Wind River Range. D&A TOUR 2014 - Part 2

isleroyaleguy

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
167
20140829_225306-0.jpg


Doug and Anita Tour 2014

Wind River Range

Wyoming

Part 2

It was a beautiful clear night, I know because Anita was outside in the middle of the night, doing whatever girls do in the middle night and she told me so. So I stuck my head outside to check out the beautiful display of stars. Clear and cold to be exact. And it dawned the same way. There's nothing like the warmth of the sun coming over the mountains on those chilly mornings.
20140828_091137-0.jpg

> Indian Pass was on the schedule today. We had thoughts of Fremont Peak, but a lot of fresh snow was still visible so we ruled it out.
20140828_091401-0.jpg
We headed up the path just looking around, trying to stay on the trail but unknowingly heading up to the east. Slowly the trail petered out near a dry, boulder fill drainage. We worked our way up that and came to A lake.
> One lake? This didn't look right. So I pulled out map and compass and realized we had wandered up the wrong drainage and where at the tarn below Elephant Head.
20140828_135424.jpg

> No problem, we can work our way down the lake to north and follow the connecting creek to the west and get to the Indian Basin.
> One problem. This is some damn rough terrain and you really have to scope things out to avoid crossing the boulder fields and steep slopes and ledges.
20140828_135429.jpg
Eventually we made our way into Indian Basin for a little lunch. We had lost to much time taking the "long way" that we didn't make it to the pass. We actually found the real trail. Then promptly lost it again and ended up on a high ledge looking down another dry rocky draw. But from above I could see the route we needed to go and creatively made our way through the rocks a down a grassy steep slope and found the trail again. This time for good. We made our way back to camp, tired and sunburn, but exhilarated by the days experience.
20140829_113340-0.jpg
So hey! Let's move camp.
> So we packed up and headed down to Island Lake for the evening.
20140828_192429_Richtone(HDR).jpg
This is where we seen the most people.
> There were quite a few tents along the south shore of the lake. But it's a vast area and we had a sweet shady spot right across from the falls.
20140828_182657.jpg

> Found a nice spot to cast from shore, but skunked again. Oh well. We were beat. Another epic Winds day in the books.
>
20140829_130705.jpg

> Woke up to sunshine the next day.
> Our goal today was to get to Upper Jean. We were kinda slow getting out of camp today and then backtracked to much so we ended up putting some miles on.
20140829_163738.jpg

> We hiked back SE above Island Lake. We also continued up the drainage going away from the lake beneath Mount Lester.
20140829_132026.jpg
We followed the trail until it kinda petered out. Had a little snack before meandering back down and then up again steeply to catch the Highline trail again only to walk past it and then after realizing our mistake, had to backtrack again. Finally on the right trail, we still had 5+ miles to go today.
20140829_130731.jpg
The first few miles were an unwelcome hard up and down stretch. We stopped for a much needed lunch at the bridge at Fremont Crossing. We were kinda kicking ourselves for not just talking the shortcut from Island Lake to here and We talked of getting to Lower Jean today and calling it good.
20140829_164926-0.jpg
We started back, on the up and down trail. And as we were getting close to Lower Jean it turned into a beautiful walk. We were re energized by lunch, the trail seemed to level off and we continued all the way up to the north end of Upper Jean.
20140829_193300.jpg
We had the lake to ourselves in this incredibly scenic spot and all the way down the lake I was constantly seeing fish surface.
> After a quick camp set up. It was down to the business of catching some fish. And business was good!
20140829_173257-0.jpg

> I never caught so many trout in a short time. My hands were freezing from so much catch and release. So all the while we were at Upper Jean. I would whip the water into a frenzy every chance I got. This is what it's all about for me standing below these massive snowcapped peaks, catching these beautiful fish from these crystal clear, cold waters! What a great day it had been. We were beat again. But had huge smiles on our faces. We had the lake to ourselves until a group of 3 arrived late. They were on day 7 of 11. Mostly off trail, we were the first people they seen for some time. They hadn't had any luck fishing so far. I told them their luck was about to change. Later we could hear them whooping it up and laughing as they caught fish too! Can't say it enough. Great day!
>
20140830_180505_Richtone(HDR).jpg

