Two massive landslides discovered in the backcountry
JACKSON HOLE, WYO – A major landslide in the northern Wyoming Range has many backcountry outfitters talking, but another slide on a more popular trail is getting fast attention from the hiking community.
Jaime Jackson was up Cliff Creek on July 1-2, headed to Cliff Creek Falls. His journey was stopped short when encountered a massive movement of earth near the falls.
Cory Conett also encountered the landslide. He said it originates in Hole in the Wall Creek, and completely blocks the trail about one mile below Cliff Creek Falls. Conett shared pictures with the Bridger-Teton NF. They were unaware of the slide.
The slide is approximately much farther south than the area burned in Cliff Creek fire last year, so that did not have anything to do with the incident. This landslide was likely due to moisture and geological shifting.
Mary Cernicek of the BTNF said there are no plans to repair the Cliff Creek trail. Natural events are just that, but they may take a look at what they can do when they are sure the earth has stopped moving. For now, hikers and outfitters looking to get into the falls area and beyond will have to find a way through.
Meanwhile, a slide at Willow Creek has created a new “temporary” lake in that canyon. The event was discovered during an aerial reconnaissance flight looking for fire.
The slide is deep in the backcountry where few people ever get to. Middle Mountain is the one that gave way, spilling into a drainage between hunter Creek and Willow Creek. It’s in Lincoln County, north of Pickle Pass and a few miles west of Cliff Creek Falls.
Oh, and as a side note, the popular hike to Goodwin Lake is not ready for primetime. Vehicles are still getting stuck in the snow in the last half-mile of road to the parking area. The lake itself is still mostly frozen and snow-covered.
Jaime Jackson’s video here of Cliff Creek is pretty awesome!
Posted by Jaime Walsh Jackson on Wednesday, July 5, 2017