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Titcomb Basin via Island Lake

Bridger National Forest

Wind River Range, Wyoming

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Titcomb Basin via Island Lake

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  • Trail to Little Seneca Lake.- Titcomb Basin via Island Lake
  • Pass over to Island Lake.- Titcomb Basin via Island Lake
  • Saddle to Island Lake.- Titcomb Basin via Island Lake
  • Up and over to the saddle.- Titcomb Basin via Island Lake
  • This is a popular pack trail.  Pull over for horses.- Titcomb Basin via Island Lake
  • Trail junction.- Titcomb Basin via Island Lake
  • Trail along a slab.- Titcomb Basin via Island Lake
  • Hiking toward Titcomb Basin in the Wind River Range.- Titcomb Basin via Island Lake
  • Wildflowers abound in the Wind River Range in summer.- Titcomb Basin via Island Lake
  • Island Lake reflections.- Titcomb Basin via Island Lake
  • Follow the signs to Island Lake.- Titcomb Basin via Island Lake
  • Titcomb Basin views.- Titcomb Basin via Island Lake
  • Island Lake, Wind River Range.- Titcomb Basin via Island Lake
  • Fremont Peak and wildflowers.- Titcomb Basin via Island Lake
  • Reflection of Fremont Peak in Island Lake.- Titcomb Basin via Island Lake
  • Backcountry camping in the Titcomb Basin, Wind River Range.- Titcomb Basin via Island Lake
  • Backcountry camping in the Titcomb Basin, Wind River Range.- Titcomb Basin via Island Lake
  • Filtering water can be challenging given the algae in the lake.- Titcomb Basin via Island Lake
  • Titcomb Basin, Wind River Range.- Titcomb Basin via Island Lake
  • Views of Titcomb Basin.- Titcomb Basin via Island Lake
  • - Titcomb Basin via Island Lake
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great views. Wildflowers. Scenic ranges. Great adventure.
Cons: 
More difficult to get to. Popular remote destination.
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Region:
Wind River Range, WY
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,000.00 ft (304.80 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
28.00 mi (45.06 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
9,350.00 ft (2,849.88 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Island Lake and Titcomb Basin are a backpackers dream. Located in the remote Bridger Wilderness of Wyoming, the Wind River Range offers stupendous views and unlimited recreational access.

To access Island Lake and Titcomb Basin, this route starts from Elkhart Park Trailhead just 15 miles north of Pinedale, Wyoming. There are a few campsites located at the trailhead via Trails End Campground for those looking for a base camp and early start. The trail begins through a gradual ascent through a lush alpine forest, following grassy meadows for the first 4 miles. The first trail junction hits Miller Lake; stay left along the trail toward Photographers Point. For day hikers, Photographers Point provides excellent panoramic views of the northern Wind River Range, including Gannett Peak. This point also offers a nice rest area from the first phase of the hike in.

From Photographers Point, continue along the trail that winds through the forest to Elklund Lake. You will see another trail junction sign, follow north along the trail. The trail now begins to gradually descend toward Hobbs Lake among a beautiful old-growth pine forest and granite walls. For the next 3 miles the trail follows a gully up and down toward Seneca Lake. Seneca Lake is approximately 8.5 miles from the trailhead.

Follow the trail north along the rocky lakeshore along Seneca Lake to Little Seneca Lake. This section surprisingly takes longer than expected, as Seneca Lake is large. The trail will then ascend a small pass to another lake, where you will begin a sharp incline up and over a pass along Highline Trail. This is a short, intense climb. At the summit of the pass, the trail will continue to cross a saddle toward Island Lake. Views of Freemont Peak begin to appear. Once you crest the pass, Island Lake sits at the bottom of the basin 11.5 miles from the trailhead.

Camping spots are available to the west and east of the lake. Please follow the rules and camp 200 feet away from the water. Early visitors have the best shot at solitude, as additional hikers and campers tend to filter in later in the day.

From Island Lake, follow the trail on the east side of Island Lake, following along up and over a minor pass toward Titcomb Basin. The views are best at the saddle looking down on Titcomb Lakes, with Fremont Peak, Henderson Peak, Twin Peak, and the highest point in Wyoming, Gannett Peak, peering above. Soak in the views for a while before heading back the way you arrived.

The trail back to the car is long and strenuous, but the trip is well worth the effort. This is one of the best backcountry trails offered within the Wind River Range.

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