Need some Winds Advice.

Hurakan

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Joined
Jun 18, 2013
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134
Having seen so many good trip reports over the years of the Winds, and my Cousin that's visiting would like to go there instead of the Uintas, I was wondering if I could get some advise on where to go. I figured on there still being snow and the water would probably be running high, what would be a fun trip with 4 to 5 days to play with. Figure 6 to 8 miles a day as one of my party members is recovering from a knee operation. I'm ok with some crowds, and good fishing would be a huge plus. Would Titcomb Basin , Deep lake or the general area work?

Also, would there be enough trees to hammock camp or bring a tent?
 
Last edited:

Ross

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May 18, 2012
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290
Cirque of the Towers looks nice (I'm going in August) - but if you're going soon I don't know the snow situation.

I was told at Titcomb there aren't trees to hang your food bag away from bears, so I guess that would rule out hammocks tied to trees.

Does anyone reading this thread know if there are trees to hang food at the lake below the Cirque of the Towers amphitheatre (or at Island Lake on the way to Titcomb Basin). I was wondering whether my only option for camping at these two was bear-proof containers and if it was worth carrying rope?
 

Hurakan

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Jun 18, 2013
Messages
134
Cirque of the Towers looks nice (I'm going in August) - but if you're going soon I don't know the snow situation.

I was told at Titcomb there aren't trees to hang your food bag away from bears, so I guess that would rule out hammocks tied to trees.

Does anyone reading this thread know if there are trees to hang food at the lake below the Cirque of the Towers amphitheatre (or at Island Lake on the way to Titcomb Basin). I was wondering whether my only option for camping at these two was bear-proof containers and if it was worth carrying rope?

I might be going to Cirque in Aug as well, as my backpacking buddy (Brother) cant make this trip (Wife) lol. Would be fun to meet up if it works out that way. I was thinking of Buying a Canister or Ursack, as even In the Uintas its getting hard to find good trees. My Hammock days are numbered since I will be bringing my dog with me and he is always muddy or wet. I'm thinking of upgrading to a tent tarp, saving 3 pounds compared to my old tent.

I would still carry some paracord, stuff is awesome to have around.
 
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Either the Cirque of the Towers or Titcomb basin would be a very nice introduction to the Winds.
The hike to the Cirque is easy till you get past Big Sandy Lake, then it gets more interesting for the last 3 miles to Lonesome Lake. There is no camping allowed within 1/4 mile of Lonesome Lake, though, so you would have to camp somewhere outside that zone. Trees large enough to hang a hammock from will be difficult to find away from Lonesome Lake unless you go east-there are lots of options in that direction. Fishing is good at Lonesome for nice sized cut throat trout. If you go to the Cirque, I would suggest going over the "Hiker's Pass" instead of Jackass Pass. It is much easier as long as you get up to the base of the cliffs on the west side of the valley about the time you get to the boulder field. But, by all means, avoid going through the boulders-that is not fun at all!!!
High water will not be a problem as there is only one small creek to cross about a half mile in from the trail head. After that, there are no significant streams to cross all the way to the Cirque.
The biggest problem anywhere in the Winds will probably be mosquitoes. They can be ferocious from early July till late August. Take a head net and anything with Deet and you'll be alright.
Island Lake would be a good place to go to if you want to try for Titcomb Basin. It is a nice day hike from Island to Titcomb. I haven't fished either Island Lake nor Titcomb Lakes, so I can't be of much help in that department. There are a lot of little lakes full of small brook trout on the south and west side of Island Lake-may make for some fun fishing. Mistake Lake is on a bench up above Titcomb Lakes (which, by the way have Golden trout) but I have seen Mistake Lake still frozen over in early August!
There are enough large trees near Island Lake to put a hammock in (and to hang your bear bag), but there aren't any trees at all in Titcomb Basin.
There are only a few small streams to cross (at least they are small in August when I am usually in that area!) but you should be able to get across without any serious difficulty.
Having not been to either Lonesome Lake or Titcomb Basin that early in the season, I can't say definitively, but I don't think you will find the crowds to be too much in early July in either area.
Have a great time. I know you'll love the Winds!!!
 

Bob

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Mar 3, 2013
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2,589
For a different view going to the Cirque.....go in Sweetwater TH. Other places neater than the Cirque unless you are a climber......East Fork, Europe Basin, Wall Lake etc...... (my opinion)
 

