More damaged bridges in the High Sierra

Two more reports of damaged bridges in the High Sierra have emerged. I suspect we may be looking at a few more before the water levels drop in July or August.

I’ve updated my High Sierra Creek Hazards resource with these updates already.

One is over the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin near Red’s Meadow on the PCT/JMT. Here’s a report and photo. The alternate is easy: walk the road between Red’s Meadow and Agnew Meadow.

The other spans Woods Creek in Sequoia-Kings. It’s on the JMT/PCT and Rae Lakes Loop, and it’s a critical one — there’s a lot of water moving through here, and it’s moving quickly. Here’s the original report, and here are photos (added May 24) of its tilt and snapped beam.

If this bridge is condemned or incurs additional damage, JMT/PCT hikers can bypass this bridge by staying on the east side of the creek, its South Fork as well as its main stem (that flows south off Pinchot Pass). But it’s an ugly alternate: expect extensive talus and brush. Honestly, this would be a show-stopper for north-south traffic in this part of the range.

Posted in on May 22, 2023


  1. Rich Apple on May 29, 2023 at 10:47 am

    Andrew… Longtime backpacker here, but… Only a comment on “show-stopper.” I think it’s the business community that have stolen this term, but a “show-stopper” is a good thing. So good it interrupts the “show.” Of course people know what you mean, but…
    Thanks for your contributions to the backpacking community!

  2. Danbag on June 21, 2023 at 9:35 pm

    Hi, I’m wondering if there’s any information about the bridge over Fish Creek on the trail to Iva Bel Hot Springs. We have reservations for that trail in mid-August. Thanks

    • Andrew Skurka on June 30, 2023 at 1:12 am

      I’ve not heard anything.

  3. Norm on July 13, 2023 at 11:07 am

    I read in a blog that the Woods Creek Bridge has been repaired. Have you heard anything?

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