Wind River Range - July 2018

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Curt

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This was a trip from Elkhart Park to the Titcomb Basin. There have been many posts here for this trip but none recently so I thought I'd add another to the opus.

The Titcomb Basin has been on the bucket list for a long time. I made a trip up here several years ago on a long 4 day weekend with the idea of scouting out the area. The drive is more than 800 miles from eastern Nebraska by the shortest route. I didn't quite make it to Seneca Lake that weekend. It was an exhausting weekend and I decided that if I wanted to go to the mountains on a long weekend, the Colorado / Wyoming front range made a lot more sense. But my interest was piqued and I've been wanting to go back to the Winds ever since and especially to try to get to Titcomb Basin. @b.stark e-mailed me this spring to see if I was interested in going on a trip to the Titcomb Basin that he was putting together. I said yes and cleared the calendar. Our group came from all over to make the trip. A couple of us came from eastern Nebraska. A couple came from the Rapid City, South Dakota area, and one came up from Tucson. It was everything I had hoped for. I had my 63rd birthday on this trip and this was a great way to celebrate a birthday. Thank you again, @b.stark.

Tarn adjacent to Phtographer's Point. A lot of people at Photographer's Point.
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I liked how it looked like the world just drops away. A lot of wild flowers blooming.
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Seneca Lake
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Sunset from camp at Seneca Lake.
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The Milky Way was out when I looked out the tent at midnight.
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Mars dominated the night sky.
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The white blurs around this marmot are mosquitoes. There was a bigger cloud of them around me.
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Janette taking in a last view of Seneca Lake.
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This isn't a very good picture but I had never seen a Pika before. Boy they're cute.
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I don't know what these flowers are but they're beautiful.
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First view of Island Lake.
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After setting up camp at Island Lake we proceeded up to Titcomb Basin. Brianna on the trail.
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Brent said that he's been to the Titcomb Basin several times and it never gets old.
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Jared testing the water. He said it was damn cold.
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Red snow!
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A storm came up suddenly and we tried to make an escape but it finally caught us and pelted us with pea to marble sized hail for about 15 minutes.
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Evening back at Island Lake.
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Morning. The peak is Elephant Head.
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White-crowned Sparrow. These have a nice song, but this one started singing right outside my tent at the first hint of light - and didn't stop. It stayed around for a portrait.
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Tarn near Island Lake.
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There were some butterflies I've never seen before. This is a Weidemeyer's Admiral.
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I think this is an Aphrodite Fritllary.
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We took a day hike over to the water falls where the Titcomb Lakes empty into Island Lake.
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View at the edge of the waterfall.
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Evening at Hobbs Lake on the way out.
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Hobbs Lake again.
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View from Photographer's Point
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Thanks for looking.
 
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MikeM

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#2
Great photos! I can see why your friend says it never gets old. Been on my bucket list for a while now, too, but still haven't made it happen yet.
 

b.stark

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#3
Thanks for the good report. It's always a pleasure to hike with you and this trip turned out to be a pretty good one.

I was shocked to see how much more use the area gets now than I remember from before. Lots of well used camp sites (some overused) and a stupid amount of fire pits, often very close to each other. Lots of very large groups out there too. Island lake and the titcomb still hold up as amazing places, though.
 
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#4
I did that same trip early July and can't wait to return one day. Just a special place.

How were the mosquitoes, they were pretty bad when I went.
 

Curt

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I did that same trip early July and can't wait to return one day. Just a special place.

How were the mosquitoes, they were pretty bad when I went.
They were a lot and they were pretty aggressive and persistent when it wasn't windy. @b.stark told us to expect them to be bad. So, we all brought head nets and were glad we did in the mornings and evenings. I bought a permethrin treated long sleeve t-shirt before the trip, wore pants instead of shorts, and used some 100% deet on top of all that. It worked pretty well. Only got 4 or 5 bites and never felt like I couldn't venture out when there were clouds of them.
 