Ross

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May 18, 2012
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290
. There is no camping allowed within 1/4 mile of Lonesome Lake, though, so you would have to camp somewhere outside that zone. Trees large enough to hang a hammock from will be difficult to find away from Lonesome Lake unless you go east-there are lots of options in that direction. Fishing is good at Lonesome for nice sized cut throat trout. If you go to the Cirque, I would suggest going over the "Hiker's Pass" instead of Jackass Pass. It is much easier as long as you get up to the base of the cliffs on the west side of the valley about the time you get to the boulder field. But, by all means, avoid going through the boulders-that is not fun at all!!!
High water will not be a problem as there is only one small creek to cross about a half mile in from the trail head. After that, there are no significant streams to cross all the way to the Cirque.
The biggest problem anywhere in the Winds will probably be mosquitoes. They can be ferocious from early July till late August. Take a head net and anything with Deet and you'll be alright.
Island Lake would be a good place to go to if you want to try for Titcomb Basin. It is a nice day hike from Island to Titcomb. I haven't fished either Island Lake nor Titcomb Lakes, so I can't be of much help in that department. There are a lot of little lakes full of small brook trout on the south and west side of Island Lake-may make for some fun fishing. Mistake Lake is on a bench up above Titcomb Lakes (which, by the way have Golden trout) but I have seen Mistake Lake still frozen over in early August!
There are enough large trees near Island Lake to put a hammock in (and to hang your bear bag), but there aren't any trees at all in Titcomb Basin.
There are only a few small streams to cross (at least they are small in August when I am usually in that area!) but you should be able to get across without any serious difficulty.
Having not been to either Lonesome Lake or Titcomb Basin that early in the season, I can't say definitively, but I don't think you will find the crowds to be too much in early July in either area.
Have a great time. I know you'll love the Winds!!![/QUOTE]
Either the Cirque of the Towers or Titcomb basin would be a very nice introduction to the Winds.
The hike to the Cirque is easy till you get past Big Sandy Lake, then it gets more interesting for the last 3 miles to Lonesome Lake. There is no camping allowed within 1/4 mile of Lonesome Lake, though, so you would have to camp somewhere outside that zone. Trees large enough to hang a hammock from will be difficult to find away from Lonesome Lake unless you go east-there are lots of options in that direction. Fishing is good at Lonesome for nice sized cut throat trout. If you go to the Cirque, I would suggest going over the "Hiker's Pass" instead of Jackass Pass. It is much easier as long as you get up to the base of the cliffs on the west side of the valley about the time you get to the boulder field. But, by all means, avoid going through the boulders-that is not fun at all!!!
High water will not be a problem as there is only one small creek to cross about a half mile in from the trail head. After that, there are no significant streams to cross all the way to the Cirque.
The biggest problem anywhere in the Winds will probably be mosquitoes. They can be ferocious from early July till late August. Take a head net and anything with Deet and you'll be alright.
Island Lake would be a good place to go to if you want to try for Titcomb Basin. It is a nice day hike from Island to Titcomb. I haven't fished either Island Lake nor Titcomb Lakes, so I can't be of much help in that department. There are a lot of little lakes full of small brook trout on the south and west side of Island Lake-may make for some fun fishing. Mistake Lake is on a bench up above Titcomb Lakes (which, by the way have Golden trout) but I have seen Mistake Lake still frozen over in early August!
There are enough large trees near Island Lake to put a hammock in (and to hang your bear bag), but there aren't any trees at all in Titcomb Basin.
There are only a few small streams to cross (at least they are small in August when I am usually in that area!) but you should be able to get across without any serious difficulty.
Having not been to either Lonesome Lake or Titcomb Basin that early in the season, I can't say definitively, but I don't think you will find the crowds to be too much in early July in either area.
Have a great time. I know you'll love the Winds!!!

Thanks for all this useful info. How far would we have to hike east of Lonesome to find trees to hang the bear bags. Are there grizzlies or just black bears at Cirque and Titcomb/iSLAND? And have they learned there to chew through rope or cord tied to a tree?
 

Kullaberg63

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Mar 6, 2014
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543
I'm not an expert, but my sense is that the Winds are not anything like the Sierra's regarding bear issues. That said, without judicious food storage, it could become bad.
 
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Oct 20, 2013
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Thanks for all this useful info. How far would we have to hike east of Lonesome to find trees to hang the bear bags. Are there grizzlies or just black bears at Cirque and Titcomb/iSLAND? And have they learned there to chew through rope or cord tied to a tree?[/QUOTE]

You will only need to get out past the quarter mile no camping zone.

Any bears at Lonesome Lake would probably be black bears. I don't think grizzlies have moved that far south yet. I haven't heard of the bears learning to chew through ropes yet-but they probably will eventually. Especially once enough of them figure out that those brightly colored bags hanging in trees contain all sorts of delicious things to eat! If you were to encounter bears at Island Lake or Titcomb Basin, they would probably be grizzlies.

You might want to watch out for moose, too, in the Cirque. I have seen them there quite often.

There are more fishing opportunities around Big Sandy Lake. Lots of lakes feed into Big Sandy. Big Sandy usually only has small brookies in it because fishing pressure is so great there, but if you go to some of the other "feeder" lakes, fishing can be pretty decent. Deep Lake is one of those lakes that feed into Big Sandy. It is very beautifully situated but there aren't trees there large enough for hammock camping. It is definitely worth at least a day hike for a visit, though.

There are bear boxes at Big Sandy as well. Big Sandy gets a bad rap here sometimes,
because it can be quite crowded. However, I have been at Big Sandy at times and seen only a few other people. Other times, though, it is difficult to find a place to camp there are so many people. I guess it depends on what kind of premium you put on solitude whether you would like staying at Big Sandy. Be warned that the Cirque can also be quite crowded at times.
 

Dustin Gent

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Jun 22, 2015
Messages
150
i have heard that the majority of the brown bears are at the north end of the winds. we will be there in 10 days - and having never been there, i have no expectations except of being in awe of the landscape!
 

Ross

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Joined
May 18, 2012
Messages
290
Thanks again for info. Just a few quick questions as don't know how much gear to carry to cover all eventualities.
1. From what I've read, am I right that by mid-August the mosquitoes have gone so no need for spray/net? Is that right?
2. Do you get ticks there?
3. You mention moose. Obviously it's not wise to approach one that's already there? But how wide a berth or how far should you steer clear? And if you inadvertenly come across one, or perhaps one could appear while you're minding your own business or sleeping, what's the best policy?
 

Bob

Trailmaster
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
2,589
1...take spray and net.....they are not guaranteed to be gone
2.....never got any but they are probably around
3....treat like bison
 
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