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Old 02-15-2013, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: Wind River Range in August

I concure with everything Larry said.

Wow! That is quite the ambitious trip. There is great camping all over the reservation, because so much of the area you'll be in is thick with timber and lightly visited (which is a good thing IMO). But have you ever hiked on the Res? It sucks! Trails are few and rugged. Allot yourself double the time you think it will take you. Just skirting around hoping to find the "trail" is a challenge upon itself. Hiking off trail in deep timber is something I never look forward to. GPS helps you know where you are, but it can't help you find the constantly moving trails of the Wind River Res.

Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer but when I first read you post my jaw hit the ground
Your hiking schedule is not going to leave you with much fishing time unless you beeline it through the Barnes area, past Lake Victor, over Hay Pass down into the Golden Lakes. I've done this exact hike (about 21-22 miles by my est) and it took me 1.5 days. But I put the hammer down hard on the trail and I needed a full day at camp at the Goldens to re-charge my legs. And I departed out of the Boulder Lake TH which which makes the hike a mile or two shorter than your route from Meadow Lake.

Then you're only about half way there. Then the real fun starts. When you drop out of the Golden Lakes drainage, all real trails disappear and you'll be on your own navigating sometimes off trail in thick timber. BTW, once you make it to the Golden Lakes, just camp at the lower lake and day hike up to Lake Louise and Upper Golden. If you camp at the upper lake you're just going to have to double back to fall off the drainage below the lower lake anyway.

Once you make it to the Marked Tree Lake area, the trail(s) become a little easier to pick up. Amazing fishing in this area BTW. Marked Tree Lake was my greatest penetration on my 2010 trip. My initial plans were to make it to Alpine and possibly Deadman, but by the time I had made it to Marked Tree and fished a few days I had had enough and turned around. This truly is an area "off the beaten path." AGAIN....hiking on the Wind River Res is NOT for the faint of heart.

And I had a question about your exit strategy. Just curious I guess....hope you'll tell me because I feel like I'm giving you some good stuff here. Are you going to exit at the St. Lawrence trailhead? And if so, are you arranging a shuttle service or are you doing a car drop with friends? I've recently heard horror stories of cars being heavily vandilized at the public trailheads (St Lawrence and Washakie Park) on the Reservation. I am personally headed back onto the Reservation myself this August. Haven't decided if I'm going to the Alpine/Deadman area or the Lake Sonnicant area. I've heard and seen online reports of MONSTER fish in the Alpine/Deadman Lake area, but the Sonnicant area has about twenty different promising lakes to explore. So for me it's a quanitity vs. quality issue

And one more quiestion from my curious side. If I was to plan such a trip I would allot about 10-11 nights in order to save a little fishing time in the Bridger and Fitzpatrick Wilderness' and for navigating and hiking down in the Reservation. How long is yourself and your party scheduled to be in there?
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