Elevation Extremes

From Europe Peak, a mid-route high point, looking north over the broad Continental Divide towards the range's northern peaks. There is no shortage of alpine travel on the Wind River High Route.

From Europe Peak, a mid-route high point, looking north over the broad Continental Divide towards the range’s northern peaks. There is no shortage of alpine travel on the Wind River High Route.

The heart of the Wind River High Route is bookended by the range’s southernmost and northernmost named 13,000-foot summits, Wind River Peak and Downs Mountain. In between, the route hovers between 10,000 and 12,000 feet. It drops just once to 9,700 feet, which is more than offset by a 12,259-foot mid-route summit, Europe Peak.

The vertical change between the route’s nine passes and three summits, and the accompanying low points, adds up. There is more than 30,000 vertical feet of climbing, an average of about 620 vertical feet of change per mile.

My camp in Golden Lakes. Pack a sturdy shelter -- it's very unlikely that you'll find such a well protected camp every night.

My camp in Golden Lakes. Pack a sturdy shelter — it’s very unlikely that you’ll find such a well protected camp every night.

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