Some of them are minor, leaving the majority of you fairly dry, but a couple of them are not. Best Photos. Even on this popular trail, finding solitude among the peaks is easy. Moose, elk, grizzly bears, wolverines, bald eagles, and more call this range home. Why you should go: Get lost deep in the Wind River Range as you find yourself among jagged peaks, rushing streams, and crystal-clear lakes filled with trout. Wind River Range, Along The Great Divide. (dirt/gravel, navigable by 2WD). Mosquitoes are treacherous here in the Winds during the warmer months. It’s a short drive from Pinedale to the Big Sandy Trailhead, so you can spend more time on the trail and less in the car. 13 Beautiful & Free Camping Spots in Colorado, Hidden Lake Overlook Hike: A Glacier National Park Classic, The Top 5 Pacific Crest Trail Section Hikes in Oregon and Washington, 7 Best Grand Canyon Hiking Tour Companies, 11 Beautiful Hikes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Join 80,000+ adventurers getting epic travel, camping and hiking ideas every week. Labeled “Pinedale’s most popular day hike,” this hike is a guaranteed winner if you can handle the distance. The Wind River Range is located in western Wyoming, just south of the Tetons and Jackson Hole. The majority of this land is maintained by the National Forest Service, so National Forest rules and regulations of backpacking and dispersed camping apply. If you find yourself off-trail with a group, everyone should spread out while walking. Enjoy short, easy day hikes or more intense backpacking trips, depending on what wets your whistle. Here’s our take on the best day hikes in the Wind River Range. The Rainbow Lake Trail begins at Dream Lake, which is right along the Continental Divide Trail. A decent portion of the text was written my member "Jimmyjay" and I would like to credit and thank him for all the work he put into this page. Roaring Fork Trail is a true test of skill. As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of alpine lakes to go around this beautiful mountain range, creating world-renowned fly fishing. Enter: Hidden Lake Pass. Why you should go: Discover a hidden treasure while enjoying sweeping views along the Slide Lake Trail. Glacier Trail hides Gannett Peak until you are 18.5 miles into this amazing wilderness. The falls run right along the Slide Lake Trail, so no extra hiking is required to reach this — though you’ll definitely want a top map to help you find the waterfall. For backpackers who wish to visit Cook Lake, you can create a loop that covers just over 29 miles in total. The core of the Wind River Range, a backpacker’s paradise, runs for 80 miles along the crest of the Continental Divide in west-central Wyoming from Green River Lakes in the northwest to the Big Sandy Opening in the southeast. Explore the most popular trails in Wind River Range with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you. It measures 25.2 x 39.2 inches and is printed at a scale of 1:100,000 with 100-foot contour intervals. Slide Lake Trail features beautiful views throughout. Hosting 100+ miles of the Continental Divide Trail and astounding mountain scenery, Wyoming’s Wind River Range offers more to explore beyond the Tetons, Medicine Bows, and Yellowstone National Park. Since Glacier Trail is far north in the Wind River Range, its snow melt differs from the southern trails near Pinedale and Lander, giving this trail a surprisingly earlier (and longer) season. The Wind River Range in Wyoming is home to multiple hiking gems, but hiking in the Titcomb Basin is one of the most visually rewarding. AllTrails vs Gaia Reviews: Which Hiking App is Best? At 10.2 miles, turn left at a T onto Meadow Lake Rd., and left at the next fork. Why is this hike so popular? If anyone has any comments or suggestions about this page feel free to contact me and I will add updates. We had 3 day hikes planned on this trip, the first day ended up being our biggest hike of the trip. Sign up for our free email to join thousands of readers getting epic travel, hiking, camping and gear ideas every week. This route covers almost 80 miles through the middle of the Wind River Range. From the Elkhart Park trailhead, the trail passes several alpine lakes before you reach its crown jewel: Titcomb Basin, surrounded by the amazing Cirque of the Towers. Wildlife is abundant here, and that includes grizzly bears. From there, I decided where … Join 80,000+ adventurers getting epic travel, camping and hiking ideas every week. This is a spectacular opportunity to take one of those wonderful pictures the Wind River Range is known for. With dense forests, granite slabs, high alpine meadows and lakes cradled beneath craggy granite peaks, The Wind River Range, or The Winds, as they're called by fans, are jammed with bucket-list day hikes and backpacking trips that reward you with epic views and unbelievable beauty. The route is thrilling and the scenery spectacular. The Wind River Range forms 110 miles of the Continental Divide in central Wyoming. Don’t let the length of the Big Sandy Lake Trail deter you! I’ve started to think that the best way to see a mountain range is to just walk the whole thing, so when I found Alan Dixon’s website detailing his Wind River High Route, I was hooked. Get the app Wind River Range. Enjoy your time in this otherworldly wilderness Wyoming has to offer! Trail Guide Best Trails & Photos. Best trails in Wind River Range, Wyoming. Snow sticks around here pretty late, and the lake can be icy until then, too, so be sure to check trail conditions before