The world-class, 97-mile Wind River High Route is bookended by the range’s southernmost and northernmost 13,000-foot peaks, and it penetrates the range’s most spectacular part, the upper headwaters of Dinwoody and Torrey Creeks, home to Wyoming’s high point and the highest concentration of glaciers in the American Rockies.
This is the complete Wind River High Route. It fully maximizes the topographic and scenic potential of the range, and is not a compromised experience. It is best done as an end-to-end thru-hike, but its eight Section Hikes are more approachable and convenient.
For aspiring Wind River High Route thru- and section-hikers, the Guide is a must-have resource. It includes planning information, route descriptions, data sheets, and an extensively annotated topographic map set for the Primary Route, eight Section Hikes, and Alternates.
In the Wind River High Route mini-site, I have posted extensive information to help you decide if this route is right for you. If you’re on this page, I assume you wish to proceed. Your next step is to download the Wind River High Route Guide, which includes must-have resources for thru- and section-hiking the complete Wind River High Route.
The Guide includes a complete and excellent Mapset, with separate print-ready PDF’s for the Primary Route and its Alternates, and each of the Section Hikes. The maps were developed using CalTopo, using the gold standard USGS 7.5-minute topographic series as the base map.
The maps are so extensively annotated that you will probably refer to the Guidebook text only for the most complex sections. Intentionally, I did not draw a specific line of travel on the map — I didn’t want to steal your fun by telling you exactly where to go.
When printed on 11 x 17 paper, the map scale will be its native 1:24,000. Printing on smaller paper will compress the topographic detail, perhaps to the point of being illegible. Contour intervals are 40 feet.
The Guidebook has three parts:
Part 1 (“Before you go”) has information to help you plan your trip, e.g. transportation, permitting, direction of travel, resupply, recommended equipment. This information is in addition to the preparatory materials at the mini-site.
Part 2 and Part 3 (“As you go”) are complementary to the Mapset. They offer general information and context, and in-depth route information for sections that really need. The Primary Route (thru-hike) and its Alternate Routes are described in Part 2, and the Section Hikes and their Alternate Routes are described in Part 3.
Part 1, 2, and 3 are provided as a separate PDF file, designed for printing on Letter 8.5 x 11 inch paper. Part 1 need not be printed since it has minimal or no relevance in the field, but you may prefer a physical copy to read and annotate before your trip. Thru-hikers should print Part 2. Section-hikers should print from Part 2 and Part 3 the pages that are relevant to their itinerary.
Sample: Guidebook — Part 2 — As you go, pages 1 & 2
These quick-reference spreadsheets list the incremental and cumulative distances and vertical change between key landmarks. They are extremely useful in planning your trip, scheduling your day, and gauging your pace. Databooks for the Primary Route, Section Hikes, and Alternates are included.
Sample: Datasheet for the Primary Route, page 1
I have included a GPX file with very limited information. You’ll find waypoints for trailheads and for select high points, and a track that will help you identify the topographic map tiles you need to download onto your handheld GPS or smartphone. It does not include a track for the recommended route — that’s for you to figure out.
With a decent internet connection, the entire Guide can be easily downloaded. The files have been compressed into a single zipped file and must be extracted using standard Windows or Apple software before accessing. It’s just over 500 MB.
If you need a copy on DVD, please contact me with your mailing address, and attach a receipt of purchase.
If your access expires before you have had a chance to download the files, of if you lose the files at some point, contact me so that I can renew your access.
Resources not included
In addition to the detailed set of topographic maps included with the Guide, I would also recommend obtaining an overview map of the Wind River Range and digital maps of the area stored on a GPS or smartphone. Read more.