Wyoming’s Gannett Peak was the last of the technical climbs that concerned Josh. A 40 mile round-trip hike into the remote Wind River Range, up and over the 1500-foot Bonney Pass both ways, Gannett Peak makes you pay even to get to its base. Josh and Lindsay hiked out a bit after noon on Friday and arrived back on Sunday morning, 42 hours later.
I had 2 days to explore this corner of Wyoming. Like it’s more popular (and populous) neighboring mountain range, the Grand Tetons, the Wind River Range’s peaks and stark, sharp, and grey. Full of high-altitude lakes and streams, high meadows and beautiful valleys, it’s a truly wild place. It’s also completely saturated with mosquitos during June. Pausing on the trail for more than 5 seconds resulted in a swarm of at least 100 mosquitos attacking any skin (covered or un-). 95% DEET spray applied every 30 minutes even did nothing to help.
More and more on this trip I’ve come to realize and recognize the vast amount of wild places that live under the National Forests, state-run areas, and elsewhere. The National Parks are the US’s great treasures, and they should be seen by many and preserved with assiduity, but it’s exciting in a very different way to pull up to an un-assuming trailhead and hike deep into largely un-peopled and un-developed areas. Hiking back into the Wind River area for an extended multi-night stay to explore and photograph is certainly at the top of my growing “return to” list.
After Josh & Lindsay’s 7am return on Sunday, we had nearly a full day to regroup and rest before leaving for Utah’s high peak just across the border late Sunday evening. Showers, pizza, and naps were had by all.