Took a hike up up the hot springs today at Mike’s request and encountered the following conditions:

  • It was snowing lightly at 2000 ft (the elevation of the BN Staging Area) when I arrived and near blizzard conditions once in the clearcut and up to the springs at 3,500ft,
  • I estimate in the four hours I was up there, an additional eight inches of fresh, dry pellet snow (the low temp, stormcloud stuff) had fallen to obliterate my tracks up. It was still snowing heavily when I left at 8pm,
  • The berm across the entrance to FS850 is still substantial and impassable for some time,
  • The snow on up FS850 and the clearcut averages 4-6 feet deep,
  • Onto the actual trail, snow is slightly deeper except in the places where the spring runoffs cross the trail,
  • Snowshoes are no longer required as the snow has compacted and supports boots for the most part (if you stay in established routes),
  • The main springs (Lobster and Bear Den) are running hot, supporting pool temperatures of 109F and 103F, respectively. There is little evidence of snowmelt or the expected cooling of the spring sources . . . and I don’t expect melt to happen anytime soon.

The following images give some idea of the present (April 24th) conditions:

The berm across FS850
The BPA Clearcut
The entrance to the trailhead

Just before the Main Springs Creek trail crossing
Note the heavy snow weighing down the branches over the trail

Large slab of snow near the pools being held
temporarily by that ten foot tall tree stump