I’ve always liked the name the ‘Wind River Range’, so when we had a holiday in Wyoming back in August 2009 it seemed like a good enough excuse to plan a backpacking trip there.
For the bulk of our holiday we were on a campsite mid-way between Yellowstone and the Tetons – well placed for day walks in either area – but after a couple of weeks we drove south to a small town called Pinedale, where we spent a couple of days in luxury in a nice hotel, before heading out on a 6 day backpack in ‘The Winds’.
The Wind River Range is part of the Rockies and the Continental Divide Trail goes right through the centre of it. It’s a fairly busy area by American standards and since it is not a National Park either, horses and dogs are also allowed on the trails. Much as I like Yosemite, areas like this can be a refreshing change from all the rules and regulations that the National Parks have a tendency to impose on people.
We had a great time, hardly ever dropped below around 10,000ft and chatted to a fair number of like-minded people along the way. In the end though, it turned out to be one of the few trips we’ve ever cut short. The trip should have lasted 6 days, but after 4 days – the last 24 hours of which it had snowed non-stop – we reluctantly decided to cut our losses and head back down to Pinedale. As it happened, the snow continued in the high mountains for several more days and the town’s motels gradually filled up with hikers. You could tell them all a mile off, they were the people (just like us!), who spent hours sitting in motel car parks with tents and stuff spread out to dry in the sun!
Unfortunately, when I decided to start sorting this trip as a blog post, I was a bit irritated to find that for some reason – I think it might have been connected with a computer crashing a couple of years ago and us losing loads of stuff – we seemed to be missing quite a few photos. I’ve managed to cobble together a short slide show anyway with what I could find. Gives a flavour of the place!