Saturday, July 26, 2014

Day 47: Pipestone Lakes to Upper Jean Lake

After weeks of relative solitude, we are meeting people on the trail more frequently now. With gorgeous scenery in every direction, the Wind River Range is a popular backpacking destination. We've met overnight backpackers, hikers on week long trips, and participants in a NOLS course. 

Early in the morning, we reached the crossing of the North Fork of Boulder Creek, described in the data book merely as "stream."  The creek was over 50 feet across with knee high water, but the water was moving slowly and we crossed it with ease.  Tiny fish darted between my legs and upstream as I waded. 

Just in the other side of Boulder Creek, a pair of Nikes rested on a rock next to the trail, the uppers half gnawed away by an unknown critter. A single chewed up basketball shoe lay abandoned next to the trail just a few minutes beyond. 

We crossed several crunchy snowfields as we climbed, descended, then climbed again. 

We descended to Fremont Creek amid clouds of ravenous mosquitoes and were relieved to discover a bridge over the wide, turbulent river. 

We climbed above treeline into a series of rocky lake basins. Several frigid fords as the trail crossed back and forth over a creek late in the day.  Snow still lined one side of the creek, and we traversed several snowfields with numb feet in icy, sodden shoes.

We stopped to camp at Upper Jean Lake, which was breathtaking as it reflected the towering mountains lit by the last golden rays of sun. We quickly changed into dry socks and started the painful process of thawing out our chilled feet. 


  1. Guess we just missed you as my 7 year old son and I were camped at Big Water Slide just west of Fremont Crossing Bridge on Tuesday night and then headed up Fremont Creek to Island Lake and Titcomb Basin. It was his first time in "real" mountains and we did 39 miles in 4 nights. We did see Stride (on our way in) and Roadrunner (on our way out).

    1. So sorry we missed you! Sierra would have been so excited to meet another young person out backpacking. What a wonderful place to take your son! Hope you both really enjoyed your time in the Wind River Range!