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Old 07-18-2013, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Wind River Range...

Sounds like this dude knows his backcountry skills, but the advice to acclimatize is correct.

Okay.......I can be secretive about the Winds but I'll drop the line on a few areas. Everyone always recommends the Pinedale area (which obviously opens up a huge part of the range), but I always like to recommend the Lander area and the Popo Agie wilderness to first time Winders as it's more lightly visited compared the west side of the range. The Worthern Meadows trailhead is a great entry point. You can't go wrong in the Stough Creek Basin. It's incredibly scenic (thinking of your photog requirements), and only 8 miles from the TH. It has a mix of lakes below and above timberline, and the lakes are absolutely loaded with average brookies and cutthroats. You can base camp in the lower reaches of the basin where there is timber for campfires, and then do daily explorations all around the area.

Another area in the Popo Agie that I love is the Deep Creek Lakes area. A 20-25 mile loop hike can take you to Mountain Sheep, ****, Poison, Hidden, Baer, and the Deep Creek Lakes. And there are some goldens to be had in some of these waters, including a few trophies. And there is glorious camping in this area.

As for the Pinedale area, get out the map, circle a cluster of lakes and just go. Pretty much every lake there has decent fishing. A favorite of mine is the Middle Fork and Halls Lakes area. It's all brook trout, but some of the best brookie fishing in the range.

And if hunting down trophy goldens is your goal, Elbow Lake is no secret. Elbow gets fished heavily but it's a huge backcountry lake and the big goldens are definitely there. I've personally been skunked at Elbow but did not fish the lake thoroughly. Elbow is 16-18 miles from the TH, but the hike there takes you past tons of easily fished lakes. Elbow is above timberline, but has good camping.

And the most photographed area in the range is the Titcomb Basin, but receives tons of traffic. And there are goldens there too, but I've never been because of its popularity. Again, read and re-read Osthoff's chapter on the Wind River Range. It's what got me started on the Winds, and now I have an addiction to the place even though I live a day's drive away.

PS. did my preview post and see a "****".......I can see why the software blurbed it out, but it's C00N Lake. That's the name of it on the maps, I'm not making it up.
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