heading out to avoid a snowy surprise. This section hike is typically done point-to-point with help from others to shuttle or by thru-hikers of the CDT. Additionally, if you are mostly interested in a national park hiking tour, then Yellowstone is the best choice. You can learn more about our editorial and affiliate policy, Nude Hiking: How to (Legally) Celebrate Naked Hiking Day, The 11 Best Airbnbs in Breckenridge, Colorado. Near the Green River Lakes area, Roaring Fork is just one of many trails near here. While beautiful, this continues for quite a while and often makes hikers feel like they’re moving backwards. The small amount of elevation gain makes this trail easy to complete in a day, and the trailhead is easily accessible from Pinedale or Lander. More information: The Outbound Collective. The season for this hike is extremely short, spanning late July to September due to late snow melt and early snow storms. Truly beautiful, steep peaks create the backdrop of Photographer’s Point. It follows the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie River through Sinks Canyon and after about 1.5 miles reaches a cascade of waterfalls. Fly fishing is a very popular activity for overnighters of Dad’s Lake. Rain and thunderstorms also occur often (and usually without warning) in the summer, so come prepared with waterproof gear such as a rain jacket, rain pants, and waterproof hiking boots. Recommended Routes in Wind River Range - 7 Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Wind River Range Outdoor Recreation Map, by Beartooth Publishing, 5th Edition. Why you should go: Work your way up through thick forest to gain views of the entire Wind River Range. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com. Hiking is fun. Forty peaks soar above 13,000-ft. and over 100 summits top 12,000-ft. Lakes such as Trapper Lake, Trail Lake, Gottfried Lakes, Borum Lake, and Summit Lake provide excellent campsite options and even better fishing! This trail can also be done in a shorter out-and-back fashion by just taking the Cirque of the Towers Trail to the Cirque before heading back, shaving the total mileage down to 18 miles. Notable for its plethora of alpine lakes, its soaring granite walls, and some of the largest glaciers in the US Rockies, the Winds are a supremely majestic mountain range and a paradise for … Dad’s lake a great overnight trail for beginner backpackers. Home to Wyoming’s tallest peaks and over 100 miles of the Continental Divide, the Wind River Range is beautifully wild. Slide Creek Falls is a unique waterfall that’s not very known unless you look at a topo map. It’s conveniently situated right in the middle of the range, providing ample opportunities to stock up on food, water, and supplies in this beautiful part of the country. Naturalist George Bird Grinnell gave this nickname to a rugged swath of Rocky Mountains known as the Lewis Range in 1901. Due to the low use of this area, a permit is not required to wilderness camp here. If you only have time for a single day hike through the Wind River Range, follow the Pole Creek Trail to Photographer’s Point. You can learn more about our editorial and affiliate policy here. The trail then follows a loop around the lake before returning back to the original junction. Whether you’re looking for a quick overnighter or a weeklong expedition, your sure to find a winner with any of these trails. With 130 glaciers, 1,300 alpine lakes, and 30 peaks over 13,000 feet, it’s no wonder the Winds have made their place on thousands of backpacker’s bucket lists. The Alpine Lakes Wilderness encompasses 390,000 acres of some of the most enthralling wilderness Washington has to offer. You can learn more about our editorial and affiliate policy here. It’s in the name! The end of Summit Lake Trail links up with a few other trails, and sections of the CDT. Faler Lake is 18 miles in, and the trail can be divided into however many days you prefer. To connect with the Fremont Trail, you will have to maneuver through Texas Pass which has been traveled for years but is not a designated trail. The Wind River Range offers world renowned fly fishing, and the area’s 1,300 alpine lakes means any trail should offer multiple opportunities to cast your line. You’ll come across semi-established camp spots that are heavily used by thru-hikers. Wildlife is prominent in this mountain range. Best reached from Pinedale, this trail goes by a few names. Wyoming’s Wind River Range offers one of the most scenic and rewarding backpacking trips in the Lower 48. This is where you'll find the state's highpoint, Gannett Peak, which is considered by many to be the fourth most difficult state highpoint to reach. The Wind River Range is one of the best backpacking + climbing wildernesses in the lower 48. Nights will be cold year-round, sometimes reaching freezing temperatures even in the summer months. You can do this by contacting the National Forest Service or looking at online reviews on sites such as AllTrails or Hiking Project. You can find her on Instagram at @aka_dmoney. To create a loop, you’ll just want to follow the Lakeside Trail back to the trailhead. The quick-and-easy trail slowly gains elevation until you reach Rainbow Lake. Indian Basin, Wind River Range, Wyoming. When hiking in a group, you should always stay on the trail to avoid creating erosion. Good campsite opportunities won’t come until you reach Double Lake or Star Lake, with are 11.1 miles and 12.4 miles into the trail (respectively). Rain occurs quite frequently here, so you’ll want to bring your rain