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[cdt-l] Wyoming (Red Desert) water sources (long)

I'll pass along this information - which was supplied by Kristin Drexler
(CDTA) and Ray Hanson (BLM).  Y'all say "Thank you" to the nice people.  It
may be a little late for the northbounders (they're mostly through the
desert by now) but the southbounders should be able to use it.

Walk softly,

>On 7/12/02 Kristin Drexler, Field Manager from the Continental Divide Trai=
>Alliance, and I travelled along a portion of the CDT from the Bison Basin
>Road to the Sweetwater River.  We found good usable water at Weasel Spring
>and at Upper Mormon Springs.  Therefore, the updated list of potential
>water sources was revised on 7/12 and is provided for your use.
>Thanks, Ray

CDT water conditions observations during summer of 2002

The following information is provided to assist trail users in determining
the condition of potential water sources along the designated route of the
CDT.  Trail users are advised that this is the third year of severe drought
conditions and availability of water at springs and stock reservoirs can
change daily and weekly.  A good rule of thumb concerning water is to fill
up at every source since the next potential source may be dry.  Also, all
water needs to be treated prior to use.  The list provided below is
northbound from Bull Springs to South Pass City.  The conditions on the
water sources are listed in descending order of the observation.  They were
provided by thru-hiker Bruce Dunlavy on 7/11/02; volunteer-hiker John Wahr,
6/13 B 16/02; and by Ray Hanson, BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner, Lander
Field Office, historic perspective.

Bull Springs (T24N, R90W, Sec. 2):
7/11: Muddy, cattle polluted.
6/13-16: Abundant livestock, pretty well trampled, but there is a fair
amount of clear looking water in small pools.
Hanson: This spring is on Wyoming State land.  Early in June/July a larger
pool of water can normally be found at the bottom of the lower meadow, abov=

Solar-paneled well (25N, R90W, Sec. 17):
7/11: Good water.
6/13-16:  There was no water coming out of the pipe, presumably because the
panels were not oriented towards the sun when I was there (7:30 PM).  But
the troughs below the pipe and the pool below the troughs were full of
Hanson: Pump system is generally operational by first week in June.

A&M Reservoir (T29N, R91W, Sec. 9):
7/11: Completely dry.
6/13-16: The water was very low, considering the size of the basin (as you
said it would be).  But there was water, and it looked clear to me as I
looked at it from up at the sign.
Hanson:  An alternative water source near A&M Reservoir is at Lost Soldier
Creek, 2.5 miles east along County Road 22.  Camping within the exclosure
fence at A&M Reservoir keeps you separated from the wild horses.  Not
necessary, but less to worry about.  The BLM Rawlins Field office is workin=
on a solar powered pumping system that will return flows into the reservoir=
  They hope to have it up for testing this fall and fully functional by nex=
spring.  We=3Dll keep you updated to its progress.

Lost Soldier Creek (T29N, R91W, Sec. 14):
7/11: Good water.
Hanson: Creek has been a reliable water source even during the drought

Crooks Creek (T27N, R92W, Sec. 16/17):
6/13-16:  Clear water, high up on the main fork (about 2 miles SE of where
the CDT crosses the Crooks Gap Road).
Hanson: Reliable water source even during the drought years.

West Fork Crooks Creek (T27N, R92W, Sec. 7):
7/11: Stagnant water at trail crossing.
6/13-16: Clear water where the CDT crosses the creek just west of the Crook=
Gap Road.
Hanson:  When creek is dry at CDT crossing water can often be found up
stream in holes.

Brenton Springs (T28N, R92W, Sec. 34):
7/11: Good water on western side of exclosure.
6/13-16: Found some water on the eastern side (not much, but usable).  Good=
running water beginning high up on western side.
Hanson:  Access to western source is through gate in exclosure fence.  No
camping is permitted within the exclosure.

Magpie Creek (T28N, R93W, Sec. 33):
7/11: Dry.
6/13-16:  No water; at least not that I could see from the trail.
Hanson: Creek is often dry at CDT crossing, especially in drought years.

East Arapahoe Creek (Crooks Mountain Reservoir, T28N, R93W, Sec. 21):
7/11: Minimal water.
6/13-16:  Water is flowing, and reservoir looked (from the trail) to have
lots of water in it.  But there were lots of cattle, and the ground was
pretty well trampled.  I wouldn't have wanted to use it unless I was really
Hanson:  Reservoir is down stream from CDT crossing.

