MDT Print View

June and beginning of July are typically the worst, but I don't think you can predict it too precisly. They hatch when a temperature switch goes off. Some people have predicted that because of the low-snow winter they will be down this year, but I wouldn't count on it. Just bring a head net and use permethrin on the outside of your clothes.

They have never been a reason for me not to go. It is only if you are absolutely unprepared that they rise to a major annoyance. The good news is they will be asleep at night and in the morning when it is cold.

Sharon J.
(squark) - F

Locale: SF Bay area
Re: Re: trip ideas - Emigrant Wilderness? on 03/27/2014 13:19:14 MDT Print View

Dogs love Emigrant!
2011-10-10-StanislausNF 413

I haven't yet been there in May, though I was just north in the >Carson-Iceberg Wilderness over Memorial Day weekend 2012. Snow was negligible at 8000'.

A whole bunch of links to good weather info on the Sierra can be found in this thread:

http://www.highsierratopix.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=7778

Dean L
(AldoLeopold) - F

Locale: Great Lakes
Re: Trip Ideas - Utah or Western Colorado in June on 03/28/2014 11:07:48 MDT Print View

Maybe the Boulder Mountain area of Utah would work. High forested plateau full of small lakes and streams. Check out BoulderMountainGuides.com

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - M

Locale: The SouthWest
Re: Trip Ideas - Utah or Western Colorado in June on 04/02/2014 10:06:26 MDT Print View

Thanks, Boulder Mountain looks pretty great. That is definitely an area I will keep in mind.