Service in the Heart of the Wind River Range, Popo Agie Wilderness, Wyoming
- Work on trails amid the wildflower meadows and granite peaks of the legendary Wind River Range
- Hike to local glaciers and explore alpine valleys, lakes, and rivers
- Camp beneath towering 12,000-foot peaks
- All meals and snacks, prepared by a staff cook
- Instruction in trail maintenance and conservation skills
- Pack support for all food and kitchen equipment
|Dates||Aug 18–24, 2013|
|Difficulty||3 (out of 5)|
This trip has already run. Here are a few others you may enjoy:
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This rugged wilderness is located just north of historic
The severe winters in Popo Agie are especially hard on trails. After the early July snow melt and river runoff, the U.S. Forest Service staff determines the trail priorities for the upcoming season's work. So we can't know until next July precisely where we'll be located or what the work project will be, but our activities will very likely involve erosion control. Typical erosion-related tasks include trail rerouting and repair, as well as building water bars, check dams, and rock walls. For variety, we've also been asked to "limb" trails, and close down illegal campsites that encroach on lakes and rivers. Also, for the past three years our project work has also included replacing small foot bridges, called "puncheons."
We'll work four days, and enjoy one free day where we can fish, hike, climb, or just relax. The last meal we provide is the hike-out lunch on Saturday. Please don't plan to fly home on that last day of the trip -- we can't be certain just when we'll arrive back in Lander. But do plan to attend a Dutch-treat goodbye dinner in Lander that evening. About three weeks before the trip, the leader will send trip members a newsletter with all the last-minute details.
The trip departs from Lander,
The closest commercial airports are at
Accommodations and Food
In Lander, free camping is available at
Please come with the attitude that food is part of the adventure. Food weight and quantity have to be calculated carefully, with all waste being carried out at trip's end. Our meals will be nourishing and serve as a chance to gather after a hard day's work in the wilderness. The menu will be healthy, nutritious, high-energy, backcountry cuisine. Meals will be vegetarian-friendly, with a few limited opportunities for meat during the week. We'll have a group commissary with everyone taking turns in meal preparation. Before applying for the trip, folks with food allergies or strong preferences should contact the leader and cook to see if reasonable accommodations can be made within the constraints of backcountry cooking.
The backpack trip from the trailhead to our base camp area will range from 6 to 11 moderate-to-strenuous miles, all at 9,500 to 11,000 feet. We will not know until July -- after the snow melts -- about the length and difficulty of our hike. Please note that hikers must to be in good physical shape to fully enjoy this hike. To prepare for the trip, you should do aerobic exercise, such as bicycling, running or swimming. You should also include pre-trip hikes with your pack and a 35-pound load. This conditioning is especially important if you happen to live near sea level -- the air really is thinner in the mountains. On a related note, you may want to come a few days early to acclimate to Lander's 5,400 ft. elevation.
Equipment and Clothing
In addition to your own tent and regular backpacking gear, bring two pairs of leather work gloves, a good pair of hiking boots, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt to wear while working. We will provide food and the equipment for cooking, but you should come with your own personal eating utensils -- a bowl, cup, spoon, and leakproof container for packing lunches. You'll need a day pack to carry your lunch, water, gloves, rain gear and other personal items to the work site. As temperatures can range from nighttime lows in the 30s to daytime highs in the 80s, plan to bring warm, comfortable clothing. Before the trip begins, you'll receive a detailed list of recommended equipment.
Also, while we'll have a water purifying system for use in cooking, each participant is responsible for his or her own drinking water. It's recommended that you bring either a personal water filter or water treatment tablets to treat local sources of running water.
- Adkison, Ron, Hiking Wyoming's Wind River Range. Globe Pequot Press.
- Kelsey, Joe, Climbing and Hiking in the Wind River Mountains. Sierra Club Books.
- Kelsey, Joe, Wyoming's Wind River Range (Wyoming Geographic Series). Farcountry Press.
- Hebard, Grace Raymond, and Richard O. Clemmer-Smith, Washakie: Chief of the Shoshones. University of Nebraska Press.
- The folding
USFSforest map Shoshone National Forest, Southern Half will do for most purposes; the Wind River Range, Southern map from Earthwalk Press is also great and can be ordered online.
- The ranger station and local outdoor stores in Lander stock most local maps.
- University of Montana - Wilderness.net
- YouTube video of the "Disappearing" Popo Agie River
Since its founding in 1892, The Sierra Club has worked to preserve and restore the natural environment we all share on this planet. Thousands of grassroots-level volunteers spearhead our efforts to conserve and sustain resources, both in our own backyards and on a global scale. Through direct experience in the outdoors, Sierra Club outings enable participants to better understand, advocate, and participate in the environmental conservation goals of the Club.
On this trip, we reduce soil erosion into streams by diverting trail runoff before it can reach them. We also improve the best trail path and block informal shortcuts that would increase erosion. We are strong adherents of the Leave No Trace philosophy. We will learn about other local conservation activities and initiatives from the Forest Service staff during the trip. Current
Notes for Sierra Club Outings
- Carbon Offsets
- Electronic Billing and Forms
- Electronic Devices
- How to Apply for a Trip
- Leader Gratuities
- Liability Release and Assumption of Risk
- Medical Issues
- Non-discrimination Statement
- Participant Approval
- Reservation and Cancellation Policy
- Seller of Travel Disclosure
- Travel Insurance
- Trip Feedback
- Trip Price
- Wilderness Manners