HELP: Wind River Range, Baker Lake to Green River Lakes

Matt Van Natta

Whitewater in the morning...
Feb 19, 2017
Does anyone have experience hiking from Baker Lake to Green River Lakes? Planning to hike as part of Wind River High Route and looking for quickest/simplest way to Green River Lakes. Looked at Pallisters off-trail guide and there seems to be a few marginal options.
Nothing up there is quick/simple. Expect rocks, lots of rocks. I’ve always used the routes north/south along the divide. Looks like her “Lost Eagle” Route headed west from Baker is the shortest way to the trail. I’m willing to bet it’s not easy.
There are quite a few TRs here and at bpbasecamp on routes. None are easy or quick. Posted a few I've looked at recently

I've been trying to see if a loop through Bear Basin is possible in 4-5 days. Maybe just a trip to Scott Lake or out/back via Roaring Fk. (late September, so weather is an issue). The route in the 11-days post has a good loop. So far, the Lost Eagle/Slide L route seems reasonable. I know for a fact that Clear Ck L to the natural bridge is not fun. Haven't attempted it in several years though, so maybe there's a herd path through the downfall.

11 days in the Winds
Grasshopper to Tourist Ck
Once hiked from the saddle just East of Baker Lake to the GRL trailhead in a day. We were young and stupid, so it made sense to us at the time. Would have been better done in 2 days. As has been said, there's nothing simple or quick up there. The toughest part for us was actually getting around Baker Lake. We took the southern side and it took us nearly 2 hours just to get to the Western end of Baker. Trip report seen here:

We stayed about as high as possible between Baker and Elbow Lake #2, and I think what really helped us there was that there was a ton of snow left, which made for wet feet but much faster travel. Pretty rocky, rough country. We then went over Lost Eagle Peak. I think common wisdom now is to continue North along the White Cliffs ridge, and work your way to the trail somewhere downstream from Fishbowl Spring. We just dug in our heels and plummeted down a ravine to Slide Lake. It worked, but may or may not be the ideal route.
Green River Lakes is kinda an anticlimactic finish to a Winds traverse IMO. I'd probably finish at Trail Lakes CG near Dubois.
To be fair, I've been hiking throughout the Winds for quite a few years now looking for something interesting and worthwhile anywhere in the range. Still looking ;)
I wouldn't call options marginal.... More like interesting. Country is rugged and remote and beautiful. However, it's not for the faint of heart and is dangerous. You need to know what you are doing.

That route is on my list. I've got a loop plotted in that country. Top is a LOT of rocks... I think I figured 2 days from Baker to GR TH. I decent loop is from Torrey to Baker to dinwoody and out....more than 5 days tho.
I just did a loop in this area, and while I didn't tag Baker Lake itself, I can report on the route from the unnamed lake with an island WNW of Baker Lake, with attached GPX and route here:

I followed the Lone Eagle Peak suggestion, and took ~7 hours at a quick pace from that lake to the GRL TH. There's some heads-up Class 2+ getting to Lone Eagle Peak; otherwise the route is fairly straightforward. There is a (goat?) use trail on the ridge between Lone Eagle Peak and White Rock, and a faint/intermittent use trail for some of the sections getting down to Slide Creek from the saddle before White Rock.

Gorgeous country up there; looking forwards to coming back with more time to explore.


  • GOTOES_6167017129953507.gpx
    1.6 MB · Views: 36