The first weekend in October, I was invited by my uncle Jade to go up to the Wind River Mountains, and possibly attempt Gannett Peak, the highest point in Wyoming. The weather was predicting to be unseasonably warm, so we went for it.
We've been talking for years about going up there, and he's even attempted Gannett before. (He ran out of time, food, and water, so he didn't make it.) He's been in those mountains many times, and knows his way around up there pretty well. The only other way I would have been able to do this would be to hire a professional guide. There was no trail for a good portion of this hike, and I'm forever grateful for Jade's knowledge of these mountains.
It is a very remote area, (one of the most remote in the U.S.), and you have to hike for a long time to get anywhere. It's also known as backpackers paradise.
So my brother Kody and I headed up to Cokeville, then the 3 of us drove up to Pinedale, WY Friday night. We stayed in a hotel and packed up our gear for the 4-day trek.
Saturday morning we headed out at 5am, ate a hearty breakfast at a local cafe, then drove about 1 1/2 hours to the trailhead. There is a hot springs near there, so the steam was coming off the river that morning. It was incredibly beautiful. We saw a family of moose: A cow, a calf,
Here I am at Green River Lakes Trailhead, 8,094 ft. Our first goal was to get to Three Forks Park, which was 11.5 miles in. The route there is pretty flat, and gorgeous!
The minty green color in the river is caused by the minerals from the Glacial melt. It was so cool looking! Almost looked like soapy dishwater.
That pass just to the left of the center of the pic is Tourist Creek, which is the pass we climbed up.
We stopped at Three Forks Park (11.5 miles in), and ate lunch, took a little nap, then headed across the river to make our way up Tourist Creek. Which should be re-named. It's not welcoming at all. It should be called Punishment Pass or something.
In fact, it took us 4 hours to go only 1.3 miles! We stopped when it was getting dark, and set up camp at about 10,000 ft.
We started climbing again, and I was so excited to be able to see these high mountain peaks and glaciers!! It was breathtaking. We ate lunch at this lake.
We climbed to about 12,300, a total of 17 miles in, and couldn't go any further. It was going to be getting dark soon, so we stopped at a flat spot to set up camp.
Here's our camp for the second night: 12,300 ft. I kept getting out of breath doing the simplest of things, and when we tried to go to sleep that night, my heart rate wouldn't go down to it's resting rate. It took a while to fall asleep.
We heard something walking around in the rocks that night. Probably a big-horned sheep, since they live up there. We never saw one, but saw LOTS of tracks and poop from them. And a hunter coming down who had gotten one, with all the meat in his backpack, along with the huge horns!
It had taken 2 full days to get there, and we only had 2 days to get out, with a storm looming, so we couldn't attempt Gannett. We packed up early and headed out. Here's a view morning of day 3:
I was glad we had made the decision to get out of there quickly. The storm moved in, and it definately got a lot colder! Here's a view of Gannett on our way out, covered in clouds:
This was probably the worst part. Going back DOWN Tourist Creek. It took forever, and it's a lot more difficult when you have a heavy pack throwing your balance off.
Almost there. We just need to get down to that meadow! (Three forks park) As soon as we hit the bottom, it started raining. I had been praying, and I was SO grateful it didn't hit when we were climbing down those rocks. They get very slippery when they're wet, and it would have been horrible trying to climb down on slippery rocks.
We camped at Three Forks Park on night 3. Built a fire, (the first of the trip), dried out our clothes, and examined our blisters and bruised toenails.
I heard an elk bugling during the night. It was so eerie, and SO awesome! Here is the sunrise of Day 4:
Then we packed up and headed out, hoping to not get caught in the rain. We were lucky enough to avoid it.