The Wind River High Route is most comparable in the continental US to the Sierra High Route and Kings Canyon High Basin Route. In all cases, expect extensive off-trail travel, extreme vertical change, and in general a high-and-lonesome wilderness experience. If you have thru- or section-hiked these routes or similar, you’ll love the Wind River High Route.
There are a few important differences between these routes, however. In the Winds, the summer weather pattern is slightly less friendly — it rains more, and it rains more often. Travel across snow and/or glacial ice is also guaranteed; it’s not just an early-season phenomenon like in the High Sierra.
The High Route should be of interest to thru-hikers on the Continental Divide Trail, which unfortunately follows a relatively lackluster route on on the west side of the crest. If you have time and the ambition, slow down through the Winds — it will probably be the highlight of your CDT experience. Be aware, however, that the High Route is several notches more intense than the CDT: you are not guaranteed of success; the uncertainty and the necessary mental engagement will work you over; and your daily mileage will be shopped in half, plus/minus. Read more.