Cirque of the Towers

A backpacker at a small tarn in the upper valley of Middle Fork Lake on the Wind River High Route, Wyoming.

Adventure and Adversity on the Wind River High Route

By Michael Lanza In the West Gully of 13,192-foot Wind River Peak, a steep bowling alley of loose scree and boulders that look poised to roll into someone’s femur and crack it like a peanut shell, four of us move cautiously downhill, searching for the safest path through one of the most hazardous stretches of the 96-mile Wind River High …

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A backpacker hiking to Island Lake in Wyoming's Wind River Range.

Best of the Wind River Range: Backpacking to Titcomb Basin

By Michael Lanza We pause along the trail above Seneca Lake, looking out over water bluer than the cobalt sky, glistening in bright sunshine. A bit farther, reaching a “low” pass at just over 10,600 feet in the Wind River Range, we see the jagged crest of the Continental Divide, pushing several summits to nearly 14,000 feet. The sense of …

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Jason Kauffman at Lamarck Col, John Muir Wilderness, High Sierra, CA.

Ask Me: 7 Great, Uncrowded Places to Hike

Hi Michael,

I enjoy your photos and stories tremendously. My wife and I travel the last two weeks of August every summer, and, unfortunately, so do a lot of other people. We like long dayhikes, viewing wildlife and, most of all, quietly enjoying amazing natural surroundings. We often find the national parks way too crowded. It’s pretty easy to lose most of the crowds by hitting the trail, but as soon as you’re done hiking you are often faced with crowds, lines, and traffic.

Last year we spent our summer vacation in the Sawtooth Mountains and loved it. So many great hikes in a ridiculously beautiful, but not crowded area (by the way, Goat Lake was our favorite hike of the trip). Can you recommend any areas similar to Stanley, Idaho, and the Sawtooth Mountains—a quiet area with all the natural beauty of a national park? I know you speak fondly of the Wind River Range. Is there a centrally located small town that would make a good base for a vacation in the area? Anywhere else you can recommend?

Thanks, man.

Miles
Brooklyn, NY

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