Wind River Range
Aug. 10-14, 2009
50 miles / 25+ lakes
Elevation: 8,000 – 11,000’
This is the trip that I have been anticipating for years. I consider the Wind Rivers to be
the Mecca of backcountry fly-fishing destinations. The Wind River Range runs 100 miles
along the Continental Divide. It hosts 40 Granite peaks over 13,000’ and around 150
Glaciers including many of the largest in the lower forty-eight. The Winds have around
1600 lakes plus many streams that harbor several species of trophy size trout. You could
take week long trips each year over a lifetime and still not see it all. I geared this trip
toward the chance of catching a trophy Golden in the most scenic but most heavily used
area of the wilderness.
When most people think of the Winds they probably think of solitude due to its vast
expanse. That is true for most trips but I have always wanted to catch a trophy Golden
and decided to venture into an area that had a high concentration of trophy Golden lakes.
I knew from my research that it was not easy to access these lakes or to catch the trout
once I got there. I also knew that I was not the only person with the desire to catch a
The majority of the hike is over 10,000’ shortly after leaving the trailhead. I left from the
Elkhart Park Trailhead and finished at the Green River Lakes Trailhead at the northern
end of the Wilderness. It was a 40 mile journey without the side trips. The heart of the
trip leads to Titcomb Basin which is glacier country and the base of the highest peaks in
the range. It is the most popular area in the wilderness due to mountain climbing and the
scenic vistas that are unbelievable. It is also known for the rare monster Golden Trout
that inhabit some of the highest lakes in the range.
As I hiked the trails it felt like a National Park. There were many people checking out the
marvelous wonders. This trip was a mixed bag but certainly a trip that will be etched into
my mind forever.