Curt

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Thread starter #6
Thanks for the good report. It's always a pleasure to hike with you and this trip turned out to be a pretty good one.

I was shocked to see how much more use the area gets now than I remember from before. Lots of well used camp sites (some overused) and a stupid amount of fire pits, often very close to each other. Lots of very large groups out there too. Island lake and the titcomb still hold up as amazing places, though.
I agree with all of that - and back at you!
 

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#7
Excellent photos. Thanks for sharing your trip report.
 

Curt

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Excellent photos. Thanks for sharing your trip report.
From the Plains, through the Sandhills to the High Country
Thanks! Just had to ask..... not many people know where the Sandhills are. Kind of a well kept secret unless you live in Nebraska. Kinda gotta go out of your way to drive through them. You don't live in NE do you?
 
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#10
Beautiful shots, thanks for sharing! Definitely going to have to add this place to thee ole bucket list, looks amazing!
 

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#11
I love that shot of "Evening at Hobbs"... and the rest are also fantastic!
I was supposed to have been up there last week, then was supposed to be next week, but plans had to get scrapped. I am glad you shared, now I can keep dreaming with fresh new pics.
 
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#12
Great TR! Thanks for sharing. Brutal shot of the storm clouds up the valley.

The mystery flower is silky phacelia, and sorry to nitpick but the sparrow is a white-crowned.

And a trivial note, the red snow is caused by algae. A professor in college told us that it was slightly radioactive (makes sense considering all the UV radiation it is exposed to) but I've never read or heard that anywhere else.
 

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Thanks! Just had to ask..... not many people know where the Sandhills are. Kind of a well kept secret unless you live in Nebraska. Kinda gotta go out of your way to drive through them. You don't live in NE do you?
I sure do. About 30min south of Lincoln. We often make it up to the Black Hills and am always excited to take Hwy 2 through the sandhills. Grew up on the edge of them near Broken Bow. Amazing country up there.
 
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Thanks for sharing. Amazing pictures from Island Lake and Hobbs Lake. You do a nice job capturing those clouds and shadows.
 
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Great TR! Thanks for sharing. Brutal shot of the storm clouds up the valley.

The mystery flower is silky phacelia, and sorry to nitpick but the sparrow is a white-crowned.

And a trivial note, the red snow is caused by algae. A professor in college told us that it was slightly radioactive (makes sense considering all the UV radiation it is exposed to) but I've never read or heard that anywhere else.
Thanks for the correction on the bird. I'll fix that on the report.

That silky phacelia is a cool flower. I've become aware of prairie wild flowers and have started trying to get photos of those. It's been fun trying to I.D. them. A lot of them have fanciful names. Because of that I was paying a lot more attention to the mountain wildflowers. There were a lot that I don't know the names for. I've got a number of flower photos that I didn't attach to the TR. I was going to try to figure those out but hadn't gotten to it yet. Thank you for giving me a start.
 
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I sure do. About 30min south of Lincoln. We often make it up to the Black Hills and am always excited to take Hwy 2 through the sandhills. Grew up on the edge of them near Broken Bow. Amazing country up there.
I figured you had to live in NE. I'm a transplant to NE, but my wife has lived almost her whole life in either Saunders or Lancaster counties. Somehow she's not as impressed with the Sandhills as I am. But she's a farm girl and a landscape with crops appeals to her. I agree that's a great drive on HWY 2, but my favorite is the one lane paved road from Lakeside, east of Alliance, down through the Crescent Lake Nat'l Wildlife Refuge on to Oshkosh by McConaughy.
 

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#18
This is all so very beautiful!
 
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Leaving Saturday for a week-long trip with three others in that area. We will be hiking a 65 mile loop with a side trip to Titcomb Basin. We had zero mosquitoes last year but that was early September. I'm wondering now if we should bring bug spray or not. I took it on the Uinta Highline Trail as everyone said it was needed and the skeeters were bad but ended up not really using it. However will carry if it's necessary in the Winds.
 

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