After completing the Jean Lakes Lollipop Loop, I landed at the Big Water Slide near Fremont Crossing for the night.
What an interesting place. There is a significant creek (Fremont?) flowing under the bridge (on left of below photo), then creating a pond as it makes this sweeping corner before dropping over large smooth rocks creating a waterfall (top right of photo) as it once again becomes a creek.
It’s been in the low to mid 30’s in the mornings. I prefer campsites away from water and low spots to minimize condensation and frost. Back at the Highline / Seneca Lake / Indian Basin trail junction, I continued southeast on Highline Trail #094 (aka CDT).
It seemed I had Lower Cook Lake to myself for the night, although I heard gunshots in the distance which was quite disconcerting. The multiple rounds sounded like target practice up the canyon and over the small ridge on the far side of the lake. This was another very active fish area.
With the heavy use of this section of trail, you can expect to find many items left behind. I did my part by picking up this bladder and a few more things but I just couldn’t carry others such as a nalgene bottle and some very heavy binoculars. I lost a pen this trip, so karma says I need to pay it forward by helping to clean the trails.
Time to cruise the superhighway. I’d neglected to check my water situation at Eklund Lake and found myself in dire need when I arrived at this sign. There was a pond holding yucky water but I decided to take my chances at finding something better along the way. I had about 1/4 liter remaining and really needed to eat but couldn’t do so without water, so onward I went.
I was rained on earlier this day and it looked like my thunderstorms were building as I arrived at Photographers Point. I befriended a couple guys who were heading up to summit Fremont peak and found one was carrying a gallon of water. He was glad to part with some weight and I was so very grateful for the fresh liter of water. Ah, food, water and onward I went.
How could you not laugh at this stubborn llama (or handler). They were only a couple miles up the trail. I wonder how things were going a few hours and miles later. It wasn’t a pleasant sight watching what it took to get the llama up and moving.
Links . . .
- Part 1 – Elkhart Trailhead to Titcomb Basin
- Part 2 – Titcomb Basin to Indian Basin and Pass
- Part 3 – Indian Basin to Jean Lakes to Shannon Pass to Peak Lake to Cube Rock Pass to Green River Pass to Elbow Lake Basin to Fremont Crossing
- Date(s) Hiked: 8/22-23/17
- Mileage: Approximately 18-20 (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 (most on the Cook Lakes trail)
- Signage: moderate on main trails (confusing without a map or gps at a few junctions)
- Terrain: lots of muck primarily from excessive pack animal use; also rocky ground and a couple wet feet crossings
- Water: plentiful (except for final 6ish miles)
- Camping: excellent
- Solitude: Expect lots of company on trail. Many day hike from the trailhead to Photographers Point, many also camp at Eklund Lake.
- Bugs: plentiful but I didn’t use any repellent this trip (the wind is my friend)
- Wildlife Sightings: none beyond birds, squirrels, chipmunks, pika, and marmuts
- Precip: I had a little rain my first and last day of this trip
- 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: 3+ cherries (out of 5)
- 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). If I were to hike this loop again, I’d use my bear canister as in many areas there were no trees to use as an anchor for my Ursack.
- Bridger Teton National Forest, Bridger 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 North Outdoor Recreation Map