> Our plan today was to hike up over Shannon Pass and Cube Rock Pass to check out Peak Lake. So after breakfast and a few casts and a half dozen more trout caught and released, we were off. We met up with the two guys from the other camp. They were older then us and we are 40 something. And they were going to climb one of the peaks across the lake and I thought to myself. Man. ..we are going to have to step it up here. We are day hiking and these old guys are climbing mountains. We both said after that we wished we had went with them. We still had a awesome day but we could have bagged a peak. It didn't take them much longer than our adventure.
20140829_223718-0.jpg

> But we had a great day hiking to Peak Lake the Cube Rock Pass area is like a moon scape high above the lake. The sheer vastness of the Winds continues to amaze.
20140830_113203.jpg
We also did a side trip over to Elbow Lake hoping to catch a fish or two but the wind had pick up and made it hard to fish from our vantage point. Had a little lunch before starting back. And again losing the trail. No worries, you know where you need to go and the country is so open its fun just to rock hop back.
20140830_000314-0.jpg

> The wind had picked up considerably and skies started to grey. We thought about the old guys climbing, still saying, we should have tagged along.
> We made it back to camp and the wind was really whipping down Upper Jean. In between gusts I was able to land a few more fish. But decided we should move down to Lower Jean to find some shelter from the elements. With all this wind, you know it's blowing in something.
> As we packed camp the old guys went through and said they had made it to the top and then beat the weather down. They were planning a campfire and fish fry tonight and invited us to join them. We made our way back towards Lower Jean trying to get out of the wind. Most of the trail is above this steep sided lake away from the shore but we did find a nice spot an the south end down near the shore. Nicely out of the wind. Got camp set before the raindrops started and also managed to catch a few fish between squalls. We made good use of our Golite trekking umbrellas today.
20140830_171859.jpg
They worked great!.We had also used them for shade on previous days and as a wind block for the stove too. At 8 oz. A great gear addition.
> We ate dinner under them in a short hail storm followed by sun then more wind and so on and so forth it went for the rest of evening. Seen a rescue helicopter fly in and out to the SE of us. Later learned that there was two rescues that evening.
> You have to be prepared for anything in the Winds.
20140831_095503.jpg

> It turned out to be a long night of thunderstorms and lots of wind at times, hoping our tent will withstand. Trying to catch a few winks between rounds. Then waking up to snow sliding off the tent.
20140830_050548-0.jpg

> After It had stopped snowing/raining. We were able to grab a quick breakfast. One look at the sky said it could be a wet day. Se we packed up and prepared for a muddy, wet hike. Our plan was to make it back to Hobbs today for our last night out.
20140831_093116-0.jpg
Not long after we started, we were stripping off layers as we walk through sunshine followed by rain and then near white out with snow and fog. This continued the whole time. As we passed Seneca Lake it might as well have been the ocean because all you could see was the shore at your feet. It was tough hike without the weather but slipping and sliding over the muddy trail really made it a grunt.
20140831_133901-0.jpg
We made it to Hobbs for lunch time but it was still trying to snow so we decided to hike out the last 7 miles. Not looking forward to setting up a wet tent for a cold wet today only to hike out tomorrow.
20140831_133910.jpg
It was a long 7 miles including the last 3 from photographers point that were incredibly muddy. We were beat from an already long hike. Happy to reach Elkhart Park but sad that our Winds trip was over! We had a wonderful trip with spectacular scenery beyond what we could have imagined. It was a tough test for us as well. These aren't your national park maintained trails! The Wind River Range is challenging, unforgiving place. But you will be rewarded for your efforts.
> Beer and wine still cold in car..Yay. This definitely calls for toast.
> To Us!
> Made our way back to Log Cabin Motel. And after a much needed shower and to actually sit in a chair.
> We walked over to the Great Outdoors shop to give them our little trip report and to thank them for their help again. Then once again over to the Wind River Brewing for another great meal with fantastic beer.
> We still had a couple days to drive through The Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Beartooths, and the Bighorns. Just kinda scouting for our next adventure. They all were beautiful. It will be hard to decide.
> Happy Trails!
> Doug and Anita

Featured image for home page:
slide.jpg
 

Bob

Trailmaster
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
2,845
Nice. Jeans can be good fishing.
It's actually 5.5 miles from Photographers Point to Elhkart, at least on my GPSr.

