Wind River Range Restoration, Wyoming
- Work on trails amidst the wildflower meadows and granite peaks of the legendary Wind River Range
- Hike to local glaciers and explore alpine valleys, lakes, and rivers
- Base camp under towering 12,000-foot peaks
- All on-trip meals
- Project tools and professional supervision
- Pack support for tools, cooking equipment, and food
|Dates||Aug 31–Sep 6, 2014|
Please note that the trip dates have changed from what was originally published. If you have questions, please contact us.
Maintain rugged trails near 11,000 feet in the spectacular Popo Agie Wilderness near the Continental Divide. We'll also have opportunities to fish remote lakes, hike to walk-up peaks, and photograph vast vistas and beautiful fields of wildflowers framed by soaring spires of granite.
The dramatic Wind River Range in west central Wyoming boasts spectacular mountain vistas along the eastern slopes of the Continental Divide. Here is the Indian-named Popo Agie (po-Po-shia; rhymes with ambrosia) Wilderness of the southeastern Shoshone National Forest. Covering more than 100,000 acres, this area of streams, lakes, glaciers, steep valleys, and abundant wildflowers offers spectacular mountain views. Wind River Peak, 13,192 feet, is spectacular and usually still snow-tinged in August.
This rugged wilderness is located just north of historic South Pass, the Gateway to the West for the famous Oregon Trail, where covered wagon ruts are still seen. Wildlife sightings might include eagles, deer, moose, elk, black bear, bighorn sheep, marmots, and pikas. Fishing is excellent in these remote rivers and lakes! (A Wyoming fishing license is required.)
Please arrive in Lander the day before the trip to check in at the U.S.F.S. Washakie Ranger Station, located on the SE corner of U.S. 287 & WY 789 in Lander (street address is 333 East Main). An abbreviated sign-in sheet and messages will be on the outside bulletin board for after-hours use. Try to arrive in time to attend a 5:30 p.m. light supper (provided by the trip leader) and important trip briefing that will be held at the City Park shelters at the south end of Third Street in Lander. You must be at the City Park shelters by 6:00 a.m. on the first listed trip day, packed and ready to go. We will caravan to the trailhead some 25 miles away at 9,500 feet. Participants will need to arrange their own transportation and, of course, carpooling with other participants is encouraged (the trip leader will help facilitate communication between participants). The road to the trailhead is suitable for passenger cars, but vehicles with high ground clearance are recommended. The first provided meal is trail lunch fixings on the first day of our backpack hike (Sunday). The U.S.F.S. will horse-pack all our food and cooking equipment.
We will work four days, with one free day available to fish, hike, climb, or just relax. The last meal provided is the hike-out lunch on the last listed trip day. Do not plan to fly home on that last day of the trip; we cannot be certain just when we'll arrive back in Lander. Do plan to attend a Dutch-treat, good-bye dinner in Lander that evening. About three weeks before the trip, the leader will send all trip members a newsletter with all the last-minute-details.
The closest commercial airports are at Riverton, Wyoming (24 miles NE; 30-minute drive); Denver, Colorado (300 miles SE; six-hour drive); and Salt Lake City, Utah (~275 miles SW; five-hour drive). Van shuttle service is available from Riverton and Salt Lake City.
Free camping is available at City Park at the south end of Third Street. It is a small but beautiful park with ample space to pitch a tent, lots of shade trees, and public restrooms (but no showers). You can hike about nine blocks north to downtown and then about six blocks east to the ranger station. Lander (pop. 7,200) is home of the famed National Outdoor Leadership School, which offers dorm rooms and showers. Many motels and several bed and breakfasts are also available (the Best Western, located across the street from the ranger station, is affordable and convenient). Also of interest is The Sinks Canyon State Park, where the Middle Popo Agie River disappears underground to emerge half a mile away at The Rise. There is a beautiful two-hour practice hike in Sinks Canyon from Bruce's Bridge to Little Popo Agie Falls, both west on Rt 131.
Accommodations and Food
Come with the attitude that food is part of the adventure. Food weight and quantity must be carefully calculated and all waste carried out at the end of the trip. Our meals will both satisfy appetite and be a social gathering after a day's work or play in the wilderness. The menu will be a healthy, nutritious, high-energy, backcountry cuisine. Meals will be vegetarian with some opportunities for meat during the week. We will have a group commissary with everyone taking turns in meal preparation. Before applying for the trip, folks with food allergies and/or strong preferences must contact the leader and cook to see if they can be accommodated.
Our backpack trip from the trailhead to the camp area will range from approximately seven to nine moderate-to-strenuous miles at about 9,500 to 11,000 feet. Hikers will need to be in good physical condition. Conditioning requires three to four months of aerobic exercise, such as bicycling, running, or swimming. Preparation should also include hikes with your pack and a 35-lb load. The hardest part is hiking in; you'll be in much better shape hiking out! Be especially diligent with exercise if you live near sea level. You may want to come a few days early to acclimate to Lander's 5,400-foot elevation.
Weather ranges from the 30s to 80s in the mountains, and varies from clear and sunny to occasional storms. We could experience rain, hail, and snow here.
Equipment and Clothing
In addition to your regular backpacking gear, bring two pairs of sturdy leather work gloves, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and boots for protection during trail work. We will provide food and the equipment for cooking, but you should come with your own personal eating utensils -- a bowl, cup and spoon. You will also need a day pack to carry your lunch, water, gloves, sunscreen, etc. to the work site each day. A comprehensive list of equipment needed will be provided with the departure newsletter. While we do provide a first-aid kit, you should have your own moleskin, Band-Aids, aspirin, etc. for dealing with the little aggravations of life. Remember to bring any personal medications you need. We will bring a means to purify all the water used in the commissary, but you should bring some means of purifying water when you are away from camp.
- The folding U.S.F.S. forest map "Shoshone NF, Southern Half" will do for most purposes; the Wind River Range, Southern map from Earthwalk Press is also great and can be ordered on-line.
- The ranger station and local outdoor stores in Lander stock most local maps.
- Areas are "Lizard Head Peak" and "Dickinson Park" for the Bears Ears Trail. Order topos from U.S.G.S., PO Box 25286, Denver CO 80225, or buy them in Lander.
- Adkison, Ron, Hiking Wyoming's Wind River Range, Globe Pequot Press.
- Kelsey, Joe, Climbing and Hiking in the Wind River Mountains, Sierra Club Books.
- Wyoming's Wind River Range, American & World Geographic Publishing.
- Hebard, Grace Raymond, Washakie: Chief of the Shoshones, Univ. of Nebraska Press.
We reduce soil erosion into streams by spreading trail water before it can reach them. We also improve the best trail path and block shortcuts that would increase erosion. We emphasize the Leave No Trace philosophy. We will learn about other local conservation activities and initiatives from the Forest Service during the trip. Current projects and plans can be found using the following link: http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/shoshone/projects
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