Wind River Mountains

  • © Ben Duncan
  • © Ben Duncan
  • © Ben Duncan
  • © Ben Duncan
  • © Ben Duncan
  • © Ben Duncan
  • © Ben Duncan
  • © Ben Duncan
  • © Ben Duncan
  • © Ben Duncan
  • © Ben Duncan
  • © Ben Duncan
  • © Ben Duncan
  • © Ben Duncan
  • © Ben Duncan
  • © Ben Duncan
  • © Ben Duncan
  • © Ben Duncan
  • © Ben Duncan
  • © Ben Duncan
  • © Ben Duncan
  • © Ben Duncan
  • © Ben Duncan

Key information: Wind River Mountains

  • A huge variety of walking in Wyoming's fabulous Wind River Mountains. Includes the classic Highline Trail, the Cirque of the Towers and the Titcomb Basin.
  • Superb scenery - the usual but not predictable peaks, cliffs, lakes, rivers and forests. Carved by immense glacial forces. Totally pristine wilderness, with a wide selection of Rockies wildlife.
  • This is tough walking in high, remote mountains, on which you will have to be self-sufficient and where altitude can cause problems. Come prepared.
  • Any photos and comments welcome!

Walkopedia rating

(Top 100)
  • Walkopedia rating88
  • Beauty36
  • Natural interest17
  • Human interest0
  • Charisma36
  • Negative points1
  • Total rating88

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Variable
  • Maximum Altitude: 3,475m
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable
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© Ben Duncan

WALK SUMMARY

THIS PAGE IS AT AN EARLY STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT. PLEASE HELP US BY MAKING SUGGESTIONS AND SENDING PHOTOS! THANK YOU!

A huge variety of walking in Wyoming's fabulous Wind River Mountains.

This is a huge, totally pristine wilderness, with a wide selection of Rockies wildlife (elk, moose, bear, deer, beaver, many birds) and superb granite scenery - the usual but not predictable peaks, cliffs, lakes, rivers and forests. Carved by - you guessed - glacial forces. The landscape varies from the roughest and wildest of rocky highlands surrounded by peaks and cliffs to gorgeous lakes reflecting dramatic formations looming above forest and flowery meadows, to deep forested valleys. Much of the area is above the treeline, although you will spend time in fine forest, too.

North-south fault-lines result in long ranges and ridges, with wide and high "benches" and valley systems running parallel to them, with a multitude of beauteous lakes (more than 1,500) amid crazily eroded rocky scenery. This makes for glorious walking close to the high ridges (which form the Continental Divide). The area is high, with 23 peaks over 13,000ft and quite a lot of time spent over 3,000m (10,000ft).

There is a hugely varied network (said to be over 1,100km) of good (if mostly unwaymarked) trails and campsites - although you can camp anywhere here. But, you need strong backcountry skills.

Great walks include:

    • The Cirque of the Towers, a three-day walk into a remarkable semi-circle of sheer, dramatic peaks, cliffs and spires above the (sometimes) aptly named Lonesome Lake. (Off the first stretch of the Highline Trail.)
    • The famous Highline Trail, around 10 days of spectacular walking in extravagantly beautiful, rough, wild, remote scenery. A classic route, traversing the range (usually walked from south to north) in 8 days upward, although do allow time for some of the many outstanding diversions that can be made, including the Cirque of the Towers and the Titcomb Basin. (i.e., allow 10 days.)
    • Walking in to the extraordinary Titcomb Basin in the north, a huge glacial chasm littered with lakes, with huge sheer walls on both sides.
    • The 3 day round trip from Big Sandy Trailhead to Deep Lake Cirque. A short walk in and out to a campsite by Big Sandy Lake, then a superb pack-free day walk to the vast rock walls and spires surrounding Deep Lake. Extraordinarily beautiful.

A key point to appreciate when planning a Wind River Mountains trek is that there is a wide variety of trails available, which can be used to create the perfect walk and, if crossing the range primarily on the Highline Trail, to take time-saving short cuts and to make some essential detours to places such as the Cirque of the Towers and the Titcomb basin, which should not be missed, having come all this way.

You can camp freely in the Winds, but keep at least 60m from water and trails.

See Walkopedia friend Ben Duncan's excellent pictures from his Wind River walk here.

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

We have a lot of helpful practical information and tips about this walk, covering everything from the best books and maps, to timing and weather, geting there, possible problems, whether you need a guide and where to find them, and useful websites. This section is only open to members.

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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

© Ben Duncan

OTHER ACCOUNTS
share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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© Ben Duncan...
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