Cirque of the Towers is a fantasia-like playground for climbers, a semi-circle of 12,000 feet granite spires with names like Warbonnet and Warrior I. Perhaps Pingora Peak’s name says it best: it’s Shoshone for “high, rocky, inaccessible peak.” The thing is, the cirque’s beauty makes it popular, but if you come in late September the crowds thin and golden aspen and cottonwood leaves accent beige granite and blue sky. Backpack 13 miles on the North Fork Trail to the Cirque. Let your karma add to the aura of this alpine shrine in coming years by applying leave no trace camping skills.
Shoshone National Forest: (307) 332-5460, www.fs.fed.us/r2/shoshone