Storms Damage Trails, Roads in Inyo National Forest

Two late July storms that brought the Sierra Nevada the Aspen Fire and numerous road closures in Death Valley also left trails and roads damaged in Inyo National Forest.

Officials say that two washed out trails will be "very difficult" for hikers and backpackers. Not that those trails were easy in the first place -- both climb 6,000 vertical feet as they head from the Owens Valley through the John Muir Wilderness into Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

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Shepherd Pass Trail, which starts near the town of Independence, climbs to 12,000 feet before descending into Sequoia, eventually meeting up with the John Muir Trail at Tyndall Creek. "Hikers have been able to get through, but report tall steps, loose dirt, boulders and rocks in the trail," notes the Forest Service website.

Several miles north near the hamlet of Aberdeen, Taboose Pass Trail is also damaged. The trail ends in Kings Canyon at the John Muir Trail.

As for closures, Haiwee Pass Trail and the road that leads to it from the town of Olancha has been temporarily blocked. The trail leads into the South Sierra Wilderness.

Other road closures are near Independence: Division Creek before the hydroelectric powerhouse and Mazourka Canyon. And two roads -- Wyman Canyon in the White Mountains and Foothill Road near Shepherd Pass Trail -- are impassable to passenger vehicles and may be difficult for off-highway vehicles.

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About the Author

Zach Behrens is KCETLink's Editor-in-Chief of Blogs, where he oversees website editorial and advises on projects. When he does write, he mostly covers local government, environment, and the outdoors.
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