Posts tagged: beehive lakes
HIKING — Bear activity has prompted the Idaho Panhandle National Forests today to temporarily close popular trails to Beehive and Harrison Lakes in the upper Pack River drainage of the Selkirk Mountains.
The two trails and the surrounding area are closed to the public until further notice to ensure public safety, said Jason Kirchner, Forest Service spokesman in Coeur d'Alene.
A bear recently entered a camp site near the Beehive Lakes Trail and was able to remove camping equipment and human food, he said.
Campers have to step up and follow simple bear-wise rules to protect campers who come after them as well as public access to these coveted backcountry areas.
This bear — the people involved couldn't verify whether it was a black bear or grizzly — likely had been lured by food previously.
One group's sloppy camping can unnecessarily screw up the outdoor experience for everybody, as this instance proves.
And neglecting to hang or protect food usually brings a bitter end for the bears, as it did this month for bears that had become food-conditioned in Montana's Smith River State Park (see story).
Here are the rules from the Panhandle National Forests
There is a mandatory food storage order in effect from April 1 through December annually. All food and beverages including canned food, soda and beer, garbage, grease, processed livestock or pet food and scented flavored toiletries must be unavailable to bears and stored in bear resistant containers at night and when unattended. For more information on proper food storage, members of the public are encouraged to visit the Idaho Panhandle National Forest’s food storage web site.
Temporary closures are the first step in ensuring public and bear safety when problematic encounters occur.
For more information please contact the Sandpoint Ranger District at (208) 263-5111 or visit the Idaho Panhandle National Forests Website.
HIKING — What a difference a week makes this time of year in the Idaho Selkirk Mountains.
Last week I reported ice still covering Beehive and Little Harrison lakes at 6,200 feet elevation up the Pack River drainage in the heart of the Selkirks.
Seeing the late opportunity to make some turns on the snow fields above Beehive Lakes, local skier Mike Brede trekked in on Saturday and found a slightly different scene.
There was still enough snow to make a run of 975 vertical feet from twin Peaks down to the upper Beehive Lake (see photo, that's the ice-free upper lake at the bottom of the run).
But the ice was gone from Beehive and Little Harrison lakes.
“And the mosquitoes are out now,” Brede confirmed.
See more of his photos on Facebook.
HIKING — Despite the heat wave the moved into the region on Sunday, plenty of snow and ice remained in the high Selkirk Mountains of Idaho.
I joined a group of hikers, drove north of Sandpoint and followed the Upper Pack River Road to the Beehive Lakes trailhead a mile from the end of the road. (Eight cars were parked at the Harrison Lake TH and our group brought the total to six at Beehive TH).
Within a few hours, we had followed the trail and the short section of cairns over granite slabs just over 3 miles to upper Beehive Lake elev. 6,457 feet and found it frozen with only a little water around the edges showing.
Scrambling up a ridge toward the crest, we looked down on Little Harrison Lake, 6,271 feet elevation (see Harrison Peak in the top right background of the photo above). It, too, was still iced over.
But the trail into Beehive was snow-free and scrambling was good on the granite slabs and ridges.
The snow is going to go fast in this hot weather, though. We were able to easily cross Beehive Creek over some cut branches on the way up. But on the way down that creek had swelled from snowmelt and everyone got his feet wet as the water poured over the makeshift woody debris bridge.
HIKING — Trail 279 to Beehive Lakes got a facelift last weekend, tanks to nine volunteers from the Idaho Trails Association.
The group camped up the Pack River Road in the Selkirk Mountains and worked under the supervision of three Forest Service trail crew leaders to clear brush from the popular 4.5-mile trail.
This year the Sandpoint Ranger District budget for trails was approximately $10,000. No other funding was available for maintaining hiking trails on the district this fiscal year.
“The work these volunteers did was priceless,” said MaryAnn Hamilton, Sandpoint Ranger District Trails Coordinator. “It’s great to see hikers helping out with the trails they enjoy.”
The Idaho Trails Association incorporated in 2010 to, in part, help trail managers maintain hiking trails in the state, said
“We would like to express our gratitude for the volunteers that turned out to help keep this trail safe, sustainable, and enjoyable,” said Brad Smith, a member of ITA’s Board of Directors.
The group organized five other trail projects this year across Idaho. ITA’s mission is to promote the continued enjoyment of Idaho’s hiking trails.