Roadtrip Sponsored by the United States of America’s Cares Act
Into the Mountains
A little after midnight, Austin and I pulled into our campground at the headwaters of the Green River – Green River Lakes. The drive, about 90 minutes north of Pinedale, consisted of many miles of dirt road that, in the dark, was a bit harrowing.
Once we arrived in the mountains, set up our tents, and stored all of our food in the bear box – the theme of this trip is no grizzly attacks – we settled in for less than five hours of sleep.
Once the alarm rang, we exited our warm sleeping bags and ventured into the chilly morning air of Green River Lakes. At 8,000 feet, summer in Wyoming is nothing like Arizona.
Green River Lakes
We took the Lakeside Trail to the backside of the lake, hoping to find the spot for one amazing reflection shot, yet realized we had taken the wrong route and it would’ve been further than the three miles we had already walked.
During our walk along the lake, we saw a ridiculous sunrise – yet neither of us took any photos of it due to our mission towards this one spot. Austin and I eventually came back and enjoyed the views at the mouth of the lake.
We would have loved to spend some more time here, but I, for some reason, scheduled an interview and needed phone service, which the lake did not have.
The two of us finally ate breakfast around 11 at a city park and was on our way to the mountains by 2 pm. It was a very slow start to our trip.
Cirque of the Towers
The Wind River Range is a beautiful, challenging, an immense mountain range that spits out even the most seasoned hikers.
For the Cirque of the Towers, we had to drive 90 minutes outside of Pinedale, nearly all on a nicely “paved” dirt road, with the final eight miles on a normal dirt road.
We ended up going eight miles in – most of it on a gentle incline, with the final two miles gaining almost all of the hike’s elevation. Our final destination was North Lake, sitting between Big Sandy and Arrowhead Lake, just below the Continental Divide.
We enjoyed a stunning sunset that evening, surrounded by huge mountains, and went to bed full and happy. After a warm night’s sleep, Austin and I took our time in the morning before heading up and over the Continental Divide (Jackass Pass) and into Cirque of the Towers.
At the bottom of the Cirque is Lonesome Lake, surrounded by half a dozen towering peaks. We only allowed ourselves 30 minutes here to relax and take photos. We stuck to our schedule and made our way back up to Jackass Pass, which required traversing in snow and mud.
An hour and 5.25 total miles later, we were back at our campsite to pack up and begin the eight-mile walk home. It went smoothly for the first half of the trek to the car, but a little past Big Sandy Lake, my back and Austin’s feet took a turn for the worst.
Thankfully, the trail was mostly flat, but still, four miles with weight on your back isn’t ideal. Plus, we were still above 9,000 feet, which already makes it a little more strenuous.
In all, we spent 6 hours hiking over 12.5 miles in the mountains on Saturday, making us ravenous.
Burgers and Beers
Cue up, Wind River Brewing Co. The two of us guzzled down a flight of beer, a giant hamburger, and some chips and dip. The trifecta left us content – just as you should feel post backpacking.
Due to weather, we ended up staying the night in Pinedale, Wy, before heading towards Jackson and Grand Teton National Park on Sunday.
Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.
You can follow along the journey on Facebook and Instagram or shoot me any questions and comments about places to go. And don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to get notified when new posts come out!
To view my entire photography collection and purchase photos, click here.