Wind Rivers advice


Watch yer top-knot
Apr 27, 2013
Got a few days next week to spend in the wind rivers. I know its possible to do some monster trips in there but I will only have Wed thru Sat. Looking for some good fishing and that famous wind rivers scenery. Any suggestions??
You'll enjoy the trip no matter where you go. What entry point are you closest to? Elkhart, Green river lakes, or big sandy? I'm pretty sure fishing will be good no matter where you end up going. The temperatures are cooling off and the fish are hungry for the winter. The weather this time of year stays unpredictable but you'll have rain gear so you wont have to worry. Temps will be cold at night so pack accordingly.

Suggestions: The cirque of the towers is always a wonderful and iconic view of the winds. From elkhart going up to the titcomb basin is, IMO, the best view of the winds. Fremonte Peak from island lake is my favorite spot in the winds. I've never been to the northern region but, like the rest of the Winds, I'm sure you won't be disappointed. My vote - Elkhart to Island lake.

Have fun, and if you have time write a TR.

Thanks for the suggestion. I was thinking about going out of Big Sandy. A couple of friends have suggested Dads lake and the back side of the Cirque. Kinda leaning that way but thought if anyone had a strong suggestion otherwise Im still open for a change. Island lake is on my list as well as Titcomb...its like being in a candy store. Too many good choices
I had a nice trip to Windy Lake near Christina Lake that was a half a week. Good times.
Heading up to Cathedral Lake from Dickinson Park looks like a great shorter trip too with fantastic scenery.

Big Sandy is by far the best/shortest easiest access to the goods in the Winds IMHO. Not being a fisherman I am skewed to peak scenery and potential climbs. The loop of the Cirque of the Towers (we call it the Circus due to crowds of climbers in the Cirque itself) is especially Classic. The whole drainage under Haystack is also world class. Look for all of this documented here. Deep Lake/ Clear Lake are good keywords for search. Plenty of lakes but no idea on the fishing - except for the fishing for world-class alpine rock and scenery. BCP IS one of the best places to research our precious Windies. Enjoy!

Back (north) side of the Cirque from Donald Lake. The tall center tower is Shark's Nose.

From the top of Warrior II on the Cirque perimeter looking south at Temple, East Temple and Haystack.

BTW four days is plenty from this trailhead. That is all we had for the trip generating these pics...
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Does this mean you have 4 nites? or ? Pretty short time, just about hike in two days out two days. Go east .................. or north.
All places listed are great scenery but....... = usually a lot of people. Just got back and even in crappy weather you couldn't find easy camping from Hobbs lake to Titcomb basin. From Timico Lk thru Pole Lks were crowded. even talked to 3 groups going to do the Wall lk loop...used to be unknown.

I'd suggest (somewhat tough and most off trail) go from Green River TH to Cresent lk, Faler lk into Bear Basin on the north.
More south, East fork out of Sandy around Pyramid, Bonneville lks. Or Europe canyon / Halls lk in the middle.

Lower trails are really tore up with all the rain and horse traffic.
I'd skip the north end until you have more time. Cirque is a good one coming from the Wasatch with 4 days. If you want more solitude, the south end drainages are nice too. Access from the Lewis Lake Road. Atlantic Basin, Stough Creek, etc. Good stuff. You can't go wrong. The only real advice I'd give is bite off something small your first time. Soak it in.
Thanks for all the advice. I think we'll do like Nick says and keep it closer and shorter hiking for this trip. I am really intrigued by the posts in BCP about Clear and Deep lakes but the fishing is important to some in our group and I didn't get the impression the fishing is very good that way? The scenery looks amazing though. Atlantic Basin is on our short list, any more specific info about that area? Thanks again for all the advice. Can't wait to get up there
Here is my TR from Atlantic last year:

On the way in, we took a right and headed up into Silas Canyon. We then followed the south side of Tomahawk Lake and then walked overland to Calvert Lakes. Spent a night there and then another night up just below Windy. For the hike back, we dropped down to Atlantic > Christina and then the main trail back to Fiddlers to form a lolli-loop. I have tracks somewhere if you want to see them on a map. Ha! Nevermind, they're in that TR.

As for fishing, I'll leave a little mystery to it, but if you dig around, you'll see why fisherman might enjoy themselves there. The weather sucked for us so I didn't get much time fishing Windy, but I did find some gold in the outlet stream. Lower Calvert was also full of nice sized fish. I think they were brookies. If you go to Calvert, do the world a favor and break that illegal plaque off the boulder! :)
Stough creek is nice.................
Big Sandy and camping at Black Joe Lake is all I have done in the winds. Crowds weren't bad, though I seem to have entirely different standards as far as crowds are concerned than most on here. You can day hike up to Temple Peak from there as well.
This probably won't help.
But, fishing was off the hook @ Upper and Lower Jean. It's a ways in but....
It was our first Winds trip and this was the best trout fishing I have ever had.
If you head up to the Big Sandy area and skip the Cirqus, I'd opt for Deep/Temple over Black Joe. Fishing was mediocre at all of them but the scenery is better in the Deep/Temple area. I guess the fishing in Temple was pretty good but they were really small.

This probably won't help.
But, fishing was off the hook @ Upper and Lower Jean. It's a ways in but....
It was our first Winds trip and this was the best trout fishing I have ever had.

We didn't fish Upper Jean, but we had great success at Lower Jean as well. Nice sized fish too. Looking forward to hearing more about your trip!
We hit a lake that was red hot five years ago for cuts.......this year ZERO, every cast moss and plants, even if you reeled before hitting the water. Didn't see any fish sign. Maybe it as winter killed sometime? Any ideas ?
I recommend the Big Sandy area too. One of the most scenic areas and fairly easy to get in to (about 3 hour hike to the bottom of Big Sandy Lk).

As for fishing:
I couldn't keep the fish off my fly at rapid lake (south of Big Sandy Lk) about 5 years ago. They were tiny though. It became more of a challenge to not caught a fish. Fishing at Clear Lake was the next best in the area for me. Morning's and evenings are best (usually the case everywhere). The lake would boil with fish jumping for about 20-30 mins each evening during the hatch. Caught a few nice ones at Deep Lake in the past, but last time I got skunked at Deep. Friends caught some though. Only caught a few out of Big Sandy Lk. But only tried the upper end where Clear and Rapid dump in and it was shallow. Also caught a few out of Temple and Miller, but we didn't hit it very long (storm came in). Black Joes is ok, but that lake is a bitch to get around other than the south-west corner. Scenery is MUCH better making the loop around Clear-Deep-Temple-Miller-Rapid. It's probably my 2nd most favorite area next to the view from Island Lake near Titcomb. I've always wondered how the fishing is on Big Sandy Creek along the hike in. Many areas look awesome, but I've only seen a few people fishing it one time (gone in 3 times to Big Sandy).
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