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Topic: Wind River Advice Sought< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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Scott in MN Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 08 2013, 11:08 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I’m taking my family to the Winds early August and I’ve become blinded by the route choices.  We’re looking for a 4 or 5 night trip with scenery being paramount.  We’d prefer some type of loop trip but I know they are hard to come by there.  My wife and I are early 50’s, kids are early 20’s, plenty of experience and all athletic but no real mountain goats.  Can anyone share their experiences with me and suggest a few routes?  Thanks.
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Scott in MN Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 09 2013, 8:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I should also add that we will not be fishing and we'll stay on the trails.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 09 2013, 12:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Scott,

Yes loops are hard to come by, but two trips I would definitely suggest would either be starting at Elkhart Park and heading into Island Lake area. It's easy to set up a camp and do multiple hikes from there, Titcomb Basin, Indian Basin. You can spend several days exploring. Outstanding scenery.

Second suggestion is to start at Big Sandy and head in past Dad's and Marms Lakes. You can make a loop from there going up past Skull Lake and up to Pyramid. You can go over Washakie and Hailey Pass and make a loop. Great scenery up there too.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 09 2013, 3:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Several years ago we did a loop that starts at the Green River Lakes campground and takes you around Squaretop.  We had a great time with wonderful views. We did it in five days.  Our route was from Green River Lakes to Porcupine Trail.  The first night we stayed just a few miles past the lakes due to our late start out of Jackson.  The next day took us over Porcupine Pass and we camped just on the other side of Porcupine Pass.  It is a steep climb up to the top of Porcupine Pass.  The third day was probably the most strenuous.  It took us from our campsite near the top of Porcupine Pass down Porcupine Trail along Dodge Creek to the New Fork Trail turnoff.  We then took the New Fork Trail up to Lozier Lakes and down to Clark Lake.  We camped on the west side of Clark Lake.  The next day we traveled the trail downhill until it intersected with the Highline Trail. We took Highline and camped at Beaver Park near the base of Squaretop.  The last day’s hike was the longest, from Beaver Park to the Green River Lakes campground, but it was a level to level descending trail for most of the way.

My log of the trip can be found garmin connect for all but part of day 3 which was not logged due to a failure to detect worn out batteries.
Day 1: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/41092449
Day 2: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/41092456
Day 3: (partial only) http://connect.garmin.com/activity/84343329
Day 4: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/84343576
Day 5: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/84343770
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 12 2013, 2:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Scenery with only 4-5 days, I agree with OT. Go out of Elkhart to Island Lake/ Titcomb Basin. You will not be alone however. If solitude is important it is harder to come by in this region.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 12 2013, 2:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you are not looking to stop to fish, and seasoned hikers....start here and you can see our whole route, starting around Osborn Mountain and coming across the top.

Rest are titled un wy2010pt 2, etc.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 14 2013, 8:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We are leaning to the Pole Creek, Highline, Glimpse Lake, Pine Creek Canyon tail loop
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 19 2013, 9:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Does anyone have any experiences going from Little Trappers Lake to Elkhart Park on the Pine Creek Trail?  The first part of this trail from Glimpse Lake to Long Lake is shown as not being maintained.

I guess one of the names of the loop is the Sky Pilot Loop
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tarpon6 Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 19 2013, 10:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

By the sound of it I'd recommend something else.  It sounds like a hairy and tricky descent down into Pine Creek Canyon and Long Lake followed by a 1600 ft climb in just over a mile to Elkhart Park.  Not something I'd look forward to right at the end of a trip..

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 20 2013, 9:44 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The trail on either side of Glimpse Lake is very steep.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 20 2013, 11:23 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(tarpon6 @ Jul. 19 2013, 10:03 pm)
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Not something I'd look forward to right at the end of a trip..

Not something I would ever look forward to, but it makes for a nice loop and better at the end of a trip with lighter packs.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 20 2013, 12:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Another vote for Elkhart Park, but past Island Lake. Camp in the "incomparable Titcomb Basin" (Great Adventure Treks). Deep magic and once past Island Lake, sharp drop in #s people.

I think everyone with experience in the Winds will say, forget the loops - go for something (like Titcomb) you'll never forget.

The hike, Elkhart Park, past Seneca Lake, past Island Lake, into the basin: https://plus.google.com/photos....ner=pwa


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 20 2013, 1:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Another vote for the basin, there's niches with fewer people even there.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 20 2013, 3:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Scott in MN @ Jul. 20 2013, 11:23 am)
QUOTE

(tarpon6 @ Jul. 19 2013, 10:03 pm)
QUOTE
Not something I'd look forward to right at the end of a trip..

Not something I would ever look forward to, but it makes for a nice loop and better at the end of a trip with lighter packs.

Yeah but your family might hate you for it. :)

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 20 2013, 6:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'd vote for starting at Elkheart, sleep the first night on the rise just short of Island L. (awesome panorama), then a short day to Indian Basin.

Then, consider a hike up the standard approach route to
Fremont Peak. This is off trail but moderate.

If your background does not include scrambling or mountaineering stop where the rock begins, high meadow ends, and you'll have a memorable view of Island L., Titcomb.

If you have some scrambling, mountaineering, background Fremont's standard route is immensely rewarding. A non-technical steep scramble gets you up the second highest peak in the range, summit offers a notable panorama.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 22 2013, 2:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Scott in MN @ Jul. 19 2013, 8:27 pm)
QUOTE
Does anyone have any experiences going from Little Trappers Lake to Elkhart Park on the Pine Creek Trail?  The first part of this trail from Glimpse Lake to Long Lake is shown as not being maintained.

