Wind River Backpacking Recommendations

Nick

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I'm trying to come up with a nice backpacking route in the Wind Rivers and could use some suggestions...

Here is the criteria:

1. Less than 35 miles. We'll have 4 days so that's a pretty laid back pace but we're looking to get into an area where we can setup camp and explore and relax.

2. Excellent photography and fishing opportunities.

3. Less people is always a plus.

4. Something with a bit of a loop in it would be way nice. I hate pure out and backs.

Some of the places I've been considering:

Grave Lake Loop out of Big Sandy TH. Looks pretty good but it's pushing the edge of our ideal length and throwing two passes in there is going to make us keep moving more than we'd like.

I thought about Titcomb but I really don't want to do that until after Labor Day one of these years just to avoid the crowds. Not to mention the out and back aspect and the fact that I didn't care much for the Seneca Lake Trail.

Deep Creek Lakes out of Worthen Meadows TH

Cathedral Lakes out of Dickinson Park TH

What else?
 

uintahiker

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If you do Deep Creek lakes, I'm interested in what you see/find. I've had my eye on going there.


Sounds like you're basically looking for a yo-yo with an alternate route back. So hike in, basecamp, hike a different way out.

Green River Lakes, Big Sandy, and Elkhart Park are the busiest entrances, but if you need to pick one I'd say Elkhart Park probably has the most trail options.

One idea (looking at Google Maps) NE side, starting at Lake Louise, south to Bomber Lake, then up toward Mile-long Lake for a basecamp, then north around Ross Lake, etc. looks very scenic. I'm not sure about trails and all.
 

Dan

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25 bucks a day, or 75 bucks a week to be on the reservation, plus 5 bucks per person for a recreation stamp.
 

Deadeye008

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As far as I know you only have to pay for days you are actually on the reservation though. I've got my eye on the Dry Creek drainage. There are supposed to be some awesome views when you get up into the high country there. Not to mention the fishing...
 

Deadeye008

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The Deep Creek Lakes area would be a nice trip. There are GDT in the Deep Creek Lakes. A bunch of Brookie lakes along the way also. Just North of the Deep Creek Lakes is a lake called Hidden Lake. Supposedly some big Gold/'Bow hybrids in there. Looks like a pretty scenic area also.
 

Nick

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The Deep Creek Lakes area would be a nice trip. There are GDT in the Deep Creek Lakes. A bunch of Brookie lakes along the way also. Just North of the Deep Creek Lakes is a lake called Hidden Lake. Supposedly some big Gold/'Bow hybrids in there. Looks like a pretty scenic area also.

I'm not seeing a Hidden Lake north of Deep Creek Lakes. Is it named on the USGS maps?
Screen Shot 2012-08-03 at 2.17.45 PM.png
 

Nick

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Nice. I'm thinking it'll be Deep Creek Lakes then. Aside from all of the lakes to explore, Wind River Peak looks like a nice day hike from there.
 

Deadeye008

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So do you pay ahead of time or when you show up or? Do they have a limited number of slots?

You can get the permits at a few of the convenience stores in the area. I don't think you can buy them online but you might want to check. I don't believe there is a limit on the permits.

Sent from my HTC Sensation 4G using Tapatalk 2
 

Nick

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Anyone know what the primitive car camp situation is like between Lander and the Worthen Meadows trailhead? Pretty easy to find a spot? Any specific recommendations?
 

uintahiker

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Anyone know what the primitive car camp situation is like between Lander and the Worthen Meadows trailhead? Pretty easy to find a spot? Any specific recommendations?
Don't know about between Lander and Worthen Meadows, but between South Pass and Worthen Meadows there are plenty of spots just off the side of the road.
 

Mike K

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Nice. I'm thinking it'll be Deep Creek Lakes then. Aside from all of the lakes to explore, Wind River Peak looks like a nice day hike from there.

Should be a great trip. We were out there last year and bagged Wind River Peak (great views obviously). Our base camp was forever away so we didn't get to check out/explore/fish any of lakes up there by the Deep Creek Lakes. Bummer. If you're up for a long day hike (or if any of your camps are near the North Popo Agie River) the trail to the Cirque is flat and easy . I really liked hiking into the Cirque from that direction and watching it open up before you. Papoose Lake was really scenic, too (but we didn't see any fish). Have an awesome trip!
 

HomerJ

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Should be a great trip. We were out there last year and bagged Wind River Peak (great views obviously). Our base camp was forever away so we didn't get to check out/explore/fish any of lakes up there by the Deep Creek Lakes. Bummer. If you're up for a long day hike (or if any of your camps are near the North Popo Agie River) the trail to the Cirque is flat and easy . I really liked hiking into the Cirque from that direction and watching it open up before you. Papoose Lake was really scenic, too (but we didn't see any fish). Have an awesome trip!
Where did you base camp at? We were talking of doing Wind River Peak and base camping at Boot Lake...
 

Mike K

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Where did you base camp at? We were talking of doing Wind River Peak and base camping at Boot Lake...

Our first several nights were up near Cathedral Lake. Our next few nights we were about a mile straight north of Baer lake close to where the North Fork Trail crosses the North Popo Agie River. It made for a long day when we bagged Wind River Peak. This track shows part of the trip and includes the summit route we took. Boot Lake looks like a good central location to explore the area!
 
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HomerJ

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Our first several nights were up near Cathedral Lake. Our next few nights we were about a mile straight north of Baer lake close to where the North Fork Trail crosses the North Popo Agie River. It made for a long day when we bagged Wind River Peak. This track shows part of the trip and includes the summit route we took. Boot Lake looks like a good central location to explore the area!
You guys really covered some country! Thanks
 

RB

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Hey there Nick. We are planning another trip to the Winds. Wondering how the fishing was there in the Deep Creek area. Hope all went well.
 

Absarokanaut

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The Dickinson Park road has been closed by a landowner at times, I'd check with the tribes if that becomes of better interest.
I love Ross Lakes and Lake Louise but PLEASE don't go from Louise to Hidden to Ross or Bomber if you are not REALLY off trail capable; search and rescue has had some sketchy rescues in that area.

If you were to give our side of the Winds more consideration let me know; I can shuttle, etc.
 

WasatchWill

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Looks like a lot of great suggestions already. I'm not so familiar with the Winds yet (only been around New Fork Lakes area for scout camps in my youth) but to add my 2 cents, here's another route that might fit your mileage budget. You could make a loop by starting at Big Sandy, hike into the Cirque for a night (9ish miles), then ditch the crowds the next day by going out of the Cirque at Lizzard Head and taking that trail north past Cathedral Peak before dropping down the Bears Ears trail to South Fork Little Wind Basin? with Valentine Lake, South Fork and Washakie Lakes (8-10 miles). There you can set up a camp for another night, or two if you want to spend a whole next day messing around with fishing and photography in that basin. I would guess that area sees far less people than the Cirque and west side of the range and is an area I'd like to see along with so many other parts of the Winds. You have many peaks surrounding this area in Cathedral Peak, Lizard Head Peak, Payson Peak, Valentine Peak, and many other un-named ones. From there you can head up Washakie Pass, make your way down to Fremont trail and finish the loop back down at Big Sandy (12ish miles).

I think I've seen some trip reports where you've already been to the Towers, and you may be looking for as much new terrain as possible. This route also has big passes (JackAss & Washakie) and you're throwing in another good climb when coming up out of Lizard Head Meadows to get over to Valentine Lake.
 
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