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Sky Pilot (Backpacking) Professional Review and Guide
"A spectacular loop through the northern heart of the Wind River Range. This route makes a nice loop through the heart of the northern Wind River Range from the ultra-popular Elkhart Park Trailhead. Most hikers prefer the out-and-back option and set up a base camp in the Titcomb Basin, which is, along with Cirque of the Towers, among the most heavily visited spots in the entire mountain range. This loop option avoids the crowded Titcomb Basin and Island Lake. Special attractions: Sky Pilot Peak and the precipitous peaks of the west rim of the Titcomb Basin as well as numerous sparkling mountain lakes."
--Bill Schneider, Best Backpacking Vacations in the Northern Rockies (Falcon Guides).
Did the route as described and added two nights at the Sauerkraut lakes to day hike to the Brigder lakes. The first lake is one of the most beautiful I have seen, and I have been to many around the west.. Added two nights at a small camp at little Seneca to make a full day hike in the Titcomb Basin easier, with a trip to mistake lake, also in the Basin. Spent the last night at middle Sweeney Lake on the way out.
6 nights, 7 days and 60 miles including the day hikes.
The hike up to Glimpse Lake from Pine Creek is really only logged over the last third of the way up, and it was not that bad to get around or over(with a 5'2" wife also). The sign at the bottom warns you it has been abandoned, but it really is not that bad for a non maintained trail.
1. Trapper Lake
5. L. Seneca
6. Middle Sweeney
My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed this trip, except for some mosquitoes and some excess snow in the pass between Elbow Lake and Jean Lakes basin Nevermind and we love them both. We took a break now sidetrips to Sauerkraut lakes to Titcomb Basin. The solitude in the first half of the trip was great. He recommended this trip to anyone. Dave Barry
We just got back from a great trip on this route that included day hikes to No Name Lakes, Stroud Peak, and Titcomb Basin from an extra day at Island Lake. What a treat these were! I'd describe this six night backpack as perhaps the best trip I've ever been on, although you have to be in shape to enjoy it.
This is a qualified 5 star review - we changed the route. Trip was 9-13-05 to 9-18-05. We had chosen the 'counter-clockwise' route - so glad we did. Half way into the first day we met two experienced hikers, who when informed of our route, told us that the portion of trail that would be on our last day (the downhill part of the 2000' climb)had not been maintained in two years and was covered with downed trees and rock slides. We then chose to take a right turn and go up into the Titcomb Basin, which was absoutely beautiful. About 18 miles in total, and out by the same route. But as anyone that has hiked in the western mountains can tell you, hiking the same route in a different direction will seem like absoutely different trails due the views. First day we hiked about 10 miles, basically all uphill, but gradual most of the time, and camped at the north end of Seneca Lake. 2nd day we took the Titcomb Basin trail about 4 miles and set up camp on the north side of Island lake - we then hiked on into the basin for about 4 miles further. Some of the most remakable scenery you will ever see - peak after peak, most over 14,000 ft. On the third day we hiked out to Barbara lake where we camped overlooking the lake. All three campsites were breathtaking - weather was blue skies, 50-60 daytime, low 20s at night. 4th day, snow started falling as we packed up the tents, and fell heavy on and off for the 6/7 miles out to the trailhead - just beautiful. Too little time - too much to see. I will be back for more of the Winds.
This is the exact route I took on a backpacking trip in high school and it was spectacular. Ten days of hiking and trout fishing almost every day (sometimes for lunch and dinner). I've been back once since, just for a quick hike to Long Lake and back. Right now I'm planning to lead a trip back this summer. It's been so long, so I appreciate having a solid guide like this to go along with my topos.
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