By Michael Lanza

An elegant, high-elevation, multi-day walk through a magnificent mountain range is the stuff of dreams for many backpackers, and there may be no walk better than the Wind River High Route. Traversing a range with few equals by any measure—elevations, abundance of alpine lakes and glaciers, remoteness, length and breadth, or raw splendor—the WRHR embodies everything we imagine a great hike in the mountains should be.

There are multiple, high, largely off-trail traverses of the range that have been described as the “Wind River High Route.” In August 2020, three friends and I backpacked the route that appears to gaining popularity, mapped by the long-distance backpacker Andrew Skurka. It traces a roughly 96-mile, south-north course that weaves back and forth across the Continental Divide about a dozen times, 65 miles of which is off-trail, with more than 30,000 feet of cumulative elevation gain and loss.


Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. Click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

A backpacker at a small tarn in the upper valley of Middle Fork Lake on the Wind River High Route, Wyoming.
” data-image-caption=”Justin Glass at a small tarn in the upper valley of Middle Fork Lake on the Wind River High Route, Wyoming.
” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Wind6-042-Justin-Glass-at-a-small-tarn-in-the-upper-valley-of-Middle-Fork-Lake-on-the-Wind-River-High-Route..jpg?fit=300%2C200&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Wind6-042-Justin-Glass-at-a-small-tarn-in-the-upper-valley-of-Middle-Fork-Lake-on-the-Wind-River-High-Route..jpg?fit=900%2C600&ssl=1″ width=”900″ height=”600″ src=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Wind6-042-Justin-Glass-at-a-small-tarn-in-the-upper-valley-of-Middle-Fork-Lake-on-the-Wind-River-High-Route..jpg?resize=900%2C600&ssl=1″ alt=”A backpacker at a small tarn in the upper valley of Middle Fork Lake on the Wind River High Route, Wyoming.” class=”wp-image-41879″ srcset=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Wind6-042-Justin-Glass-at-a-small-tarn-in-the-upper-valley-of-Middle-Fork-Lake-on-the-Wind-River-High-Route..jpg?resize=1024%2C683&ssl=1 1024w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Wind6-042-Justin-Glass-at-a-small-tarn-in-the-upper-valley-of-Middle-Fork-Lake-on-the-Wind-River-High-Route..jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1 300w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Wind6-042-Justin-Glass-at-a-small-tarn-in-the-upper-valley-of-Middle-Fork-Lake-on-the-Wind-River-High-Route..jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Wind6-042-Justin-Glass-at-a-small-tarn-in-the-upper-valley-of-Middle-Fork-Lake-on-the-Wind-River-High-Route..jpg?w=1200&ssl=1 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 900px) 100vw, 900px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />Justin Glass at a small tarn in the upper valley of Middle Fork Lake on the Wind River High Route, Wyoming.

Almost relentlessly rugged and physically and mentally taxing, with navigational challenges, and mile-for-mile arguably the most jaw-dropping trek through any mountain range in America—and I’ve taken many of the very best over the past three decades, including the 10 years I spent as the Northwest Editor of
Did you miss our previous article…
https://www.mansbrand.com/transporter-4-mission-control-audio/

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