My recent visit to the Stough Creek Lakes Basin was all too short and left me fantasizing about rambling those beautiful ridges of Roaring Fork Mountain.
Just a short-distance down the trail, we ran into the Llama Mamas from Colorado, whom I’d met at Big Stough Lake during my previous trip. It was their first day and my last day; this time the reverse as it was my first day, their last. What a fun reunion!
I confidently but erroneously led us down the Sheep Bridge Trail #701. I could blame Keith for the distraction, but maybe it was just meant to be. Thankfully I had maps and realized we could take new-to-me trails, Twin Lakes to Stough Creek, turning this into a loop trip. I call these happy accidents!
Because of our alternate route, we had to cross Stough Creek at the place were I’d fallen off the log the previous week, wrenching my knee. We both elected to walk through the water skipping a potential repeat experience.
This is another confusing sign. It’s only about a mile, not 3 miles to the Stough Creek Basin. The Middle Fork Trail is now 1.7 miles west (not north as the sign points). Roaring Fork Lake is 5.7 miles not 4.
- Date(s) Hiked: 8/2-4/17
- Mileage: Approximately 22 miles
- Elevation Gain/Loss: Unknown, but a LOT. Thus far in the Winds I’ve found very little flat.
- Trail Conditions:
- Tree obstacles: All clear!
- Overgrowth: Main trails, zero. A bit on the secondary trails to the lakes
- Signage: Confusing at a couple junctions; mileages inaccurate
- Terrain: Good on main trails with some snow and muddy muck conditions
- Water: Plentiful
- Camping: Plentiful
- Solitude: Moderate. We only saw the Llama Mamas between the trailhead and the basin. There were a few groups camped in the basin. We crossed paths were several groups near the trailhead as we exited.
- Bugs: Plentiful although I didn’t need deet
- Precip: Thunderstorms daily in July and early August
- Temp: Lows of 30’s to 40’s, highs 60’s to 80’s.
- Jan’s Cherry Picker Delight Scale: 4++ cherries (out of 5). Would be a 5 if trails weren’t so mucky from livestock.
- Be prepared for altitude, elevation changes, weather changes, snow, bugs and navigation.
- 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