We have wanted to visit the Wind River Range in Wyoming for years as friends always talk about how amazing it is. We planned a quick weekend with a short run Friday, then a 50+ mile loop fast-pack style for Saturday and Sunday. Our friend Eric Bunce decided to join us for the Saturday/Sunday loop. We were excited to see a new place and to try out some new fast packing gear (especially our new CAMP Raid packs).
Friday’s run was a beautiful cross country run from Half Moon Lake
After a great run on Friday, we setup camp (ie, parked the truck) at the Elkhart trailhead and got gear ready for an early Saturday start. The forecast had been hit and miss all week with storms forecasted, then clearing. We woke on Saturday to grey skies and left the trailhead in a light rain.
Based on the forecast, we assumed the weather would clear.
Unfortunately, the weather only got worse and it eventually started raining very hard. On our climb up to Lester Pass the rain turned to snow which turned to a full on blizzard. We were now running in winter conditions and packed for summer conditions. We were all saturated through and cold. We dropped off Lester Pass and reached a trail junction 16 miles into our run. Right would take us ~10 miles up to Titcomb Basin and eventually to Peak Lake where we planned to bivy for the night. Left would take us ~12 miles back to the trailhead and try gear. None of us wanted to make the smart choice but we all knew that left was our only option as the weather appeared to have set in hard and going right could quickly be Type 2 or Type 3 fun. Of course by the time we dropped 1500′ to the trailhead the weather had cleared down low, but the high country still was socked in so we were glad we turned around. We ended up with a great 28.5 mile run.
We started to re-plan Sunday. Do we run in a few miles Saturday night or stay at the trailhead for a longer run on Sunday. We ended up staying at the trailhead and had options for anything up to ~45 miles for Sunday.
Sunday we woke to great weather and headed up to Titcomb Basin. We decided it would be great to see the basin and scope out that as a route to Gannett Peak (the highest peak in Wyoming). We ended up with a 36.5 mile out and back into the basin and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves along the way. We took our time on the run up enjoying the sites and taking photos. After turning around, we kept a decent pace trying to make time back to the trailhead knowing we had a 4 hour drive back home.
The Winds are as amazing as everyone says and we can’t wait to get back (hopefully with better weather).