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Crest of the Wind River Range

WY

Star Star Star Star Star

Distance: 79.8 miles


A stunning new 80-mile hike in the Rockies' top spot for big backpacking adventures.
  • Texas Pass
  • War Bonnet Peak

This route covers almost 80 miles through the middle of the Wind River Range. Most of the distance is at 10,000 feet and above, with an embarrassment of primo camping and trout-fishing lakes. Plan on averaging no more than 10 miles a day; this is rugged terrain, and the route crosses many rough passes and boulder fields. Strong navigation skills are required in the cross-country portions. Before attempting this long, remote trek, acquire sturdy raingear and solid survival chops.

TRIP PLANNER

Season July to October. Lowlands are usually clear of snow by mid-June, but river crossings can remain tough, and higher passes snowbound, until late July.

Getting around The Great Outdoor Transportation Company, based out of the Great Outdoor Shop in Pinedale, runs shuttles to and from regional airports such as Cody and Jackson, and between
most trailheads in the Winds. The closest large airport is Salt Lake City, six hours from Pinedale. (307) 367-2440; greatoutdoorshop.com

Cautions Lightning, mosquitoes, and bears are all worries, along with remoteness. You should be fully self-sufficient, pay attention to weather, and store all food and toiletries in bearproof containers.
Leave no trace Camp on rock slabs, gravel sites, and previously used areas at least 200 feet from water. Avoid trampling the grouse whortleberry, a blade-shaped leaf that’s the ground cover in most
pine forest here. Check with rangers for trail and campsite closings.

Permits Free, but required for organized parties and youth groups.

Contact
>> Bridger Wilderness: Pinedale District, (307) 367-4326
>> Popo Agie Wilderness: Washakie District, (307) 332-5460
>> Fitzpatrick Wilderness: Wind River District, (307) 455-2466

Wind River Indian Reservation
The east-central portion of the range lies within tribal lands shared by the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapahoe. Backcountry access in these areas requires a tribal fishing permit ($65 for nonresidents). This requirement now applies to the once-popular Dickinson Park trailhead, a jumping-off point for the Popo Agie Wilderness. In recent years, the road has been closed, apparently all summer, by a dispute between the reservation and a private landowner. At press time, you can access Dickinson Park with a tribal permit, but the situation changes often. Get fishing permits at most convenience stores and outfitters in Dubois, Lander, Ft. Washakie, and Pinedale. For current
info, contact the tribe’s Fish and Game office at (307) 332-7207.

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