Sometimes I need it, I think we all do, the short notice weekend trip to someplace spectacular. A casual statement of desire to get away can act as a catalyst to adventure in an unplanned locale. It starts off as innocent conversation, maybe over coffee on a Thursday morning or while out for a neighborhood walk on Friday evening, but it always ends indisputably.
The Wind River Range in Wyoming is 2800 sq miles large and contains 19 of the states 20 highest peaks with more lakes than you can shake a fly rod at - and trust me, with so many beautiful golden trout in those waters you'll want to try.
With 10 major trailheads on the western slope of the range, we choose to start at Elkhart Basin. Even with our heavy backpacks we feel the weight of the city work week lifting off our shoulders and a new spring can be seen in our step. Backpacking strips us down to our basic needs leaving room for the fill of wonder.
Our plans are simple; hike, fish, and sleep where our legs tell us to stop, then in the morning pack up and repeat. Along the way we see more peaks than people.
On our last morning, we awake next to our own private lake, boiled lake water for coffee and watched the rising sun. There is nothing to be said - just a shared pot of coffee and shared understanding of a wise choice to get out of the city for the weekend.
Words and photos by our ambassador @scottchanning and @waywardbelle. Find more information on backpacking the Wind River Range here. Featured gear includes: Hartsel Henley, Granite Camp Pants, Holy Cross Henley and Enamel Camp Mug.