Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Caution Advised on the Flathead National Forest This Holiday

Recreationists should be aware of possible obstacles on trails impacted by the June 26, 2012, storm which moved through the Swan Lake and Hungry Horse/Glacier View Ranger Districts.

There are a significant number of blown-down trees on trails in the Swan and Mission ranges that may make some trails impassible. Hikers and horse users should expect to encounter blown down trees blocking trails as well as widespread snow cover above 6,500 feet in elevation, and should plan accordingly. Some passes are not yet open due to snow levels.

One area hit hard by the recent wind is the Cold Lakes Trail 121 in the Mission Mountains Wilderness. More than 65 trees are reported down on the trail and it is temporarily closed. The trail to Lower Cold Lake has swaths of large diameter spruce stacked on top of each other in many areas of the trail. The trail will remain closed through July 16th while crews work to clearthe trees. The bridge over the Swan River on Trail 351 from Beaver Creek to Crystal Lake is out and the river is not safe to ford due to high water.

Water levels are still very high compared to what people might normally expect for this time of year. Everyone is encouraged to plan ahead so they are not caught off guard on float trips and in back-country trips. River enthusiasts are reminded to be prepared, wear required life jackets, know your abilities, have the proper safety gear on board and know how to use the gear, and treat the river with respect.

Please observe that fireworks are not allowed on National Forest System Lands, national parks or state lands. Campfires should always be attended to and be “dead out” before leaving the area.

Hiking in

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