Tag Archives: Knapsack Col

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 →

June 25, 2018 Granite Park, John Muir Wilderness, California.

Big Wilderness, No Crowds: 5 Top Backpacking Trips For Solitude

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By Michael Lanza

We all want our wilderness backpacking trips to have two sometimes conflicting qualities: mind-blowing scenery, but also few other people around. A high degree of solitude somehow makes the backcountry feel more wild—makes the views more breathtaking. However unrealistic the notion may be, we like to believe we have some stunning corner of nature to ourselves. But in the real world, if you head out into popular mountains in July or August, you’ll probably have company—maybe more than you prefer.

Not on these five trips, though. From California’s High Sierra to the North Cascades and Wind River Range, and Idaho’s beloved Sawtooths to the peerless majesty of the Grand Canyon, here are five multi-day hikes where you’re guaranteed to enjoy a degree of solitude—at least on long stretches of the trip—that’s equal to the scenery. 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 →