Middle Fork River Trail #6044 Condition Update

SALMON, Idaho – On May 19, a partial failure occurred on the Middle Fork River Trail #6044 which begins at Meyers Cove on Camas Creek and ends at Waterfall Creek on the Middle Fork Salmon River.  The trail failed approximately 10 miles downstream of the Meyers Cove Trailhead and 4.5 miles upstream of the Camas Creek and Middle Fork River confluence.  For location reference, the trail failed just upstream of Camas Creek and Yellowjacket Creek confluence.

The Salmon-Challis National Forest and Idaho Conservation Crew (ICC) are continuing to clear the Lower Yellowjacket Trail (FS Trail #050) down to Camas Creek from the Yellowjacket Road (FS Road # 112) as an alternate route.  Work includes brush clearing, tread stabilization, and some minor blasting.  Crews will continue this work throughout the next few weeks to help ensure the route is passable for stock and recreationists.  As of June 8, the Yellowjacket Trail was considered passable by North Fork Ranger District Wilderness Trails personnel.  Additional clearing of brush will be necessary. 

High water may still impacting the Lower Yellowjacket Trail.  Water is on the trail in some areas, but over the past week water levels have dropped significantly.  Stream fords are passable.

At this time, the Middle Fork River Trail remains impassable to stock at the failure location.  The best alternative route for stock users is to travel on the Yellowjacket Road past Tin Cup to the Yellowjacket Trailhead.  Parking is limited along the Yellowjacket Road, but there are several locations within four miles of the Trailhead where trucks and stock trailers may park without blocking the main roadway.  At this time, the Yellowjacket Road is in good condition and passible.  Forest Engineering and Roads staff have worked with large equipment to clear rocks and widen shoulders.   The roadway is still narrow, with few turnouts, so please travel with caution if using this route.  It is recommended that prior to individuals hauling stock trailers below the Tin Cup Mine that they scout out the Yellowjacket Road prior to proceeding down the road to park closer to the trailhead. Drivers are reminded to please not park in road turnouts designed to allow opposing traffic to pass on the single lane road.

North Fork Ranger District staff are working on a proposal to address the trail failure which includes evaluation of both motorized and non-motorized alternatives to repair the trail failure which is required in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. The Salmon-Challis National Forest will notify the public once a proposal to repair the failure has been approved and when the trail is expected to be repaired and visitors can safely pass. 

For more information regarding current conditions, please contact Ken Gebhardt, North Fork District Ranger at 208-865-2700, or the Public Lands Center at 208-756-5100.