I guess one of the names of the loop is the Sky Pilot Loop

You may have already seen these links regarding the route you proposed, but if not they are worth a look:

http://www.gotzfamily.org/~gotz/forfun/trips/wrr/index.html

http://www.ouachitamaps.com/picture....age.pdf

http://www.trimbleoutdoors.com/ViewTrip/1357294
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 22 2013, 2:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hey Scott,

It would be a shame given the time and desire for scenery not to pick the Elkhart to Titcomb route.  Camping a night in Titcomb would be great and then hike back out to spots near trail above Island Lake for your last night.  You can easily hike out to Elkhart from Island Lake in 5 hours or less.  Only real ups coming back are around Seneca Lake and near Photographer's Point - rest is easy hiking.  For my money there is little in US to surpass Island Lake and Titcomb Basin.  Check out my photos here from 2011 trip we made - the last portion will include Island Lake and Titcomb Basin.  Make sure in Titcomb to go to the upper most lake - you can't really see it until you get near it.

http://staggsl.zenfolio.com/
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 22 2013, 4:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you would like a loop,  I remember some in the past suggesting Elkhart, Pole Creek, Cook Lakes, Wall Lake  then over the pass to Island Lake and then spend a day exploring the Island Lake/Titcomb basin area then back down to Elkhart via Seneca, Hobbs.  If you took two days to get to Island Lake,  you could spend two nights at Island lake with the third day exploring the Titcomb basin area and Fremont Peak with the fourth day an easy hike out.  A description of the hike from Wall Lake to Island Lake can be found at Swimswithtrout’s post 9 on this tread:  

http://forums.backpacker.com/cgi-bin....1147915

I have not done this route so others may be better able to discuss its merits.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 23 2013, 5:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We did the route referenced by lebthree last September.  PM me if you want more details.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 23 2013, 6:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(fquail @ Jul. 23 2013, 5:54 pm)
QUOTE
We did the route referenced by lebthree last September.  PM me if you want more details.

I agree with you guys, this would be a better loop.  I was going to do this loop last August but there was a storm brewing by Wall Lake so I took Lester Pass instead. Wish I would have had more than a day to spend in Titcomb.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 27 2013, 8:10 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've only been thru the Winds on the CDT, but this looks like a beautiful and doable loop:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0IKIr8RChc


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 27 2013, 1:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A nice loop that could include Island Lake/Titcomb is to start at Spring Creek TH, go up past Borum Lake to Summit Lake, down past Jean Lakes, a side trip up to Island/Titcomb and then out to Elkhart.  It can be done without a shuttle starting and ending at Elkhart but a shuttle avoids the drop into the gorge and 1600 foot climb out previously mentioned.  It is about 36 miles without going up into Titcomb.  We used Pinedale taxi but that was 11 years ago.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 28 2013, 3:07 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Scott in MN @ Jul. 19 2013, 9:27 pm)
QUOTE
Does anyone have any experiences going from Little Trappers Lake to Elkhart Park on the Pine Creek Trail?  The first part of this trail from Glimpse Lake to Long Lake is shown as not being maintained.


We did a loop in 2006 that started at Elkhart and went to Island Lake and Titcomb, then to Upper Jean Lake and Elbow Lake, and down the west side of Pine Creek canyon back to Elkhart. See http://www.flickr.com/photos....ightbox

The descent from Glimpse Lake to Long Lake that year was, relatively speaking, not terrible. There were some trees down on the unmaintained trail (although not as many as we had to deal with in the Sawtooths a couple week ago -- 30 trees down along one 1.5 mile stretch of trail there), and I slid out on one gravelly switchback and landed on my butt. But as I said, it was 7 years ago, so who knows what that trail is like now.

We camped by Long Lake, so for the morning climb up to Elkhart, we were fresh and it wasn't bad.

But frankly, as loops go, I wouldn't recommend it. Too much time hiking point-to-point and not enough time to appreciate the views. As others have recommended, better to spend a couple days hiking in from Elkhart to either Island Lake or Titcomb, a day or so of dayhiking and looking around, and then back out.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 29 2013, 6:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You just can't go wrong backpacking the Wind Rivers:
From Elkhart Trialhead head to Island L., then dayhike the length of Titcomb Valley
                                   or
From Big Sandy Trailhead head up over Jackass Pass, then Texas Pass to Shadow Lake then back to the Trailhead
                                    or
From Big S. Trailhead head up to Dad's Lake, make a right at Marm's Lake, cross Washakie Creek and head up East Fork Valley to Pyramid Lake.

They're all great and Wlrd Class areas.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 12 2013, 12:10 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just got back from our Wind River trip.  We ended up going ahead with the Sky Pilot loop.  
Day 1 - Elkhart Park to Seneca Lake via Pole Creek and Seneca Lake trails
Day 2 - Island Lake, set up camp and then day hiked Titcomb Basin
Day 3 - Highline trail to Pass Lake
Day 4 - Highline to Summit Lake and then Pine Creek Canyon trial to Glimpse Lake.
Day 5 - Pine Creek Canyon from Glimpse to Elkhart.
We figured we did ~45 miles.

We had a great time.  A little rain the first evening at Seneca and then the last night at Glimpse but otherwise it was perfect weather.  A low of 26 the first night.  The night before we camped at Island Lake a bear raided a campsite and took a group's food.  We did not have any bear experiences.

The hike from Glimpse to Elkhart was a challenge but not that bad.  The problem developing with the non maintained portion of this trail occurs about 2/3 of the way down in a sage brush area.  It is steep here, and to bypass a couple of down trees people have began to cut off the switchbacks by going straight down.  This ends up with vertical trail that could start eroding more easily then a proper switch backed trail.

We enjoyed the whole trip.  Would love to return some year!
Thanks for everyone's input.
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