My next destination was Pyramid Lake. It was a cross country trek from East Fork Lakes (see previous post for details on the hike to the lakes). With Pyramid Peak flagging the way, it’s pretty hard to get lost.
After waiting out yet another hail storm, followed by cold rain, I elected to take anti-hypothermia measures by setting up camp at Mae Lake. The next day I’d tackle Hailey Pass which is tucked in that ridge behind Pyramid Peak.
Nancy Pallister’s book, “Beyond Trails in the Wind River Mountains,” showed an off-trail short-cut saving about a mile. With everything being wet, I decided to play it safe and take the trail. I was in no mood for slip sliding slogging.
The descent begins with a snowfield, not my favorite. If you look closely in the middle, you’ll see a couple who’ve made it through the steep and are now on the flatter snowfield. It gives an idea of proportions.
I had a terrifying descent at Mount Whitney last year and was not looking forward to a repeat. I did not have microspikes with me, and was not prepared for glissading as (1) I was wearing a skirt and did not have rain pants; (2) it was hailing and raining so I did not want to expedite hypothermia; and (3) I’m not comfortable with out of control speed.
Baptiste Lake. According to Nancy Pallister’s book, “only the south tip is on public land, the remaining is on the Wind River Indian Reservation, only accessed if you have a permit for the day.” I heard it’s a $10,000 fine for being caught without a permit. As of this writing, permits are $80 per person per week, available also in other increments.
To be continued . . .
- Date(s) Hiked: 8/8-9/17
- Mileage: Approximately 12-13 (conserving battery so didn’t track)
- Elevation Gain/Loss: Unknown, constant up and down (conserving battery so didn’t track)
- Trail Conditions:
- Tree obstacles: minimal
- Overgrowth: minimal
- Signage: moderate on main trails
- Terrain: very good, a few spots of muck
- Water: plentiful
- Camping: excellent
- Solitude: High! Saw a handful of people near Pyramid Lake, didn’t see anyone at Mae Lake until I was leaving in the morning and they were several tents at the opposite end. Met a couple who were also ascending Hailey Pass. I had Baptiste Lake to myself until around 8pm and then one hiker arrived and set up tent on south side of lake whereas I was on west side.
- Bugs: plentiful but I didn’t need deet
- Wildlife Sightings: none beyond birds, squirrels, chipmunks, pika, and marmuts
- Precip: expect thunderstorms in July/August; I’ve been wet and dumped on with hail and rain nearly daily
- Temp: Overnight varied and seemed to fluctuate a lot in the 30’s and 40’s, highs were probably in 60’s-70’s.
- Jan’s Cherry Picker Delight Scale: 5 cherries (out of 5). This was a high WOW day!
- Be prepared for altitude, elevation changes, weather changes, bugs and navigation. Also review current food protection requirements/guidelines (I used an Ursack with an Opsack liner).
- Bridger Teton National Forest, Bridger Wilderness
- Shoshone National Forest, Popo Agie Wilderness
- Nancy Pallister’s book, Beyond Trails in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming
- Ron Adkison’s book, Hiking Wyoming’s Wind River Range
- Beartooth Publishing Wind River Range South Outdoor Recreation Map