Trek from semidesert sagebrush to the largest backcountry lake in the Wind River Range on this challenging 12-mile out-and-back. Start by following the Glacier Trail northwest for 0.6 mile, then bear right at the junction with the Whiskey Mountain Trail. Climb west to a junction at 3 miles, passing several springs and campsites. Turn right and climb through a pretty wildflower meadow to the crest of Whiskey Mountain, or turn left to follow a gently rising trail to the south side of a dry meadow near a small creek and a couple of good campsites.
From there, turn left onto the Ross Lake Trail in the southwest corner of the dry meadow and climb 650 feet into Torrey Creek Canyon. Drop into a series of glacier-gouged domes and knolls and end at the northern arm of 2-mile-long Ross Lake.
Info: Wind River Ranger District: (307) 455-2466; www.fs.fed.us/r2/shoshone.
-Hike provided by Ron Adkison, author of Hiking Wyoming’s Wind River Range (FalconGuide).
TO TRAILHEAD: From Dubois, WY, head south on E. Ramshorn St./US 26/US 287. In 3.7 miles, turn right onto Fish Hatchery Rd./NF 411. In 85 feet, bear left onto Trail Lake Rd. In 1.3 miles, bear left to stay on Trail Lake Rd. In 0.3 mile, turn left to stay on Trail Lake Rd. Follow 6.6 miles to trailhead at end of road.