Bighorns next July

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by b.stark, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. b.stark

    b.stark Member

    Messages:
    158
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Calling on folks who know the Bighorns. Thinking of doing a 4-day trip in this range next summer in mid July. I'm not familiar with the range or its trails at all so looking for suggestions from those who are. Not looking for anything crazy adventurous. Depends on how much the other members of the group want to do (just one other person at the moment). Personally, I'm quite comfortable with anything up to off trail adventures of the "type 2 fun" kind. A friend has been to this range years ago, and highly recommended making it to Mistymoon Lake.

    EDIT: I'd prefer a loop hike, but if things work out right a point to point could possibly work.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
  2. scoags

    scoags Member

    Messages:
    8
    Hey there. I did a three person trip in the Bighorns a few years ago. It was my first backpacking trip and actually the first time sleeping outside for me. We had a fantastic time. A lot of people and other trip reports here will suggest the Cloud Peak area, and rightfully so. Just as another option, I'll describe our route. We did Tensleep Lake to Lake Solitude to Lilly Lake and back to near Tensleep lake. Here is a Caltopo map of roughly our route.

    Click here to view on CalTopo

    We parked at Tensleep and camped just on the west side of Tensleep Creek for the first night. We arrived in the early evening and had about a 40 minute walk or so from the trailhead to where we set up camp. On the second day we got to Lake Solitude, although staying at Mistymoon is also popular. I think from Mistymoon you can make it up to Cloud Peak; I'm not sure what class climbing it all is but there are some folks on youtube who have a pretty comprehensive video of the route.

    From Solitude we made it to Lily Lake, which was a great walk and a fantastic spot to camp with great views of Elk Mountain and the surround. From there we headed up to Bald Ridge with the intention of making it back down to our first campsite along Tensleep Creek. On the map I left off the route down because there are several options. We ended up going off trail and just headed down the face of the ridge. You can also take the trail back to Lake Helen and come back down Tensleep Creek, or you can head down the 4WD road on Bald Ridge and catch the trail going down the face of the ridge towards Tensleep Lake.

    A lot of people head to Mistymoon Lake and then go through the Florence Pass area. I've never done that route, but there is lots of info on it here and elsewhere.

    The trip we took can be done in 3 or more nights depending on what you're looking for. I wouldn't describe the route as difficult; there were some hot spots between Solitude and Lily but nothing crazy. Very little exposure along the whole route except for some very brief spots between Mistymoon and Solitude.

    I'd highly recommend the area. Let me know if you have any questions.
     
  3. b.stark

    b.stark Member

    Messages:
    158
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Thanks for the info, looks like a nice little route. I think I've got my group convinced to go to the Winds though :D May yet someday make it to the Bighorns, but the Winds just call me more.
     
  4. Scott Chandler

    Scott Chandler Wildness is a necessity- John Muir

    Messages:
    720
    LOL, I spent two summers patrolling the Cloud Peak Wilderness with the Forest Service. I have quite a few trip reports on here if you search for "summer in the cpw" and restrict it to titles. I can PM you about options and whatnot.

    Edit: Posted before I saw the last post. :facepalm: I got all excited because I saw something Bighorn related.
     
  5. scoags

    scoags Member

    Messages:
    8
    Hey @Scott Chandler thanks for giving more documentation about CPW (and for your service patrolling the area!). The area is special to me because it was my first overnighter.

    @b.stark have fun with the Winds! Never been, but there are approximately 1 million trip reports about them here and elsewhere.
     
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