S. Fk. Flathead, Young's Pass fire damage

I am looking for information on the trail conditions over Young’s Pass since the fire last summer that, apparently, burned up the Young’s and Jenny Creek drainages … I.e.; is it likely to be 15 miles of black soot billowing up with every footstep? :imp:
Have been trying to reach a Bob Marshall recreation ranger to ask, but so far, nothing back from them.

I suspect that you are not going to get much information at this time and any that you do get will be irrelevant once the snow melts.

…Just speaking on general knowledge alone.

Point A.) Current conditions: That area is covered in probably in at least 10 feet of snowpack at this time so it would be impossible for anyone to speak of the trail itself. You could probably ski/snowshoe but the melt has begun (Volume of H20 on S.F. [measured at Twin Cr.] went from 650cfs two weeks ago to 3380 yesterday) and so the snow is starting to melt off.

Point B.) The fire and trail maintenance: The fire ran late into the fall season last year so most of the effort by the forestry service was put into just containing it. Trail assessment and plans for trail crew are not done until early spring. So getting feed back about how much burned, how many more trees were pushed over by the snowpack, how much damage was done to the trail by the burn & snow is somewhat futile at this moment. I’m not any kind of guru for this area but I would suspect you need to wait about another 4-6 weeks before information starts to get circulated.

*Note) I did see an image of the USFS post incident report (this area was burned by the ‘Rice fire’) and it looks bad for that area. Fortunately it looks like you will see most of the heaviest burn area on the drive up to Lodgepole but you will get to start hiking in an area that was somewhat saved for the most part due to previous fires that burned out the fuel. I tried to upload a picture to this site but after reducing it several times I quit when it wouldn’t even accept an image at 350kb. At that point it was turning into a thumbnail. But you can go google the Post-Fire BAER report on the Rice fire and it will hook you up with a link to the map of the burn.


‘Rice fire’ should be ‘Rice Ridge fire’

Also, here is how to get to the page that has the final assessment map of the fire.

webpage: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5627/

About half way down the page is the section ‘incident report.’ Click on the map. You will have to zoom in, but if you know the layout of the Bob and MT, then you should be able to overlay the map and get an idea of the burn.

Thank you Hellcat, the map was indeed helpful.

I agree that the worst (assuming red equates is more damage than green) of the burn appears to be along the road to the TH. And, best that I can tell, the trail isn’t burned that badly (as you say, probably because there wasn’t much left to burn). Looks like there was a small area in the vicinity of Hahn Cr. that got hammered though.

I did manage to have a great conversation with the recreation ranger today. We didn’t discuss downed trees, but he didn’t feel that there would be significant ash on the trail, which made me feel much better. He did say that the snow pack in the S. Fk. drainage was at 180% of average and that they were anticipating a correspondingly higher flow and perhaps a bit longer season this year (of course, it all depends on how/when it comes off).

My wife and I are hoping to head in there in the third week of July for seven days (two days to backpack in…getting too old to slump our gear that far in one day).