East tributary of West Arapahoe Creek (T28N, R93W, Sec. 21):
7/11: Minimal water.
6/13-16:  Water is flowing.  Not as much as in E Arapahoe Creek. There were
lots of cattle, and the ground was pretty well trampled.  I wouldn't have
wanted to use it except in a pinch.
Hanson: Minimal flow, especially in drought years.

More western, tributary of West Arapahoe Creek (T28N, R93W, Sec. 19):
7/11: Minimal water.
6/13-16:  Like the East tributary, but with less water.  Plus, as you warne=
me, there's oil in it.
Hanson: An oil spill was reported to the BLM by two CDT thru-hikers in earl=
June.  The BLM Lander office investigated and found the source of the spill
to be from a nearby oil field.  The company responsible for the oil field i=
in the process cleaning up the spill, which is small in area, but
significant enough to require immediate cleanup efforts.  At this time, it
is advised that water from this source not be used.

Haypress Reservoirs (28N, R94W, Sec. 25):
7/11: Water, with cattle pollution.
6/13-16:  Both reservoirs have quite a bit of clear-looking water. No cattl=
were observed when I was there; and it didn't look as though there had been
cattle there recently.
Hanson: Reservoirs were built for livestock and wild horse use.
Pre-filtering advised.

State Section Reservoir (T28N, R95W, Sec. 16):
7/11: Useable water.
6/13-16:  The water situation was about the same as for Haypress Res.
Hanson: Reservoir was built for livestock and wild horse use.  Pre-filterin=

Alkali Creek (T28N, R96W, Sec. 24):
7/11: Dry.
6/13-16: No water that I could see from trail.
Hanson:  Often dry in normal precipitation years.

Coyote Lake (T28N, R96W, Sec. 26):
7/11: Dry.
6/13-16: Dry.
Hanson: When available water is alkaline.

Coyote Gulch (T28N, R96w, Sec. 30-33):
7/11: Dry or stagnant water.
6/13-16:  Nice-looking water in lower section (Bottom 0.2-0.3, or so,
miles).  No water that I could see anywhere above that.
Hanson: Early/mid June water can be found in small pools along gulch.  Late=
in season pooled water becomes stagnant.

Weasel Springs (T28N, R97W, Sec. 23):
Hanson on 7/12: THERE=92S WATER!  The BLM crew completed installation of a
spring box (7/8/02).  The spring box is visible from the western end of the
exclosure fence, with access through a walk-through gate.  At the spring an
inverted galvanized culvert was installed.  Access the water by removing th=
lid.  Remember to replace the lid afterwards.
6/13-16:  The Weasel Spring exclosure looks good, but the spring source is
dry.  The water level, though, is low.  I looked at the rocks on the south
side of the meadow below the gate, which is where I was lead to believe the
main spring is.  There is some water there, but very little.  It looked
clear, though pretty shallow and so easily muddied when being filtered.
Hanson:  The exclosure fence was built in the fall of 2001.  Development of
the spring source to provide a better water source for CDT users was
completed in early July 2002.  The Continental Divide Trail Alliance is one
of several partners that have contributed dollars toward this project.

Upper Mormon Spring (T28N, R98W, Sec. 24):
Hanson on 7/12: THERE=92S WATER! North of the trail approximately 250 yards=
on the western end of a rocky outcrop.  Around the spring source a short
wall of rocks has been stacked to protect it from livestock and wild horses=
  The small pool is clear and you can actually see the water coming up
through the sandy bottom of the spring.
6/13-16:  I didn't see any water from the trail.
Hanson: The spring source, on Wyoming State land, is on the western side of
a rocky outcrop.  Due to the drought this source may not be very reliable.

Sweetwater River (T28N, R99W, Sec. 2):
7/11: Good water.
6/13-16:  Lots of water, obviously, and quite clear. [Incidentally, when I
was at the campsite by the bridge (I slept there one night), there was a
beaver swimming around in the river.]
Hanson: The BLM administered public land on the south side of the river is
an excellent camping spot.

Rock Creek (T28n, R99W, Sec. 3, 10, 15):
7/11: Good water.
Hanson:  Year-round flow with excellent camping spots.

Willow Creek (T29N, R100W, Sec. 21, 27, 28):
7/11: Good water.
Hanson: Year-round flow with excellent camping spots.

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