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Topic: Trip Report Wind River 2012, hiking in the Winds August 2012< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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riverrunner03 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 14 2012, 8:15 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Trip Report
August 8th- 14th 2012
After flying from Atlanta to Denver and getting a rental car and driving 7 hours to Pinedale, we made arrangements with the folks at the Great Outdoor Shop to move our vehicle from Elkhart Park to Green River Lakes trailhead. We ate a hearty breakfast at the Wrangler Café and were soon on our way to Elkhart Park. We started at 9:15 am and actually made it all the way to Photographers Point without seeing a sole. It was around 11:30 and we were soon accompanied by at least 6 others. If you go to Photographers Point be sure to climb on down along the rim back down the canyon a few hundred yards. There is a nice rock ledge and the views are even better here.



We ended up camping at a small lake just below Senaca Lake. First day total miles around 8.5 miles.  

Day 2:
We started hiking around 7:30 and quickly passed around Senaca Lake. At Little Senaca, I fished and caught a decent size rainbow trout on my second cast. The mosquitoes were quite bad here so I didn’t fish for very long. We climbed up to the high point overlooking Island Lake. I must say this view is still one of my favorites in all of the Winds.



We ate lunch at Island Lake which consisted of the rainbow trout caught previously seasoned with lemon pepper and supplemented with a mountain house meal. We explored around the lake a ways and then proceeded up to the trail junctions of Titcomb Basin Trail and Indian Basin. There we sat up camp just ahead of a thunderstorm with hail. Second day total miles around 5 miles plus a day hike around part of Island Lake.

Day 3:
We left out at 6:30am for our day hike up Fremont Peak. It took about 2.5 hours to get to the point where we left the Indian Pass trail and headed up to the saddle on the west flank of Fremont.  It took up about 45 minutes to get up to the saddle. There is even a great view from here. We scrambled up the spine and made it to the summit about 2 hours from the saddle. The other side offers a fantastic view of multiple glaciers and the snow covered Gannett Peak. It was my second summit of this great mountain.





We made our way back down and made it back to our base camp at around 4:00pm. About a 9 hour journey. Be aware to take plenty of water to climb Fremont (about 2 quarts). The entire route is very exposed to the sun. Total day hike about 7 miles.

Day 4:
We left out of camp around 7:45 and entered Titcomb Basin.



We tried our luck at fishing Mistake Lake for some goldens but had no luck. They apparently had been biting earlier in the year but not this late. We made our way up toward Knapsack Col. The going was quite rough as we got to the steep climb. I had done this route 11 years previous and remember much more snow where I could get good footing, but now there is a lot more scree with ice under the fine loose gravel. It was hard going. It appears that some climb at the right side up and over boulders but we ended up zig-zagging up until we got close to the cornice of what’s left of the glacier, then we worked right over the boulders. We made it in about 2.5 hours from the top of Titcomb Basin.



At least there is a “trail” down the steepest part of the way to Peak Lake. The trail is hard to follow once you get to the upper reaches of the creek, then a good decent trail onward down to Peak Lake. We sat up camp at Peak Lake at about 6:00pm. That night we were entertained by the Perseid meteor shower. Total forth day hiking miles around 8 miles.

Day 5:
We left Peak Lake and went around the north end of the lake. There has been a more recent rock slide and the route is very doable by climbing about 20-30 feet up from the water surface and then crossing the rock field. We went down the Glacier Trail and had a nice view of the deep valley we were to be in for the next several days. It was an easy climb across Vista Pass and soon we were on the Highline Trail following Trail Creek. There were some good tasting fresh raspberries along the trail. We sat up camp around 2:00pm at Beaver Park near the foot bridge that spans the Green River.  Day five total miles around 7 miles.

Day 6:
This day we summited Square Top. It has been a dream of mine to conquer this mountain ever since I saw it on my first trip to the Winds from the Green River Lakes some 15 years ago. There is about a 3600 ft elevation gain from Beaver Park to the top of Square Top. We left camp around 6:45 and made it to Granite Lake in just 45 minutes. The trail is hard to follow due to fallen trees and takes a weird path long the edge of the meadow and then a near straight up climb before it finally has some switchbacks. We dropped off our fishing gear at the lake and then proceeded up trying to find our way.  Special thanks to lebthree for your information from your climb.

http://forums.backpacker.com/cgi-bin....are+top

After climbing up boulder fields, high meadows, 3 different gulches, we finally reached the top at 11:00am. We ate lunch and began to stroll around the massive summit. Unfortunately, the smoke from the forest fires obstructed the views. I guess I’ll have to return on a clearer day:)





We began the climb down and somehow missed our turn out of the top most gulch and ended up descending down a steeper area than we felt comfortable in going. We realized our mistake and had to back track back up the steep gulch about 300 feet. It was hard going. Fortunately, we were able to locate the cairn that marked the exit out of the gulch and then we had no problems back down to Granite Lake.  I had been told by several people that the fishing in Granite was fun due to all the catches. So we began to fish and no bites. Absolutely none. We decided to rest and lay around since it was mid-afternoon and try again later. After a short nap, we casted and it WAS fun.



We dined on fresh trout that night back at our camp site at Beaver Park. Total day hike miles about 5 miles.

Day 7:
We broke camp about 7:00am and began our last leg of our journey. We saw a nice large moose along the Green River. We stopped at the Upper Green River Lake to take pictures. This picture shows how smoky it was.



At 12:30pm, we arrived back to our awaiting rental car and were soon on our way to the Wind River Brewing Co. for some good burgers.  Total miles this day: about 9.5 miles and a total trip mileage of about 53 miles including day hikes.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 14 2012, 11:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Jeepers. If I understand your timing correctly, we hiked past your tents set up by the footbridge in Beaver Park the day (Aug 13) you were summiting Squaretop. I remember there being a couple tents there and no sign of the owners to be seen.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 15 2012, 12:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We did summit on Monday, August 13th and left our camp sat up at Beaver Park which consisted of a green REI tent on the left side of the trail on the island at the foot bridge.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 15 2012, 5:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ach, right. It was just a single green tent.

Well, if you did reach the summit at 11 a.m., here's a photo I took right that minute looking up your way.
http://www.flickr.com/photos....ightbox
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 15 2012, 10:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yeh, we were standing on the very top of Square Top at that exact moment. We ate lunch and then I sat on the edge at about 11:45. I even yelled off the mountain side. If it just wasn't smoky... might just have seen me.
Here are some pictures of the summit.



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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 15 2012, 10:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

rbs10025, great pictures. Really enjoyed looking through them. Especially liked the panoramic at Peak Lake.
About Square Top, too cool that you took a pic while we were on the very top.
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