Sunday, July 22, 2012

Wind River Range- Wyoming

The Wind River Range is a mountain range of the Rocky Mountains in western Wyoming. The range runs roughly northwest for approximately 100 miles. The Continental Divide follows the crest of the range and includes Gannett Peak  which is 13,804 ft., the highest peak in Wyoming. July3 through July9 in 2012 I spent seven days backpacking through the winds. The Wind River Range is a beautiful area that offers endless route opportunists are every level hiker. The list below is the route we took, to see the pictures I took along the trail visit my Facebook Page!

Big Sandy Campground- Parking Lot
Big Sandy Trail
Big Sandy Lake
North Lake- Camp
Day 2:
Big Sandy Pass/ Jackass Pass
Lonesome Lake
North Fork Trail
Lizard Head Meadows- Camp
Day 3:
Zero Day
Day 4:
Lizard Head Trail
Bears Ears Trail
Valentine Lake
South Fork Little Wind River
Grave Lake- Camp
Day 5:
Zero Day
Day 6:
Hailey Pass Trail
Hailey Pass
Twin Lakes
Mae's Lake- Camp
Day 7:
Pyramid Lake Trail
Skull Lake
Marms Lake
Fremont Trail
Dads Lake
Diamond Lake Trail
Big Sandy Campground- Parking lot

Driving Directions:
The trailhead is located at the parking lot for Big Sandy Campground, for driving directions and camping information follow the link. Click Here.

The high country usually opens up around mid July and remains open through mid September. Snow can occur at any time, and visitors should be prepared for the possibility of subfreezing temperatures even in the summer. Afternoon thunderstorms, with lightning and rain showers are common during the summer. Daytime summer temperatures in the high county reach the 70s- 80s with nighttime lows averaging in the 30s.

The Winds are known to have a small Grizzly Bear population, primarily in the northernmost areas, the black bear however lives throughout the park. Bear vaults are strongly suggested but proper hanging techniques can also be used to protect your food from hungry bears.

Though there are bears in the range, the most notorious pest is the mosquito. The Winds are a range of massive amounts of water in the form of thousands of lakes, pools, meadows, marshes, and waterfalls. While attractive, it makes the area a mosquito breeding ground. It all depends on location, time of day, time of year and the year itself. Typically, the bugs (including biting Horse. Deer flies and Gnats) are at their peak from mid June to mid August- the wettest periods. They are less in numbers if there has been a freeze or a lot of wind. I recommend bringing lots of bug spray but if you are like and that stuff only seems to attract them, long sleeves and pants are your best bet for not getting eaten alive!

What I think You Should Know:
1. Mosquitoes SUCK!- No amount of bug spray keeps those annoying pests away. They seem to love my blood, within six days the mosquitoes had a feast and I was covered head to toe in bites.
2. Let it RAIN- No matter the forecast when you leave home, it will rain at least once on your hike. Each morning the sun was out, fluffy white clouds in a bright blue sky, the birds were singing and all was great! For a little while... around noon the sky would become dark and the rain would start.
3. You WILL have to cross a river, know the correct way to do so. Backpacker Magazine: How to Cross a River. Prior to this trip I had never crossed a river without rocks or fallen logs to balance on. Luckily I had someone there to assist me.
4. You want me to go WHERE?! Yes, you will need to be able to poop in the woods. There are no bathrooms in the back country, so make sure you brought your trusty trowel and plenty of toilet paper! Leave No Trace.

Park Management: 
The entire west side is managed by the Bridger-Teton National Forest. North and south of the reservation and the mountains wast of the Continental Divide are managed by Shoshone National Forest. A large portion of the range, east of the Continental Divide is park of the Wind River Indian Reservation (Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapahoe tribes)

Bridger Wilderness
Bridger-Teton National Forest
Pinedale Ranger District
29 E Fremont Lake Road
PO Box 220
Pinedale, WY, 82941
Phone: 307-367-4326

Popo Agie Wilderness
Shoshone National Forest
Washakie Ranger District
600 North Highway 287
Lander, WY, 82520
Phone: 307-332-5460 or 332-9071

Fitzpatrick Wilderness
209 East Ramshorn
PO Box 186
Dubois, WY, 82513
Phone: 307-455-2466

Sublette County Chamber of Commerce
Sublette Visitor Center
PO Box 176
Pinedale, WY, 82941
Phone: 307-356-2242

Facebook Page
Knot the Ordinary- Store
Leave No Trace
How to Cross a River
Bridger-Teton National Forest
Big Sandy Campground


Awesome! That second photo.. I need to camp there :) Hah, I see that's the one on your facebook too.

That was taken on Lizard Head Plateau overlooking Lizard head peak and Bear Lake at its base, Cirque o' Towers in the distance. Its one of the best spots I have ever camped, tied with Whole in the wall in Glacier National Park.

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