Wind Rivers from Elkhart Park to Titcomb Basin

Eugene

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
139
I have been wanting to do a trip to the Wind River region for several years and finally made it up there the week of Aug 10. Three of us old timers from the Houston Texas area decided to brave the altitude (10,000 feet is high when one lives at 80 ft or less) and do a 3 1/2 day trip from Elhart Park Trailhead to the Titcomb Basin. Thanks to Layne for all the info and advice and answering a flat lander's many questions. The original plan was to begin the hike on Monday evening after the long day of flights and car travel. Well that didn't work out as we got to the trailhead too late - luckily there was 1 camping spot left at Elkart Park. So we began the hike on Tuesday morning.
FYI, my GPS showed a total distance of 31 miles (this includes the day hike up to the basin) and a total ascent of 4700 feet - even though the trail head is only a bit of 1000 feet lower than the high point of the hike. This make this hike almost conquerable to a Grand Canyon hike and not the 1200 feet hike one sees by looking at the high and low. Of course this is typical for glacier lake hikes.

Day 1: Plan was to hike up to Little Seneca Lake for the first night - well for us flat lander folks the altitude was a bit much and we only got to Hobbs lake - about 7.6 miles in for the first night. A group already there helped us find a nice campsite on the SW side of the lake. (Campsites are a bit hidden in the area so you have to keep your eyes open).
Day 2: We hiked up past Seneca Lake and then to the other side of Little Seneca lake and decided to make camp as one of our folks was having some problems - likely altitude sickness. Two of us then day hiked up to Island Lake and on to Titcomb basin. There were some thunder showers in the area but luckily it never rained very hard. The area was really beautiful with the clouds and rain. Pictures were not that good with the rain but it did clear later as we were returning. This was the coldest night as we did see a bit of frost in the morning.
Day3 : Our ill hiker was still under the weather so we only hiked back to Eklund Lake (junction where Pole Creek trail heads off the trail to Titcomb). There are great campsites at this junction.
Day 4: At this point we were about 6 miles from the trailhead and almost all DOWNHILL!!! We made great time Friday morning and got to Pinedale for a very late breakfast!!

Highlights:
1. The entire trail views are gorgeous once one gets past the first 5 miles of pine forest. The view of Island Lake from the pass into the basin is great.
2. There were very few bugs - contrary to reports of July trips I had read. Of course this is later in the season and things had dried up a lot.
3. The weather could not have been better. The minor showers on Wednesday just made it all the better.

Problems etc:
Really there are no issues except maybe the number of people on the trail - and horses and you know what goes with that. I am amazed at the conditioning of many of the hikers. I realize I am an old geezer (69) but it still takes conditioning for young guys and gals to do the hike as fast as some do.

Pictures:
I will post a few of the pictures we took in the hike:
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The three of us getting ready to start the hike - I am the old geezer at the right.


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A few wild flowers along the trail

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Early distant view

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Heading down the trail

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Neat little stream cascading down the mountain

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View of Island Lake in the rain and mist from the pass coming into the basin

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Titcomb Basin with a view of the glacier in the far back

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Just to prove I was really there

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Just an hour later things had cleared and the picture of the lake area is much clearer.

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Water was all really clear with a good reflection of the mountain

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I thought this balancing act of rocks was interesting

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Nice campsite area at Eklund lake - Not sure if quite legal - supposed to be 200 ft from trail and lake. Plenty far from the lake but I think the trail was just a bit closer

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And yes the three of us made it out still able to smile.

This was a great trip. I wouldn't mind going back and exploring the area for a bit longer time. BTW, there is a great brew pub in Pinedale which makes a HUGE hamburger to start your trip.

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Last edited:

isleroyaleguy

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
167
Hey guys
Great trip report and pics.
Yeah, the altitude takes some getting used to. We always try allow a day to acclimate bur it's not always possible. Looks like you had a good time through some beautiful country. We will be out there next Saturday heading down that same trail. Can't wait.
Thanks for sharing
Cheers
IRG
 

Aldaron

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Joined
Jun 16, 2012
Messages
1,485
Missed you by just a few hours...we exited at Elkhart about 3:30 pm on Monday the 10th.
 

Vegan.Hiker

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Joined
Jul 5, 2014
Messages
2,094
Fantastic, I can see why so many members here on BCP are trying to make it to this area. @Eugene, I disagree with one thing in your report.. you certainly are NOT an old geezer. Being that you are doing 5k ft climbs over rugged terrain at age 69 (something that's not exactly easy for me at age 37) makes you an inspirational badass.
 

mak1277

Member
Joined
May 2, 2014
Messages
106
Awesome TR...I'm jealous.

I'm always curious when people talk about the trail being crowded...how many other people were around?
 

Eugene

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
139
Awesome TR...I'm jealous.

I'm always curious when people talk about the trail being crowded...how many other people were around?
We probably saw close to 40 people in the 3 days - some a couple of times. And then probably 4-5 pack trains with maybe an average of 4 mules and 2 horses or so each.
 

LarryBoy

Hiker Trash
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Joined
Jan 4, 2015
Messages
2,561
Congrats guys! Texas is a looooong way to come from, and the altitude can be a bear if you're not used to it.
 

Eugene

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
139
Eugene, I merged your two threads together and made sure that the one thread is in the Backpacking Trip Reports section. :)
Thanks - sorry for the mistake.. Think I may have messed up another one or 2 also
 
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