Explore Wind River (Pinedale) Hikes - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Wind River (Pinedale) Hikes Map
4 months ago

We drove to the coordinates and couldn't find any sign of the trail. There's a nordic training area nearby so something probably exists for skiiers in winter (the sign said no hikers).

Amazing place. But instead of out and back, consider doing a loop hike, traveling in though Shadow Lake and over Texas Pass sand out via Big Sandy Lake. While climbing Texas Pass is no picnic, we thought it was considerably easier than climbing Jackass Pass from Big Sandy.

An absolutely spectacular hike. The views are incredible.

Did an overnight out and back hike to Cirque of the Towers in August. The views and the hike was amazing, but also very strenuous. The trail is pretty level to Big Sandy Lake, but then rapidly climbs in elevation from there. It should be known though that once you pass Big Sandy, the trail can be very difficult to follow at times as it gets rockier. Some kind souls have set up rock cairns to mark a route, we tried to follow these but still managed to get off track a few times.
On the way to the Cirque we kept to the right of Arrowhead Lake and encountered a snow field. We crossed without harm, but I won't be doing it again unless I have proper equipment. On the way out however, the snowfield had frozen over and was much more slick than the previous day so we talked to some people who had went the opposite way around Arrowhead lake which involved a whole lot of scrambling over large boulders. We decided this would be the safer way and descended down to there. There is not trail so you have to navigate your own way over the large boulders, this was very time consuming.

Although the trail was very hard and demanding, it really required you to think and was quite a challenge, which I love. As I'm sure you have already heard, the mosquitos are terrible, bring a lot of bug spray and wear it even if your clothes cover your skin, as they bite through them. Get started early enough to give yourself enough time to explore your camp, next time I will be making this a 3 day trip because I would have liked to have spent more time doing so.
Truly breathtaking views and an amazing experience that made all of the challenges worth it!

6 months ago

Bugs were light, trail was continuously scenic, weather was great.

7 months ago

Amazing 3 day backpack loop in late July with overnight stops at Shadow Lake and Big Sandy Lake. Can't say enough about it - highly recommend! Plenty of snow, water crossings, and misquitos but nothing compared to the fantastic trails, views, waterfalls, lakes, mountains, peaks, wild flowers and adventure. We took yaktrax for snow, but didnt need them - hiking poles were enough for us. Took the wrong path around Arrowhead Lake - don't recommend the boulder side unless you enjoy that experience with backpacks :-(. Breathe it in and enjoy!

7 months ago

Did a 3 day loop July 28-30 from the Big Sandy Trailhead to Shadow Lake over Texas Pass into the Cirque then out over Jackass Pass back to the car. Even late in July, snow made the passes pretty intense and the mosquitoes were bad. We agreed that doing the loop in reverse (Big Sandy up Jackass Pass) would have been much, much harder. I'd rather go up, than down, a very steep, snowy pass (Texas Pass). And, there was a pretty tough part going down Jackass pass to Big Sandy Lake that I was glad I was going down rather than up. The area is popular for a reason, but we found plenty of peace and quiet despite the many people we met on the trail. Overall, this was the most stunning and amazing hike and I loved it.

Oh, also there is a sign posted at the trail head that there are habituated black bears near many of the lakes where camping is popular (e.g., Marm's, Shadow, Cirque, etc.) It says that bears can cut down the ropes of bags hanging from trees, so bear cans are highly recommended. What were we to do? We were already 2 hours into the sticks so we were stuck with our bear bag. It all worked out, but we wish we had known in advance.

7 months ago

Did the loop big sandy to jack ass ( shortcut over arrowhead.. not so short as we were heading to texas) over texas pass and around by marms dads etc. great hike liked this route as easier trail when tired but as of july 22 be aware lots o snow arrowhead on and texas pass to texas lake yikes steep and snowy bring your micro spikes wish we had. bugs were ok not great but lots of river crossings from shadow lake to parking lot bring extra socks :) we went to bug sandy then texas lake then out long last day but honestly easier then big sandy to texas. Cirque was awesome highly recommend

A high snow year made the route to the summit completely snow covered even in late June, but an amazing climb with views well worth the work!

8 months ago

Did this over 4th of July weekend, we started from the Dad's lake side, following the shadow lake trail to form a backpacking loop. Hardest things:
1. Very wet trail with a lot of stream crossings (lost one trekking pole cuz the water is too fast)
2. Sooo much snow over Texas pass, we were the first group to pass and a lot of backpackers turned around. It's doable with microspikes
3. Crazy amount of mosquitos near big sandy lake and anywhere lower, I'd suggest camping at Dee lake, shadow lake to avoid them
But! Still a gorgeous hike.

