Elkhart to NF Bull Lake Creek Wind Rivers WY

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Wandering Daisy
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Re: Elkhart to NF Bull Lake Creek Wind Rivers WY

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:35 am

Regarding the crowds and rain. There is no permit system so it is hit and miss on the major trails. I think the reason I encountered so many people when I walked out is that the weather finally lifted after several weeks of pretty nasty stuff. So everyone who postponed their trips were flocking inward! I have also been on this major trail and encountered few people. And just like the Sierra, if you simply move half a mile off the trail, the crowds disappear.

As for the rain, this is typical of the Rockies and Canadian Rockies (and MOST mountain ranges). The difference is that you cannot plan every day, every hour as "hikable" like I do in the Sierra. You really have have a "make hay when the sun shines" strategy. Statistically, July - Sept one day out of every three has precipitation, mostly in the form of heavy but brief afternoon storms. These storms also have severe lightning and wind - not something you want to be out in. These periods of stormy days are usually clumped in a few days of afternoon storms followed by a few days of clear weather. I never have had a trip totally scrubbed because of weather. I usually build in one contingency day and then stay very flexible - getting on the trail eary (aim for 7AM) and get to my destination by early to mid afternoon. If weather holds, I keep walking, if not I hunker down. And light snows can be expected any time of year. I actually prefer the snow to rain.

7AM to 1PM gives me 6 hours if hiking - enough to be assured some 6-10 miles of travel. It is really important to plan on doing all passes in the morning. In the lower elevations and in timber on trails, this is not so critical. All in all, the weather is not that difficult to work around. And the clouds and storm-lighting really make for great photography. Fish also seem to really bite just before and after storms.
Last edited by Wandering Daisy on Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.








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Re: Elkhart to NF Bull Lake Creek Wind Rivers WY

Post by Wandering Daisy » Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:47 pm

Someone sent me a PM and wondered about the photos. So, here are some, but not all. It is a big chore to add all the photos, so I only selected the better ones.

Just a note - this trip was to specifically check out some areas for my guidebook. This route is NOT what I would recommend as the best route to see the area. Once you get into the North Fork of Bull Lake Creek, Glacier Panorama is a "must see". I did not go there on this trip simply because the weather went south on me.


WR09_4169_PhotographerPt_edited-1.jpg
WR09_4172_PoleCrTr.jpg
WR09_4173_BaldMtnBasin_edited-1.jpg
WR09_4180_Lk11065.jpg
WR09_4184_Lk11065.jpg
WR09_4182_cornice_edited-1.jpg
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Re: Elkhart to NF Bull Lake Creek Wind Rivers WY

Post by Wandering Daisy » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:00 pm

Once over Cook Pass and past the lakes, you intersect an old trail from Golden Lakes to the Brown Cliffs. There are three passes into the North Fork of Bull Lake Creek - I looped first going over "Goat Friendly High Route" pass and then back on the "Elk Preferred Low Route" pass. These are just names I made up, but I do use them in my guidebook. Shangri-La lakes are a set of lakes on a high bench south of the North Fork of Bull Lake Creek. The upper watershed ends in a very large lake, called Big Milky Lake, before it tumbles down into Bull Lake Canyon.
WR09_4188_GoldenLks.jpg
WR09_4194_Fortress_edited-1.jpg
WR09_4198_BrownCliffs_edited-1.jpg
WR09_4204_GoatPackersBench_edited-1.jpg
WR09_4208_View_BrownCliffsBench_edited-1.jpg
WR09_4215_Shagrila_fullsize_edited-1.jpg
WR09_4217_Shagrila_edited-1.jpg
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Re: Elkhart to NF Bull Lake Creek Wind Rivers WY

Post by Wandering Daisy » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:15 pm

This next set of pictures is returning to Brown Cliffs and back to Golden Lakes, with a side trip. The weather was poor so I used Photo Pass and Timico Pass to get back to the east side. Normally you would do either Fall Creek Pass or Angel Pass.
WR09_4220_BigMilkyLk_edited-1.jpg
WR09_4222_BigMilkyL_edited-1.jpg
WR09_4224-5_Merge_edited-1.jpg
WR09_4230_BrownCliffs_edited-1.jpg
WR09_4231_BrownCliffs_ALT_edited-1.jpg
WR09_4247_GoldenLks_edited-1.jpg
WR09_4257_TimicoLk_edited-1.jpg
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Re: Elkhart to NF Bull Lake Creek Wind Rivers WY

Post by Wandering Daisy » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:26 pm

These photos are going back to Bald Mountain Basin via the Fremont Trail, down to Cook Lakes, cross-country up to Wall Lake and the headwaters of Pole Creek.
WR09_4262_TimicoLk_edited-1.jpg
WR09_4265_BaldMtnBasin_Cropped_edited-1.jpg
WR09_4267_SpiderLk_edited-1.jpg
WR09_4268_LowerCookLk_edited-1.jpg
WR09_4269_UpperCookL_edited-1.jpg
WR09_4272_WallL_edited-1.jpg
WR09_4275_WallLk_edited-2.jpg
WR09_4276_Lkxxxx_edited-1.jpg
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Re: Elkhart to NF Bull Lake Creek Wind Rivers WY

Post by Wandering Daisy » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:35 pm

From Wall Lake you go over a small pass into Indian Basin. Then you intersect the main trail and drop to Island Lake (Titcomb Basin is above Island Lake but I did not go there). Then you go back to Elkhart Park on a huge well used trail.
WR09_4279_IndianBasin_edited-1.jpg
WR09_4285_IndianBLkxxxx_edited-1.jpg
WR09_4291-2_merge_edited-1.jpg
WR09_4295_IndianBasin_sunrise_edited-1.jpg
WR09_4306_Fremont_reflection_edited-1.jpg
WR09_4308_IndianBasin_edited-1.jpg
WR09_4309_IslandLk_edited-1.jpg
WR09_4312_Seneca_camp_edited-1.jpg
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Re: Elkhart to NF Bull Lake Creek Wind Rivers WY

Post by BSquared » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:41 pm

Gorgeous! I *really* must get out there one of these days!
—B²

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Re: Elkhart to NF Bull Lake Creek Wind Rivers WY

Post by robertseeburger » Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:09 pm

Great post!... hope to get in this area this year..

Looks like I camped at almost the exact same spot at Cook Lakes two years ago.

I was surprised at how much snow there is on the east side of the range.. the cornice below 11065 looks nasty! Was this a light or heavy snow year?

Hay pass looks easier than I thought it might be.

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Re: Elkhart to NF Bull Lake Creek Wind Rivers WY

Post by Tom_H » Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:39 pm

So beautiful!

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Re: Elkhart to NF Bull Lake Creek Wind Rivers WY

Post by Harlen » Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:05 pm

Great to see all that country. Thanks a lot!

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