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Old 06-20-2012, 01:55 PM
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Default wind river range--looking for base camp recommendation

Apologies for the redundancy. I posted this in a different forum, but then realized this is probably the better location for this post:

I'm planning a trip for 4 guys to the Wind River Range in mid-September. Due to a combination of middle age, all living at less than 1,000 feet of altitude, being used to a few luxuries because we mostly canoe camp (cough, cough, pansies)...we have elected to have a guide drop pack us in and camp in one location for 4 nights. We are coming in from the Pinedale side.

I'm looking for recommendations on where to drop approximately 10-15 miles from a trailhead. Priorities would be access to fishy lakes (despite the pansy thing, we are all fit and could cover 10-15 miles round trip in a day to check out nearby lakes), a comfortable place to camp and good scenery. None of us have been to the Winds before, so I want to see as much as we can subject to the pansy limitation.

I assume we won't have much competition for camp sites that time of the year, but I would really like to stay somewhere scenic and comfortable because we will be there for 4 nights.

Ideas?
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:31 PM
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Default Re: wind river range--looking for base camp recommendation

I'm not as familiar with that side of the winds, but check out Rich Osthoff's book, Fly Fishing the Rocky Mountain Backcountry. Go through there, find some lakes that look appealing, and then base your camp location off of that. By mid-september things shouldn't be too crowded (school's started back up), but don't expect total solitude either. Hopefully you'll catch good weather, it's entirely possible for you to get snowed on heavily by that time of year, when you're camping at over 11000'.
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:57 PM
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Default Re: wind river range--looking for base camp recommendation

My first choice would be the Boulder Lake Trailhead. Go East and North along the Boulder Canyon Trail to the Isabella Trail then East to the Old Highline Trail.

Camp somewhere near the intersection of these two trails. The advantage of this area is there are many loops you can day hike from base camp with many, many smaller intimate lakes on all the loops.

Two resources on your "must have" list is the Earthwalk Press South Wind River Range Hiking Map and Guide. Might as well get the North Wind map as well. For fishing get Kip Cary's Official Wyoming Fishing Guide.

Don't worry about scenery, it's all good!

Take plenty of warm clothing, you are going into an area where it can snow every month of the year.

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Old 06-20-2012, 08:08 PM
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Default Re: wind river range--looking for base camp recommendation

I second that about Osthoff's book and the Earthwalk Map. Ask your outfitter, he or she will know a dozen different perfect places to fit your needs.

Some areas that come to mind are Middle Fork Lake, Dream Lake, North Fork & Victor Lakes. All of these areas have scenery and day hikes galore.

I'll be in the Winds all of early September. Maybe I'll run into ya.
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: wind river range--looking for base camp recommendation

Thanks folks. I've had Osthoff's book for years and recently acquired both those Earthwalk maps, so I'm digging in.

@fishnskiguy: that trailhead and general route is 1 of the 2 I am zeroing in on although I was thinking about stopping a bit before the old Highline Trail and setting up shop. The other alternative I'm considering so far is coming out of Spring Creek Park and going up to the Pine Creek Trail towards Summit.

@country21: surprisingly, the outfitter response was noncommital--"yeah that will be fine". It was via email though, and I'm sure they are busy. I'll probably follow up with them and try to get a little better feedback in the next few weeks.
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: wind river range--looking for base camp recommendation

I had a comment that included a banjo but nevermind. So sorry but couldn't help myself.
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:31 PM
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Default Re: wind river range--looking for base camp recommendation

If you guys live at 1,000 feet don't expect to go more than 8 miles round trip in a day. These hills can have an amazing effect on someone with a low RBC count!
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Old 06-22-2012, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: wind river range--looking for base camp recommendation

Not THAT big of pansies. I had a 20 mile roundtrip day last year in the Weminuche. A little lower than the Winds, but still 8,000 +.
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:32 PM
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Default Re: wind river range--looking for base camp recommendation

Been a long time since I was last there but Upper Green River Lakes was a beautiful spot with lots of water. Check my albums for a couple pix. You should find the area in your book.
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:08 PM
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Default Re: wind river range--looking for base camp recommendation

Wow! With a 40 or 50# pack that must have been a day for a flatlander!
To each his own but I would rather be fishing that beatin' my stumps on trails all day. Find a place with several fishing lakes nearby and way back in. Then pack in and stay awhile. You will have a lot of lakes to try and no people. Day trips mean you miss the two best times: morning and evening.
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