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Cirque of the Towers Current Conditions - first week of June


Original Post
Victoria Madison · · Unknown Hometown · Joined 15 days ago · Points: 0

I will be in the area the first week of June and would like to backpack the Cirque of the Towers loop route. I would at least like to be able to reach the Cirque and spend a few days in the area. Does anyone know if this will be possible so early in June or if it will still be snowed in?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! 

Garth Wadsworth · · Rapid City · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 0

Currently snowing

DavisMeschke Guillotine · · Armchair Asshole · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 225
Garth Wadsworth wrote: Currently snowing

I can comfirm this. We've received 5 inches total last night and today; tomorrow it's supposed to snow on and off all day. The high-country is forecasted to get a foot of new. Our snowpack is 150% of average, so none of our trailheads are snow-free yet. The earliest I've been IN the Cirque is 3rd week of June, so unfortunately I think it will be much later until anything is climable without snow-camping. BUT! Have an adventure. If you can get in, there will definitly be south and east facing climbs that are in condition (i.e. dry). Plus, you'll probably have the whole place to yourself, which is pretty rad.

climbing00 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 30

Came here to ask this exact same question. Appreciate the replies. What time of year is prime for hiking there? 

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 15,387
climbing00 wrote: Came here to ask this exact same question. Appreciate the replies. What time of year is prime for hiking there? 

Third week of August.

Brandon Emery · · South Dakota · Joined May 2014 · Points: 10

Springtime, June in particular, there is still usually a lot of snow in the area. This being said, that won't be your biggest issue. The bugs are insane at that time of year. Absolutely insane. 

Daniel James · · 2018/19: Bristol, England · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 745
climbing00 wrote: Came here to ask this exact same question. Appreciate the replies. What time of year is prime for hiking there? 

I was there in early September and it was perfect, no bugs and no new snow yet.  However, I think I only missed first snow by a week or two when I went.

GDodds dodds · · Portland Maine · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 0

Anyone have any decent predictions on how it will be in early July? Bugs? snow? thanks 

Dave Cramer · · Greenfield, MA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 1
climbing00 wrote: What time of year is prime for hiking there? 

The week before hunting season. No people, no mosquitos. 

Charlie S · · Ogden, UT · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 2,018
GDodds dodds wrote: Anyone have any decent predictions on how it will be in early July? Bugs? snow? thanks 

I'd track this page:

https://www.nohrsc.noaa.gov/interactive/html/map.html?ql=station&zoom=&loc=42.768+N%2C+109.202+W&var=ssm_depth&dy=2019&dm=5&dd=15&dh=22&snap=1&o9=1&o12=1&o13=1&lbl=m&mode=pan&extents=us&min_x=-111.525&min_y=41.791666666662&max_x=-107.775&max_y=43.899999999996&coord_x=+-109.202&coord_y=+++42.768&zbox_n=42.76852777777342&zbox_s=42.76852777777342&zbox_e=-109.20234375000001&zbox_w=-109.20234375000001&metric=0&bgvar=dem&shdvar=shading&width=800&height=450&nw=800&nh=450&h_o=0&font=0&js=1&uc=0

2016 was a similar year in terms of snowpack depth on this date.

Big Sandy is the nearest weather station.  It sits significantly lower than the Cirque but you can get an idea of trends:
https://wcc.sc.egov.usda.gov/reportGenerator/view/customSingleStationReport/daily/342:wy:SNTL|id=%22%22|name/-7,0/WTEQ::value,WTEQ::delta,SNWD::value,SNWD::delta

Snow depth at the trailhead went to "zero" on 5/31/2016:
https://wcc.sc.egov.usda.gov/reportGenerator/view/customChartReport/daily/start_of_period/342:WY:SNTL%7Cid=%22%22%7Cname/-1109,-1018/WTEQ::value,WTEQ::delta,SNWD::value,SNWD::delta?fitToScreen=false&useLogScale=false 
(I assume that link will work but it might not)

So, I don't have any data from 2016, but I did go in July of 2013, 2014, and 2015 near the end of the month.  2014 was a higher snowfall year and the Cirque was very manageable.  Early July should still be good.  I'd expect bugs as long as the overnight temps stay above freezing.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Wyoming, Montana, Dakotas
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