jacket — even if the sky is cloudless when you leave the parking lot. This is the classic route to the Gannett Peak summit. Check out our guide to the Wind River Range’s best day hikes. Snow sticks around until about May most years, and typically returns in September or October. The Wind Rivers humbly hide 30 peaks over 13,000 feet, including Wyoming’s tallest mountain — Gannett Peak. Some of our favorite day hikes are: Stough Creek Basin, Smith, Middle and Cathedral Lakes, Island and Thumb lakes in Silas Canyon, Lake Louise, and anything on the Middle Fork Trail, which starts at Bruce’s Bridge at the end of Sinks Canyon, and takes us all the way to Wind River Peak. So, dispersed camping is not illegal unless clearly marked (it is the only kind of camping) along trails of this part of the Wind River Range. Located a mere 1.5 miles uphill from the Logan Pass Visitor Center, the hike up to Hidden Lake Pass is a popular one. Why you should go: Explore one of the Winds’ most popular trails to reach Big Sandy Lake. Of course, with such a bounteous landscape that’s overflowing with scenic trails it’s tough to know where to start your backpacking adventure. Do it From WY 191, 10.1 miles south of Pinedale, turn left on Burnt Lake Rd. It’s easy to reach the Lower Green River Lakeside Circuit from Dubois, and you’ll enjoy stellar views from start to finish on this scenic trail. The lower elevation of Dad’s Lake comes with a longer hiking season. This trip is typically done in two days, as you hike in nine miles to Seneca Lake, camp here, then hike out. The Inner Basin is one of the coolest (figuratively and literally) places in Arizona to enjoy some jaw-dropping stretches of forest and mountain views. Of course, the hikes up to renowned saddles like Swiftcurrent Pass or Pitamakan Pass are long and tough — being a strong hiker is a prerequisite to make it up while having a good time too. Views of jagged Wind River peaks and flat-topped Squaretop Mountain open up nearly from the first, and are simply lovely over Lower Green River Lake. Bring bear protection, never hike alone, and make noise as you’re navigating the backcountry. Why you should go: Wildflowers and shimmery lakes meet steep granite walls on this classic trip through the Wind River Range. You can reach Seneca Lake by parking at the Elkhart Park trailhead and taking the Pole Creek Trail from there. As you hike out from Faler Lake, there’s a steep section to get back down to the Roaring Fork Basin, but then it’s all downhill from there! Day 2 – Brendan checks the map at a campsite in Titcomb Basin. Many trails, such as the Cirque of the Towers loop require you to move off-trail to link up with the return trail. About a mile from Photographer’s Point, you will reach Eklund Lake. You can learn more about our editorial and affiliate policy, 10 of the Best Airbnbs in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Notes from the Crown: Playing Tourist in Glacier National Park, Nude Hiking: How to (Legally) Celebrate Naked Hiking Day, 13 Best Hiking Trails Near Scottsdale, Arizona, The 10 Best Hikes in Redwood National Park, California, 13 Best Adventure Vehicles for Hikers & Backpackers, 14 Unforgettable Hikes in Northern California. After guiding several trips through the Western Slope Desert, Daniell fell in love with climbing desert towers and overnight canoe trips down the Colorado River. Grizzlies are active throughout the range. Daniell is a freelance writer based out of Fort Collins, Colorado. Why you should go: Take the trail less traveled through the Roaring Fork Basin to reach some of the most isolated alpine lakes in the Wind River Range. The large amount of elevation gain is absolutely worth the trek. Travel here is high compared to other, harder to reach, trailheads of the Winds. No matter what you call it, this trail is undeniably beautiful. Far north in the Wind Rivers, Gannett Peak is also viewable from this ridge line. This trail starts from the Pole Creek Trail, then connects with the Seneca Lake and Indian Pass trails. The views here are straight out of a National Geographic magazine. Lander: Popo Agie Falls This is the quintessential Wind River Country hike. These mountains are intensely scenic, characterized by waterfalls, alpine lakes, massive granite spires, high mountain cirques, glaciers, and vast meadow systems. The sight of the Continental Divide towering over the picturesque Dream Lake is fantastic, so plan to spend a few minutes here soaking in the views before you start your adventure. For experienced hikers it will seem crowded, but for the average Glacier visitor, it’s a great foray into the Rocky Mountain permafrost. Snow usually doesn’t melt until mid-May and returns in October, so it’s a relatively short hiking season around here. A steady incline lies ahead of you until you reach Faler Lake. The lower Popo Agie Falls greet hikers with a promise of even more a few hundred yards beyond. Over the course of 28 miles (or more) the landscapes are very impressive indeed. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com. The Bridger Wilderness runs along the center of these mountains and draws people to its solitude. The possibilities of creating a loop from Summit Lake are endless. Here’s a list of the top outfitters who offer hiking tours at Grand Canyon, along with a brief overview of the day hikes and multi-day tours that they offer. The Cirque of the Towers is one of the most popular destinations in the Wind River Range, so you won’t be alone along this route. 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