Wind River Range

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

Read onAsk Me: 7 Great, Uncrowded Places to Hike

Cirque of the Towers, Wind River Range, Wyoming.

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

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?

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A hiker in the Cirque of the Towers in the Wind River Range.

One Photo, One Story: A 27-Mile, One-Day Hike Across the Wind River Range

By Michael Lanza

In mid-afternoon, somewhere around hour 11 of our 27-mile dayhike across Wyoming’s Wind River Range, six of us departed from a nice break at Lonesome Lake and started across the spectacular Cirque of the Towers. A mind-boggling horseshoe of sheer-walled, granite peaks scratched at the clouds. Powerful gusts of wind knocked us around and drowned out our shouts to one another.

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Cranking Out Big Days: How To Ramp Up Your Hikes and Trail Runs

By Michael Lanza

I don’t remember the first time I hiked more than 20 miles in a day. But living and hiking in New England at the time, where one mile of rocky, up-and-down trail feels as physically punishing as two miles in other parts of the country, I undoubtedly got to that distance through incrementally longer dayhikes. I only wish I could remember the sense of pleasure with myself that I must have felt that first time.

But I can list precisely the number of times I’ve hiked more than 30 miles in a day.

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Ask Me: What Are Your Favorite Places in the Northwest and Northern Rockies?

Michael,

I’ve been checking out your excellent backpacking posts and think you may be the right person to help me out with my search. My partner and I have taken a year off work to travel around the U.S. We had a great time hiking and canyoneering in Escalante. So now we’re in the Northwest, and want to find a great wilderness base camp where we can set up for a few days and explore the surrounding area. I’ve heard great things about Idaho, but Washington, Montana and Wyoming are all within striking distance, too. So much choice! If you have any recommendations for us—even if it’s just a wilderness area to hone in on—they would be most gratefully received.

Thanks,
Brian
London, England

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