One of my very favorite places to hike is the Wind River Range in Wyoming. Not as well known as other destinations that are National Parks, more easily accessible or has a notorious long trail through it, it is well known amongst hardcore backpackers and rock climbers, and frequently highlighted in Backpacker Magazine. Grand Teton and Yellowstone get the notoriety in Wyoming, but you cannot go wrong with experiencing the beauty and relative serenity you get with a hike in the Winds.
I was introduced to the Winds by my good friend Ken (far left in the picture above), the most prominent friend I have that likes to experience the wilderness as much as I, and an avid fisherman. Through a family connection, he knows the founder of Lander Llama, a guided llama service who has been taking guests into the Winds for 30 years. We scheduled our first Llama Trek in 2005, which ended up being my very first overnight after falling in love with day hiking in the mountains. I credit this initial trip as the birth of my backpacking career.
Through six Llama Treks in the Southern Winds, we have experienced and explored the best the Southern Winds have to offer. My personal highlights are the Cirque of the Towers
Wind River Peak
and Deep Creek Lakes
Someday, I might go into more detail of this region, but for now I am honoring Ken and Scott’s request to not reveal the special camping and fishing spots to avoid spoiling them! I will incorporate this description as well as a popular day hike I did on our last trip out. In the future, I do want to do a 7+ day backpack trip to the Northern Winds, which I would record in detail. For now, trust me that this is an amazing destination that any backpacker should experience in their lifetime.
If you are not into backpacking but still want to experience the phenomenal scenery and fishing, then I have to put a plug in for Scott and Llander Llama. Ken and I have taken five guided trips with Scott (another time we leased two llamas and took them ourselves) and have had a great time for each. For a guided trip, Scott provides everything (you only need to bring clothes and personal items) along with his knowledge and expertise of the area and how to get the most out your trip. Being that llamas carry 70 pounds apiece, you are also treated to a bit of “glam-packing” with excellent, fresh meals, including steak and shrimp! It is not uncommon to gain weight on a Llama Trek despite all the hiking!
Scott and the area were also a feature of a National Geographic Traveler Magazine article that happened to be based on our 2010 Llama Trek (my only quote in a magazine!).
Feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions regarding a Llama Trek.
Hikes in the Winds:
Roaring Fork Pass (out of Worthen Meadows).