8 months ago

Partially hiked this on June 27. The mosquitoes and stream crossings were miserable this early in the year, and there was way too much snow to safely finish the hike.

Beautiful hike. Still covered in snow though, and theres no tree markers so it takes some effort and awareness to hike it right now. But the views are to die for.

cross country skiing
8 months ago

We were going to attempt this hike in June of 2017, but signs indicated "no foot traffic allowed" Nordic skiing only.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

This trail has some of the most spectacular scenery ever! We camped the first night at Sapphire Lake (west of Hobbs). We had it to ourselves and it was a great spot. The next day we did a day hike to Island Lake and Titcomb Basin. I don't know if I've ever seen any more spectacular scenery. Seneca Lake looks incredible. Then, the view from the 2nd pass down toward Island is top notch. Then, the area in Titcomb Basin looks like you are in another world with the jagged mountains coming up out of the water! Our third night we camped at Eklund Lake. The trail that goes above the Lake has a view of the lake and the Wind Rivers in the background that is also incredible! I woke up before the sun came up and there was fog everywhere and the pictures were incredible and I felt like I was in the Smoky Rocky Mountains! Tough trail, but so worth it, you won't even notice the pain :)

Friday, August 26, 2016

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. @backpackerneil

Thursday, August 18, 2016

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!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Definitely a hard trail. We attempt to summit but did not make the top. We were camping further from the base of the mountain than we had anticipated. On the mountain one of the snow bridges collapsed while we were there it was definitely a bit late to summit. Part of the trail was washed out by glacial melt. But by far one of the best backpacking trips I have done. Bear spray and bug spray highly recommended. Mosquitoes and horse flies were thick. Saw about 25 people around the base of the mountain maybe 3 on the glacial trail leading to Gannett.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

This trail used to be a favorite growing up. The boat dock is no longer there and access was very difficult. The trail has not been maintained and we had to go around MANY downed trees, sometimes easy other times not. Ascended to the lake by taking the direct route, descended by taking the river route. Both are in the same condition.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Hiked this trail many years ago. Started at the Elkhart Parking lot and dropped down and camped at Long Lake. Then continued on a 5 day loop called the Sky Pilot loop. Very pretty lake with good campsites

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Titcomb Basin and Island Lake couldn't be more scenic. The first half of the trail is a gentle incline but the last half is a series of sever up and down sections. We're thinking about returning again next year and utiIzing the services of a local outfitter who can haul our packs to Island Lake. That way, we can hike in with light day packs.

We hiked the trail during the weekend BEFORE Labor Day and it snowed. Always be prepared for adverse weather in the Winds.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

This is a good family hike. We docked our boat at the end of Fremont Lake and hiked up to the lake over the 4th of July 2014. We took the shorter route (stay to the right when the trail forks) and made it there. It is a beautiful trail and lake.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Breathtaking beauty at every turn. Went in early August, the wild flowers were in bloom as were the Mosquitos, bring bug spray or a net.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Amazing. Take bear spray and have the time of your life.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

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.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

This is one of my favorite areas in the Wind Rivers. I love to day hike into this basin. The mountains are amazing. A friend and myself were the only ones there a couple of years ago. It was the middle of September though and we had to leave a day early because it started to snow.

Monday, July 29, 2013

This is one of my favorite hikes in the Wind Rivers. It can get crowded in July and August so brave a little bit of cold weather or even snow and go in September. The views once you get to Island Lake are amazing.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

We did not bring climbing gire so we only went to bonneys pase (19 miles in)
This trail has everything you need in a good outing. Nice well maintained trail, awesome scenery, lots of wild life. The trail starts in the high pines and ends in the tundra. The 6,000 ft climb is sprinkled with high mountain lakes full of fish just dying to get out of the water and in to the pan.
Trip should take you 5 days, 4 if youre moving. You can camp any were along the trail I would sugest camping at one of the lakes between miles 7 and 10 the first night then making a base camp in the Titcomb basin at the end of day 2. The Pass is just 4 miles from there.
Be advised :
This is bear country so bring some spray.
You have never seen this many bugs bring nets not spray.
During the summer melt the trail can become the creek be ready to walk in the mud
The summit can be a dangerous scramble with falling rocks and snow

5 days ago

5 months ago

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