Tag Archives: Continental Divide

September 3, 2018 A backpacker above Island Lake in Wyoming's Wind River Range.

Best of the Wind River Range: Backpacking to Titcomb Basin

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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 anticipation leaps a notch higher. Then we crest another rise to see Island Lake backdropped by the long procession of razor peaks framing Titcomb Basin.

At this point, just a few hours into our backpacking trip, we are already smitten with the Winds. Continue reading →

September 28, 2017 Ouzel Lake, Wild Basin, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

Ask Me: Should I Go Backpacking Solo?

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Hello Michael,

I’ve read through a lot of your blog, and it really has inspired me to get outside more and look for greater adventures than what I’ve already done. I have never been anywhere in the United States and so I have my sights set on Rocky Mountain National Park, in Colorado. I’m looking to do some backpacking, and with so many trails and options to choose from, I’m at a loss and honestly confused. I’m looking for something that will take me about four days. Sadly, I haven’t been able to find someone to tag along with me, and although I have quite a bit of camping and hiking experience, I haven’t done it by myself. What are your thoughts on backpacking solo? Continue reading →

September 24, 2017 Backpacker in Titcomb Basin, Wind River Range, Wyoming.

3-Minute Read: Backpacking to Titcomb Basin, Wind River Range

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By Michael Lanza

Titcomb Basin, deep in Wyoming’s Wind River Range, is the kind of place that can induce neck problems. The environs force you to perpetually look around, mouth gaping open at the mountains towering above it—because many people coming here have quite possibly never seen a place like it before. An alpine valley at over 10,500 feet, it lies astride peaks on the Continental Divide that soar more than 3,000 feet above the Titcomb Lakes, the highest of which is 13,745-foot Fremont Peak. But the valley is flanked on three sides by high peaks; the only straightforward route in is from its southern end.

Spending time here—as two friends and I did on a recent, 39-mile backpacking trip—can really give your neck a workout. Continue reading →

August 9, 2016 Cirque of the Towers, Wind River Range, Wyoming.

Ask Me: What Backpacking Trip Do You Suggest in the Wind River Range?

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Hello Michael!

I read your dayhike story on the Wind River Range, and wow! Thank you for sharing it. I’ve been doing research on the range for several months now for a trip a few friends and I are taking there this summer. We will have 6 to 7 days of backpacking available on our trip. But I am having the hardest time trying to decide where in the Winds to hike. None of us have ever been to the Winds before and I want to hit as many beautiful and peaceful areas as I can, but still get some highlights from the Winds we see in many photos.

In your story, you hinted about climbing in the Winds in the past, so I’m assuming you have some familiarity with them. Could you please recommend one or two weeklong routes that will not have as many people but also give us a great view of the Winds that we will never forget and can tell our friends and family about? Continue reading →

August 30, 2013 Cirque of the Towers, Wind River Range

A Walk in the Winds: Hiking a One-Day, 27-Mile Traverse of Wyoming’s Wind River Range

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By Michael Lanza

At 6:20 a.m., more than an hour into our hike, the sun surfaces through the thick layer of wildfire smoke in the valley below us. A blood-red sliver with clouds above it burning orange and yellow, it slowly blossoms into a partial disk, then a full, sharply defined orb glowing like a hot ember. It looks both beautiful and darkly sinister.

I’m trying to figure out whether this sunrise is a metaphor for our plans to hike 27 miles across Wyoming’s Wind River Range today. But I’m working on three hours of sleep and my brain’s functioning at about 20 percent of capacity. So I’m not sure whether this sunrise through wildfire smoke foretells us burning up the trail or, conversely, crashing and burning. As tired as I feel, I’m not sure that I want to know. Continue reading →

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