Posted mine ...... we can compare. Too bad we missed. Almost think we saw each other on the trail..
 
Last edited:

Laura

freespirittraveler
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
957
Wow, such incredible beauty! I've got to backpack there some time. Now I can't decide whether Stan and I should celebrate our 10 years together in Kauai or the Winds. Awesome TR and pics-thanks for sharing!
 

TannerT

Hike Hard, Tread Lightly
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
589
Fantastic photos. Fantastic TR. I'm going to look into that golite umbrella. thanks for sharing.

Salud!
 

isleroyaleguy

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
167
View attachment 19683

Doug and Anita Tour 2014

Wind River Range

Wyoming

Part 2

It was a beautiful clear night, I know because Anita was outside in the middle of the night, doing whatever girls do in the middle night and she told me so. So I stuck my head outside to check out the beautiful display of stars. Clear and cold to be exact. And it dawned the same way. There's nothing like the warmth of the sun coming over the mountains on those chilly mornings. View attachment 19676
> Indian Pass was on the schedule today. We had thoughts of Fremont Peak, but a lot of fresh snow was still visible so we ruled it out. View attachment 19677 We headed up the path just looking around, trying to stay on the trail but unknowingly heading up to the east. Slowly the trail petered out near a dry, boulder fill drainage. We worked our way up that and came to A lake.
> One lake? This didn't look right. So I pulled out map and compass and realized we had wandered up the wrong drainage and where at the tarn below Elephant Head.View attachment 19706
> No problem, we can work our way down the lake to north and follow the connecting creek to the west and get to the Indian Basin.
> One problem. This is some damn rough terrain and you really have to scope things out to avoid crossing the boulder fields and steep slopes and ledges.View attachment 19686 Eventually we made our way into Indian Basin for a little lunch. We had lost to much time taking the "long way" that we didn't make it to the pass. We actually found the real trail. Then promptly lost it again and ended up on a high ledge looking down another dry rocky draw. But from above I could see the route we needed to go and creatively made our way through the rocks a down a grassy steep slope and found the trail again. This time for good. We made our way back to camp, tired and sunburn, but exhilarated by the days experience. View attachment 19679 So hey! Let's move camp.
> So we packed up and headed down to Island Lake for the evening. View attachment 19708 This is where we seen the most people.
> There were quite a few tents along the south shore of the lake. But it's a vast area and we had a sweet shady spot right across from the falls. View attachment 19687
> Found a nice spot to cast from shore, but skunked again. Oh well. We were beat. Another epic Winds day in the books.
> View attachment 19689
> Woke up to sunshine the next day.
> Our goal today was to get to Upper Jean. We were kinda slow getting out of camp today and then backtracked to much so we ended up putting some miles on. View attachment 19692
> We hiked back SE above Island Lake. We also continued up the drainage going away from the lake beneath Mount Lester. View attachment 19690 We followed the trail until it kinda petered out. Had a little snack before meandering back down and then up again steeply to catch the Highline trail again only to walk past it and then after realizing our mistake, had to backtrack again. Finally on the right trail, we still had 5+ miles to go today. View attachment 19707 The first few miles were an unwelcome hard up and down stretch. We stopped for a much needed lunch at the bridge at Fremont Crossing. We were kinda kicking ourselves for not just talking the shortcut from Island Lake to here and We talked of getting to Lower Jean today and calling it good. View attachment 19680 We started back, on the up and down trail. And as we were getting close to Lower Jean it turned into a beautiful walk. We were re energized by lunch, the trail seemed to level off and we continued all the way up to the north end of Upper Jean.View attachment 19693 We had the lake to ourselves in this incredibly scenic spot and all the way down the lake I was constantly seeing fish surface.
> After a quick camp set up. It was down to the business of catching some fish. And business was good!View attachment 19682
> I never caught so many trout in a short time. My hands were freezing from so much catch and release. So all the while we were at Upper Jean. I would whip the water into a frenzy every chance I got. This is what it's all about for me standing below these massive snowcapped peaks, catching these beautiful fish from these crystal clear, cold waters! What a great day it had been. We were beat again. But had huge smiles on our faces. We had the lake to ourselves until a group of 3 arrived late. They were on day 7 of 11. Mostly off trail, we were the first people they seen for some time. They hadn't had any luck fishing so far. I told them their luck was about to change. Later we could hear them whooping it up and laughing as they caught fish too! Can't say it enough. Great day!
