Looking for moderate route in the wind rivers

Burrito

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Sep 7, 2016
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My wife and I just finished our 2nd trip to the Winds this year this past labor day weekend and I was blown away *again* by the majesty that place offers.

We did a loop out of Elkhart park: started toward Titcomb then cut off on the highline trail, past the Jean Lakes then past Elbow lake, down to Glimpse lake, then down to Long lake and back up to the car. The last day was a bit of a grind climbing back out to the car, especially with the weather that blew in. We did this in 2 nights (3 days) which might be more than my sister could swallow. She is in remission from stage 4 breast cancer and I really don't want to overdo it with her health and that last day would definitely push her limits. I think if we added a day or two she could do it, but I'd rather not test it. I'm wondering if someone can suggest a route that is a bit less strenuous for her.

Our first trip this year we started at Big sandy, went due north up over Haley pass then down to Valentine lake, up and over the Lizard Head trail, to the Cirque of the towers, over jackass and back out to the car. I think that might be too much for her too.

I'm considering a route that would start at Green river lakes, then up to Summit lake and then backtrack the way my wife and I traveled this past weekend (up to Elbow lake, then down past the Jeans and out). I just don't know what the climb from GRL to Summit is like and that's where I need some input. I'm confident that my sister could do what we did in reverse (save the decent down to Long lake and back up).

Can anyone provide some suggestions for a moderate route to take in the Winds? I'd like to do either another loop or a point to point route (don't mind paying for a shuttle for a ptp route). I'm thinking 4 days at the most would be good for her (3 nights).

TIA
Burrito
 

Artemus

I walk
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Jun 25, 2012
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4,384
Burrito,

The Green River lakes access is casual for a long ways. Almost flat but in tree tunnel. When you get past Three Forks Park it begins the climb out to the high country. It is not too steep an up but climbs some pretty serious vert. You could plot the trail in caltopo.com and then look at a profile view and compare it to what you know in order to gauge your sister's likely tolerance. Hope this helps. There are many, many Winds trips detailed here from minor to mega so you should check them out using the home page tag cloud for Wind Rivers then ask detailed questions.
 

Nick

Spiral out.
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Aug 9, 2007
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I'd rate that climb from Three Forks to Summit Lake as pretty significant. On our second day we went from Beaver Park to Summit Lake and even the really fit hikers in our group were pretty worn out. I was on the verge of bonking, but not quite. The kind of day where you hike your ass off and then lose your appetite and don't feel so hot the rest of the night. It's not super hard, but if you're trying to take it easy, that is not something I would recommend.

You could go back to Big Sandy but loop up through Big Joe, Clear, Deep, Temple, etc. That has big bang for the buck, especially as far as the Wind Rivers go where you usually work harder for scenery like that. Further south more good but less strenuous options would be Stough Creek (lots of route options there to make it more exciting) and Atlantic Basin. I have trip reports up here for all of those.
 

Burrito

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Joined
Sep 7, 2016
Messages
31
Burrito,

The Green River lakes access is casual for a long ways. Almost flat but in tree tunnel. When you get past Three Forks Park it begins the climb out to the high country. It is not too steep an up but climbs some pretty serious vert. You could plot the trail in caltopo.com and then look at a profile view and compare it to what you know in order to gauge your sister's likely tolerance. Hope this helps. There are many, many Winds trips detailed here from minor to mega so you should check them out using the home page tag cloud for Wind Rivers then ask detailed questions.

thanks for the response. I think she'd be ok with a lot of vert as long as it's not all in one small chunk. Someone on another board suggested a path from GRL up to Peak lake (as opposed to Summit lake) and then back around past the Jeans and out to Elkhart. I looked at a map and that seems doable but I have a concern with the climb near "Cube Rock Pass"...the contour lines look to be really close together. If it switches back a lot during that climb, that should be fine, but if it's a huge grind, that's a deal-breaker. Do you have any experience with that pass / route?
 

Burrito

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Sep 7, 2016
Messages
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FYI, distance isn't a huge deal for her. She's done 3 Avon walks (walked all ~40 miles on all of them over 2 days), but I took her up my "home trail" which is pretty rigorous (2000' in 1.4 miles) and she couldn't finish it....granted we were in some snow (with snowshoes) so that definitely played a role too....

She's a tough cookie, I just don't want to overdo it for her especially in a very remote area.
 

Artemus

I walk
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Joined
Jun 25, 2012
Messages
4,384
with the climb near "Cube Rock Pass"...the contour lines look to be really close together. If it switches back a lot during that climb, that should be fine, but if it's a huge grind, that's a deal-breaker. Do you have any experience with that pass / route?

I do not. Sorry.
 

Dan

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Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
454
but I have a concern with the climb near "Cube Rock Pass"...the contour lines look to be really close together. If it switches back a lot during that climb, that should be fine, but if it's a huge grind, that's a deal-breaker. Do you have any experience with that pass / route?

I have done cube rock twice, it is steep and signficant. Of course, it is all relative based on one's skills and fitness, but I thought it was a very big day to get from Beaver Park to Peak Lake, for instance. Even bigger if you go over Shannon as well.
 

Kyle P

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Jul 25, 2013
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Further south more good but less strenuous options would be Stough Creek (lots of route options there to make it more exciting)

This is what I would recommend. From Worthen Meadows Trailhead, it is not too difficult at all and very neat back in there. Plus, there is plenty of Brook trout to be readily caught in the Stough Creek Basin lakes and streams!
 
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