I am looking for people interested in a hike over Labor Day weekend. I currently have a trip idea in Wind River Range, but am open to any scenic alpine location.
Here is my trip idea
Day 1 (Thursday 8/28/14) – Fly into Salt Lake City, Drive to Pinedale, WY (4.5 hrs) , pick up backcountry permits, buy fuel and pick up water bottles, grab a burger, then either drive on and camp at Big Sandy trailhead (~1.5 hrs) or get a hotel in Pinedale.
Day 2 (Friday 8/29/14) –Either finish the drive to the Big Sandy trailhead (~1.5 hrs) if we stay in Pinedale or just start our hike from the trailhead if we get to drive in that night, then hike to the outlet of Shadow Lake. This day is all on trial, but below treeline as we are just getting to the good stuff. If we finish our 11.3 mile hike early enough and want to explore more, we can explore some of the other lakes above Shadow lake such as Billy’s Lake, Barren Lake, or Texas Lake. If you were really feeling it you could head on to the crest of Texas Pass.
Day 3 (Saturday 8/30/14) –Hike from our Shadow Lake camp up over Illinois Pass, which should be the most technical portion of the trip, then down to Washakie Lake and over to Upper South Fork Lake. This day is all off trail, and has the Class 3 Illinois Pass, so the mileage is low at 6.4. If we get there early, we can explore some of the many lakes in the basin.
Day 4 (Sunday 8/31/14) –Hike from our Shadow Lake Campsite up to the plateau then rejoin the trail that includes a trip to Bear Lake, and into the Cirque of the Tower Basin, past Lonesome Lake and up to the Cirque Climbers Camp. This will conclude an off/on trail 8.4 mile day and if we want to explore some more that day we could always hike up to Cirque Lake behind Pangora Peak.
Day 5 (Monday 9/1/14) –Hike from the Climbers Camp up and over Jackass Pass, then back down below the treeline to Big Sandy Trailhead. We should have about 8.6 miles of hiking before we hit the rental car. From there, drive back out to Pinedale to grab some post hike grub, then drive back to Salt Lake City (or close), clean up, and find a hotel.
Day 6 (Tuesday 9/2/14) -- Go to SLC airport and fly back that morning. I need to be back home by 6:00PM EST so I will need to fly out by 8:00am MST.
Here is what is set in stone: I can’t leave before the morning of Thursday 8/28/14 and will be flying out of east Tennessee. I need to be back in east Tennessee by 6:00PM EST on Tuesday 9/2/14.
I am really open to any location that is logistically feasible in that timeframe. I will probably be flying through either Atlanta (Delta) or Charlotte (US Air). I love above treeline hiking and big views so that will be key. I do own, and don’t mind carrying a bear canister.
I have the following experience:
I have been backpacking for over 10 years, mostly in the Southeast US. I have done ~700 miles of the Appalachian Trail (Springer Mountain, GA to Pearisburg, VA, as well as Shenandoah National Park), most of the sections in GA/NC/TN I have done at least twice. I have completed the 300 Mile Benton MacKaye Trail, I have done 700 of the 900 miles of trails in Great Smokey Mountain National Park.
Up until the past two years I backpacked at least 700 miles per year. Due to work, kids, etc, I have not gotten to backpack that much lately, and have not been able to go at all since September of last year. I was also a runner, but that too has had to take a backseat and my last half Marathon was in February of 2012.
I have done the following trips out west:
2011 JMT (from Onion Valley to South Lake)
2012 Northern Wind River Range (Green River Trailhead, went from Titcomb basin over Knapsack Col)
2013 Rocky Mountain National Park (on/off trail in the northern part of the park)
2013 Kings Canyon NP