Crown Jewel of the Winds: Titcomb Basin, Wyoming, USA

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By Nicole Atkins

Titcomb Basin is one of those destinations that will leave you changed. It’s nestled in the Wind River Range, in Western Wyoming. The primitive nature of the Winds has a way of arousing the deepest passions of your creative soul. With their jagged edges and unforgiving storms, they remind us who is in charge.

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The Winds are notorious for unpredictable weather. So come prepared for any kind of adventure. The 15-mile trek to the basin can be hiked in a day. But to really appreciate the scenery, plan on spending 2-4 days making the ~30-mile round trip.

With a net elevation change of 1260 feet, it’s a moderate-to-difficult hike. You’ll start from the Elkhart Park trailhead in Pinedale, WY. Make sure you have a vehicle that can handle dirt roads.

After 4.5 miles you’ll reach Photographer’s Point. Prepare for some of the most beautiful mountain vistas you’ve feasted your eyes upon. Grab a snack and head downhill. In another mile, you’ll reach Eklund Lake and Barbara Lake. If you haven’t fueled up yet, you’ll want to. There’s a steep mile climb before you reach the next amazing viewpoint, looking down on Seneca Lake.

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Some people set up camp at Seneca Lake. The Winds are home to bears and other critters so be sure to bear-proof your camping area. At this point, you’re 9 miles into your 15-mile trek so it’s a good stopping point.

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Otherwise, continue past Little Seneca Lake. One more climb; after about 2 miles you’ll be looking down at your reward, Island Lake. She’s a beaut. Island Lake is another popular place to set up camp.

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The push to Titcomb Basin is only another 3.5 miles of easy rolling terrain. Once you get there, drink it in. You can spend a day or so exploring the basin, or go beyond the basin to Gannett Peak (the tallest peak in Wyoming).

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Take a dip in the lake if it’s a hot day, you earned it.

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Give yourself time to deal with weather changes and mosquitoes (if it’s summer). They’ll eat you alive. Above all, take in the splendor that surrounds you.

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When you’re ready, pack up camp and head back toward the trailhead. The story you’ll take with you is will be one of your favorites for years to come.

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19 thoughts on “Crown Jewel of the Winds: Titcomb Basin, Wyoming, USA

  • March 22, 2017 at 1:11 pm
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    Being a nature lover, loved every bit of your blog post Nicole. The pictures are amazing. I loved the one with blue sky with loads of clouds it looks like painting. I would build a log house and stay there permanently far away from maddening crowds.

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    • March 23, 2017 at 8:39 pm
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      Hahaha, thank you Vinuta! I don’t blame you one bit. It would be a fantastic place to live. 🙂

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  • March 21, 2017 at 6:07 pm
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    among all the national parks in USA I love this one the most. I spent there a great time with my team, we clicked so many great shots. the atmosphere is great too. you can definitely spent the best days of your life there.

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    • March 21, 2017 at 10:37 pm
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      The Winds aren’t granted National Park status yet, but I definitely wish they were. I suspect it’s only a matter of time before they’ll need protecting too. 😉

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  • March 21, 2017 at 1:01 am
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    I’ve always loved to hike and while this seems like it could be a daunting experience, I’m temped because of the magnificent beauty and all the wonder that Wyoming offers. I remember my first visit to the area so vividly because the air was crisp and the sky so blue… I felt like I had touched a special part of heaven… <3

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    • March 21, 2017 at 10:36 pm
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      The unique beauty the Winds offer are worth any potential added “adventure” you might find there. 100 times over. Wyoming will always hold a special place in my heart. I lived in the remote mountains there for a while and I miss it. I’d go back if I ever get the chance. It’s a place like no other. I could step out my door and look to the night sky, and see the milky way as plain as most people see the moon. I often fell asleep to the lullaby of wolves or coyotes howling in the night. It was an amazing experience. Special indeed.

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  • March 20, 2017 at 5:45 pm
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    Your photos are just amazing! It perfectly captured how beautiful the Titcomb Basin is. It’s also very informative. Take care!

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    • March 20, 2017 at 11:02 pm
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      Thank you, Jane. That’s great to hear from a fellow adventurer who has been there. Wonderful! 🙂

      Reply
  • March 20, 2017 at 1:51 pm
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    Beautiful photos. I really love it. It shows how awesome and amazing God is to have made these.

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  • March 20, 2017 at 9:32 am
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    This article is amazing! The pictures are out of this world, and it almost look like a decor, so perfect! This place is definitely on my bucket list. Love your style how you tell your story too! Great job!

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    • March 20, 2017 at 11:01 pm
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      Thank you! 🙂 You’re too kind. It’s a beautiful place, I’m certain you will love it!

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  • March 20, 2017 at 1:04 am
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    Not only are the photos Instagram worthy, the words you’d written are equally beautiful. You also kept it short and sweet but with enough info to guide those who would want to go there. What a job well done! The basin looks amazing!

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    • March 20, 2017 at 3:01 pm
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      Thanks Marge, that’s very kind of you. 🙂 The basin is indeed amazing. Wyoming has so much beauty that’s underrated.

      I think a few of the images are on my IG, but not all of them. (@modern_outdoors).

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    • March 20, 2017 at 3:03 pm
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      Thanks so much, I appreciate that! It’s easier when the subject is so remarkable. 😉

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  • March 18, 2017 at 9:07 pm
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    The place looks beautiful and full of mystery to explore. The second pic looks creepy because of the grey clouds.

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    • March 20, 2017 at 3:05 pm
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      Haha yes. There was a storm coming through. Thunder, lightning, and hail followed those clouds. It was one of those fun adventures where you have to find the safest place out of several not-great options. I found it exhilarating. 😀

      Reply

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