Cirque of the Towers Trail is a 18 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Boulder, WY that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and horses and is accessible from June until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.
From Pinedale, drive south on Hwy 191. At Boulder, turn left on Hwy 353 and drive 18 miles to the end of the pavement. Shorty after the pavement ends, go straight through the junction, and drive south crossing the Big Sandy River (Buckskin Crossing). At next junction, turn left (east) and drive 7 miles. Turn left at the following jct and follow the main road to the Big Sandy Campground and trailhead. This trailhead is remote, so be sure to have a full tank of gas.
We hiked into the Cirque coming from Texas pass and Shadow lake. Texas pass is a hard climb but relatively short coming from Texas lake. From the pass it's a long decent to Lonesome lake an incredible jewel surrounded by colossal diamond peaks. Mere words do not describe the feeling of being there. The peaks rise over 2000 ft above Lonesome Lake. Hiking out over Jackass Pass was relatively easy as most of the time we were descending although it is steep and would be difficult to come in from Big Sandy Lake to Jackass pass. Put this trail on your Life list! We did meet quite a few people on the trail and TH parking was beyond full. It is a vast area and you should be able to find a quiet place.
First 6 miles are relatively easy following along the Big Sandy River. You reach Big Sandy Lake and begin your ascent at the trailhead above the lake. Big Sandy Lake is a beautiful destination in itself. We camped there and hiked to the Cirque the next day. After your first ascent up from the lake you cross a meadow then descend to North Creek where you cross the creek. Then you follow a sketchy trail through a boulder field also marked by cairns. It runs along the east side of North Creek and North Lake. I understand there may also be a trail that goes high up over the boulder field.
You come out at the head of North Lake, beautiful, and on the west side of the lake make your second ascent. There is a fork in the trail as you hike along above North Lake. Definitely take the right or east fork up and around Arrowhead Lake. We did both trails and the left or west fork takes you around the lake thru a talus field and some difficult bouldering on the upper west side of Arrowhead. From the head of the lake you ascend 100 yards up to the rim of the Cirque. Amazing, jaw dropping views!
After being on my wish-list for 45 years I finally made it into one of the most incredible and beautiful places that I have every been. I have hiked and backpacked over 1,400 miles in Utah, Wyoming and this place stands out as the most beautiful. Words or pictures can't describe it sufficiently.