Winds 2007 Trip Route Map and Itinerary

Wednesday, July 18
We will begin our adventure watching an exciting U-15 soccer game at a site to be disclosed later. Or not, depending on where the game is. Once the game is over we can leave. It’s probably best that we are ready to go right from the game as time will be of the essence ooon the trip out. An 8 PM start and a 24 hour drive (pretty much driving non-stop) would get us to Pinedale in the late evening on Thursday. I would expect us to get to Iowa around midnight. From there it’s a long haul on I-80 west. I’ll have Yumi throw us together a late dinner and some snacks for the trip out.

Thursday, July 19
It’s possible we can stop for a few hours for sleep somewhere in Iowa if we’re hurting for sleep. I can generally get by with 4 hours when traveling west solo and have found I’m able to go until 2 AM before needing to pull over. I would anticipate arriving at Pinedale between 8 and 10 PM local time. We have a couple of options once we get to town. I could ask Sharon’s daughter, Pauline, if we could crash with her for the night or we could get a room at the Log Cabin Hotel or Teton Court Motel in town. There are a couple of others in the $100/night price range. We should probably move fast and figure out what we want to do for that night as rooms in Pinedale tend to fill quickly.

Friday, July 20---Mary’s Lake
The drive up to the Elkhart Park trailhead isn't nearly as exciting as the drive to Big Sandy Opening, but will have to do. No rocky road or anything to damage a vehicle unless we drive off the side of the cliff over Fremont Lake. It's only about a 40 minute drive from town. Since we will have spent a night at over 7,000 the elevation shouldn’t bother us too greatly today. Even so we'll probably feel it as our first day will cover only 6-7 miles, but all uphill to Mary’s Lake. Most of this day will be fairly boring until we get to Photographers Point about 5 miles out. You won’t believe the views here. From Photographers Point to our camp should take only a short time. If we feel good we can keep push on another 2-3 miles (about 1.5 hours) to the Pole Creek Lakes and be lazy some other day.

Saturday, July 21---A lake near Lester Pass
We’re going to make this another easy day and do another 6-7 miles to either Tommy or Nelson Lakes. Despite the short mileage, we’re going to climb close to 900’ net today---probably a lot more as I’m sure we’ll be doing some up and down. The payoff will be camping above the tree line. If we make good time the day before, we can cross Lester Pass (11,200’) and camp at one of the lakes on the other side---still above the tree line. We’re now in the “high country” and we’ll be treated with alpine views for the next 5 days.

Sunday, July 22 Upper Jean or Elbow Lake
Now it’s really getting good. We continue hiking north along the Highline Trail with 13,000’ peaks to our right (east). We should get to the trail junction at Little Seneca Lake just in time to take a break. We have a short, steep climb ahead of us to cross a minor pass which should give us some great views of Island Lake if memory serves. If we can’t see the lake we’ll catch it on the way back. We should be able to make good time and distance the next 6-7 miles as the trail is as close to level as there is in the Winds. There will be a couple of 300-400’ climbs but nothing serious. One awesome side trip we’re going to take is to the “Big Water Slide” near the big bridge at Fremont Crossing. Supposed to be very scenic. This falls at about the halfway point of today’s hike so we might as well do lunch there and maybe wet a line.After lunch we contiinue north to either Upper Jean or Elbow Lake all above 10,200’. My guide book says this might be the most scenic stretch of trail in the entire range. By the time we reach upper Jean we’ll have covered about 7 miles. We can either find a killer camp site here or move a bit further up the trail (a little more than a mile) to Lake 10810 near
the Highline/Shannon pass trail junction.

Monday, July 23 Peak Lake
This is a day I’m really looking forward to. After about a mile and 300’ of climbing we reach the junction of the Highline and Shannon Pass Trails. Another mile of flat hiking and we’ll descend 700' from Shannon Pass down to Peak Lake. At Peak Lake we’ll head off trail up a secluded valley. To our right is Stroud Glacier, Stroud Peak and Mt. Arrowhead. Ahead is Knapsack Col, our goal for tomorrow and route into Titcomb Basin. There's supposed to be a great campsite near a waterfall running off from the glacier. We're gonna get that one. Wherever it is we'll be camping at about 10,800'. Since this will most likely be a short day on the trail, I'm going to attempt to climb either Stroud Peak (12,198'), Sulfur Peak (12,720') or point 11925. There's also what looks like a hanging valley with a couple small tarns to the north that looks interesting. As an aside, I believe Stroud Glacier is the source of the Green River, which flows into the Colorado, which flows through the Grand Canyon.

Tuesday, July 24 Titcomb Basin
This will be our first big test of the hike as we continue off trail, gaining about 1500' to 12,200' above sea level at Knapsack Col. The way up is straight-forward but will be difficult in that we'll probably have to navigate around and through large boulders, talus and snow (which with western exposure should be soft enough to kick steps into. Should be fun. Once we get to the other side it's downhill to Titcomb Basin and camp 5. Probably a bit more challenging going down but we should be fine. We'll be surrounded by 13,000' peaks on the continental divide on one side, a little shorter on the other. I'm not sure where to camp but we shouldn't have any problems finding a good area as we descend into the basin. The sunset down here should be incredible though I would expect it to get cool and dark fairly quickly in the evening. You will never forget this area of the Winds.

Wednesday, July 25 Titcomb Basin
Today I'm going to try to summit Fremont Peak, the second highest in Wyoming. You're welcome to tag along since I believe the Titcomb Lakes are barren of fish. The climb is supposed to be a class 2 or 3 scramble. I'll find the best way up which has been called a "walk-up" by many. Once on top (this is on the continental divide, and since you're so close you have to make the effort to cross it) we'll be able to see as far as the Tetons to the northwest. To the east is the Fitzpatrick Wilderness area. We'll also get a good look at our route out.

Thursday, July 26 Island Lake
Today is wide open. We can hike into Indian Basin to check it out then move camp to Island lake later in the afternoon, or we can move camp the 3 or 4 miles to Island Lake in the morning and spend the balance of the day fishing and lazing about there.

Friday, July 27 & Saturday, July 28
From Island Lake it is about a 10 mile hike back to the Trailhead---almost all downhill save a couple 250' climbs. There's not a lot to see today. Seneca lake (which we missed on the way in) is fairly impressive. A few miles down the Trail Hobbs Lake is unremarkable, but Barbara lake is very pretty. At the midway
point we arrive at Eklund lake where we turned south on the first day. From there the last highlight is Photographers Point, then a lot of downhill through pine trees to the trailhead. I'm thinking we should get back to the car no later than 2 PM. As far as i know, there isn't anywhere to shower in townback in town so we might want to jump in Fremont Lake and clean off some of the dust. Once in town we can grab a early dinner and start home by 5 PM. If we can make it out of Wyoming by 10:00 we should be in good position to get home before dinner on Saturday


Wind River Range
Trip Planning
The Drive West
Mary's Lake
Tommy Lake
Lower Jean Lake
Stroud Glacier
Titcomb Basin
Indian Basin
The Hike Out
The Drive Home
Final Thoughts
Trip Photos
Back to Backcountry Trips


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