> View attachment 19696
> Our plan today was to hike up over Shannon Pass and Cube Rock Pass to check out Peak Lake. So after breakfast and a few casts and a half dozen more trout caught and released, we were off. We met up with the two guys from the other camp. They were older then us and we are 40 something. And they were going to climb one of the peaks across the lake and I thought to myself. Man. ..we are going to have to step it up here. We are day hiking and these old guys are climbing mountains. We both said after that we wished we had went with them. We still had a awesome day but we could have bagged a peak. It didn't take them much longer than our adventure.View attachment 19698
> But we had a great day hiking to Peak Lake the Cube Rock Pass area is like a moon scape high above the lake. The sheer vastness of the Winds continues to amaze. View attachment 19694 We also did a side trip over to Elbow Lake hoping to catch a fish or two but the wind had pick up and made it hard to fish from our vantage point. Had a little lunch before starting back. And again losing the trail. No worries, you know where you need to go and the country is so open its fun just to rock hop back. View attachment 19700
> The wind had picked up considerably and skies started to grey. We thought about the old guys climbing, still saying, we should have tagged along.
> We made it back to camp and the wind was really whipping down Upper Jean. In between gusts I was able to land a few more fish. But decided we should move down to Lower Jean to find some shelter from the elements. With all this wind, you know it's blowing in something.
> As we packed camp the old guys went through and said they had made it to the top and then beat the weather down. They were planning a campfire and fish fry tonight and invited us to join them. We made our way back towards Lower Jean trying to get out of the wind. Most of the trail is above this steep sided lake away from the shore but we did find a nice spot an the south end down near the shore. Nicely out of the wind. Got camp set before the raindrops started and also managed to catch a few fish between squalls. We made good use of our Golite trekking umbrellas today.View attachment 19695 They worked great!.We had also used them for shade on previous days and as a wind block for the stove too. At 8 oz. A great gear addition.
> We ate dinner under them in a short hail storm followed by sun then more wind and so on and so forth it went for the rest of evening. Seen a rescue helicopter fly in and out to the SE of us. Later learned that there was two rescues that evening.
> You have to be prepared for anything in the Winds.View attachment 19697
> It turned out to be a long night of thunderstorms and lots of wind at times, hoping our tent will withstand. Trying to catch a few winks between rounds. Then waking up to snow sliding off the tent. View attachment 19701
> After It had stopped snowing/raining. We were able to grab a quick breakfast. One look at the sky said it could be a wet day. Se we packed up and prepared for a muddy, wet hike. Our plan was to make it back to Hobbs today for our last night out.View attachment 19685 Not long after we started, we were stripping off layers as we walk through sunshine followed by rain and then near white out with snow and fog. This continued the whole time. As we passed Seneca Lake it might as well have been the ocean because all you could see was the shore at your feet. It was tough hike without the weather but slipping and sliding over the muddy trail really made it a grunt. View attachment 19702 We made it to Hobbs for lunch time but it was still trying to snow so we decided to hike out the last 7 miles. Not looking forward to setting up a wet tent for a cold wet today only to hike out tomorrow. View attachment 19703 It was a long 7 miles including the last 3 from photographers point that were incredibly muddy. We were beat from an already long hike. Happy to reach Elkhart Park but sad that our Winds trip was over! We had a wonderful trip with spectacular scenery beyond what we could have imagined. It was a tough test for us as well. These aren't your national park maintained trails! The Wind River Range is challenging, unforgiving place. But you will be rewarded for your efforts.
> Beer and wine still cold in car..Yay. This definitely calls for toast.
> To Us!
> Made our way back to Log Cabin Motel. And after a much needed shower and to actually sit in a chair.
> We walked over to the Great Outdoors shop to give them our little trip report and to thank them for their help again. Then once again over to the Wind River Brewing for another great meal with fantastic beer.
> We still had a couple days to drive through The Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Beartooths, and the Bighorns. Just kinda scouting for our next adventure. They all were beautiful. It will be hard to decide.
> Happy Trails!
> Doug and Anita

Featured image for home page:
View attachment 19754

Thanks to all for the kind words.
It is really appreciated
The BCP has been a great resource for planning this trip.

Thanks
Doug and Anita
 
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