Resource for Hikers
Log in or register for full access to site features & free downloads
Printed Maps & App
Stay found. Stay informead. Our premium printed topographic maps and matching app for a once in a lifetime adventure
OnLine Data Books
Free online data books for your favorite trail, distances, elevation, climate, way points, terrain & fauna
GPS aware Google maps, your location, topo, hybrid, satellite, trail track, way points, road, weather/snow overlays
Active Fires & Smoke
Know before you go! Get the lastest active fire & smoke information for your favorite trail
Get the lastest snow conditions for your favorite trail. Quantity, coverage, SNODAS, MODIS, historical and multi-year comparisons
Create an extensive hike plan easily configurable to your hiking style. Distances, days, resupply, access points, etc
Create your own fully customizable gear list with weight, pricing and divisable by section.
Exhaustive resource for species ranges along your favorite trail. Includes amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles.
Complete Gear Lists
Hundreds of complete gear lists by those that walked the walk.
The big picture. Single elevation profile of your favorite trail.
Search for a journal, create a journal, add/edit an entry, configure your journal, EMail updates, integrated Google trail map, PLB locations and more
Print out your favorite trail to 6 feet high. Elevation chart and resupply locations.
Source for trail and site information or just talk about your favorite trail
Where it all begins.
June 16th, 2017
June 15th or "Ray Day" is the traditional entry date into the sierra for northbound hikers from Kennedy Meadow. The following are notes for the 2017 Pacific Crest Trail snow year.
Hikers are concerned with 'trail snow', not 'snow pack', as the 2 are entirely different. That's what you'll be seeing here. All data is from the last 13 years only
Quantity of Snow
2017 was a big year. At peak near April 1st, it had the most snow in the last 13 years. This shows the year to date Snow Water Equivalent (SWE):
As of today, SWE is an impressive 259% of average for this 400 mile section. In 2011, a year with a lower peak amount, but a much slower melt-off, June 16th had a massive 438% of average SWE! You can see that here:
While snow amount tells us how long snow might stick around, coverage is probably the most important number to hikers. Whether it's 1 foot deep or 10 feet deep, you still have to walk on it. Let's take a look at today's snow coverage:
Right now that section is showing about 55% coverage or 229% of normal. Let's put that in context. Today, if you're headed out into this 400 mile section, half of it, more than 200 miles is still snow covered! That will probably be much more than the average hiker is up for. The coverage in 2011 was about 8% more than this year.
Under the Mircoscope
Let's break down that 400 mile section into 3 different sections and see how things look today:
Kennedy Mdw to MTR - 158.6 miles
Covered by snow: 28.8%, No snow: 71.2%, Above average: 24.1%, Below average: 24.1%, About average: 51.7%
MTR to Tuolumne Mdw - 88 miles
Covered by snow: 61.0%, No snow: 39.0%, Above average: 59.3%, Below average: 22.0%, About average: 18.6%
Tuolumne Mdw to Echo Lake - 149.6 miles
Covered by snow: 80.0%, No snow: 20.0%, Above average: 73.0%, Below average: 25.0%, About average: 2.0%
Let's look a bit further than Echo Lake (South Lake Tahoe):
Echo Lake to Sierra City - 102.8 miles
Covered by snow: 63.3%, No snow: 36.7%, Above average: 56.0%, Below average: 38.6%, About average: 5.3%
Sierra City to Belden - 91.4 miles
Covered by snow: 29.3%, No snow: 70.7%, Above average: 23.9%, Below average: 44.6%, About average: 31.5%
It's a tough year for PCT hikers. As of this writing a few hikers have actually hiked through the worst of the sierra. And they have stories to tell. Again, the dangers presented are probably not what the average hiker had envisoned. That's OK. The trail will still be there when you're ready to tackle it on your terms. Don't be in rush, even if it means putting off your hike.
Postholer.Com © 2005-2023 - Sitemap - W3C - @postholer - GIS Portfolio