Snow makes for slow going in high Sierra |

Snow makes for slow going in high Sierra

Greyson Howard/Sierra SunA hiker climbs around Tahoe.

Heavy snow pack in the high Sierra may mean delayed gratification for outdoor enthusiasts.

After a snow-heavy winter and stormy spring trails in the Tahoe National Forest and Eldorado National Forest’s Desolation Wilderness, many access roads and trails are washed out, damaged or still covered in snow drifts. That means a later start than usual for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians.

“A lot of local mountain bike trails are beat up and rutted from a lot of erosion,” said Jason Mills at The Backcountry in Truckee. “The Hole in the Ground trail has about three feet of snow in some spots and isn’t passable.”

The Truckee Ranger District in the Tahoe National Forest is advising hikers to wait before accessing high country trails off of Interstate 80 until the end of June. That will allow for more snow melt and for crews to repair washed-out roads and trails.

Pacific Crest Trail Association officials said they wouldn’t have information on conditions along the Tahoe stretch of the PCT until through-hikers reach that section, which may not be until late July.

Desolation Wilderness in Eldorado National Forest experienced 200 percent of normal snowfall over the winter, according to Nancy Platt from the Pacific Ranger District, and will also be opening many trails and campgrounds later than usual.

Among the different popular destinations in Desolation Wilderness, Horse Tail Falls is now open, while Lake of the Woods has 75 percent snow cover remaining, and Wrights Lake campgrounds aren’t expected to open until July 7, Platt said.

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