Wind River Range, Washakie - Hailey Pass Loop, August 2008Last year my friend Jeff and I did our first Less Than Eleven Feet trip into Wyoming’s Wind River Range. (Two guys whose combined height is less than eleven feet).
We knew then that the Winds required more than one visit, so this year we returned for a sequel. We put in at the Big Sandy Opening trailhead, along the southern end of the range. Initially I planned on heading into the Cirque of the Towers, but after reading online reports and advice, especially from SP’er Bob Sihler, I settled on the 35 mile lollipop-shaped loop over Washakie and Hailey passes. This route passes through basins dotted with crystaline lakes and towering granite summits.
We packed in for 6 nights and added spikes to the lollipop with side trips to Shadow Lake, Valentine Lake and the Lizard Head trail, up to Baptiste Lake, along the spectacular East Fork Valley, and scrambling to the summits of Mounts Washakie and Hooker.
The salient feature of this trip was a lack of superlatives to describe the country. How many times can you say “wow”, “awesome”, or “un-freaking-believable”?
We are hooked on the Winds.