Greeley Point – A New Wind Rivers Destination

September 3, 2007 at 12:14 pm Leave a comment

Panorama from Greeley

Plenty of people hike in the Wind River Range in western Wyoming – but the majority of folks are attracted to one of the two major Gore-Tex magnets of the range; Island Lake/Titcomb Basin in the northern range and Cirque of the Towers in the southern range. But the range is a big place, and plenty of other destinations are worthy of a visit by either dayhikers or backpackers. For oldbull and sirloinofbeef, an annual extended (~30 mile) dayhike has been a way to see some of this less-explored territory. Past hikes have included:

  • Green River Lakes to Spring Creek trailhead via Summit Lake
  • A reconnoiter of the north face of Hooker Peak starting from the Big Sandy trailhead, hiking past Dads, Marms, and Skull Lakes, and two ascents (and descents) of Hailey Pass
  • Elkhart-to-Elkhart, a 36 mile loop beginning with a descent to Long Lake, an ascent to Glimpse lake and a long stroll past Trapper, Trail, Borham, Summit, Jean, Seneca, Hobbs, Barbara, and Eklund lakes, ending back at Elkhart Park (at 11:45 pm)
  • The 4CD (Continental Divide) hike; starting from Big Sandy with climbs over Washakie, Illinois, Texas and Jackass passes.

This year’s destination was changed in the last week before the hike. We had been discussing an day hike of Glover Peak starting out from New Fork Lakes trailhead. Thinking that might be too ambitious we changed plans to tackle Greeley Point. Really, we were plotting a loop beginning and ending at the Green River Lakes campground – starting up towards Porcupine Pass, continuing to Lozier Lakes, and coming back along the Green River. We threw in a short detour to Greeley Point as and excuse to gain a Cheeseburger summit. But the views from Greeley Point turned out to be the surprise, and high point, of the entire trip.

The hike up Porcupine Creek was the only part of the loop that none of us had seen before. This large, U-shaped drainage, obviously carved by glaciers, contained a number of long, open meadows with views of the mountains that overlooked the creek. We passed by Big Sheep (no Cheeseburger) and Battleship (no Cheeseburger) mountains on the trail up to Porcupine Pass. A beautifully crafted, switchbacked trail led to the top of the pass, and at the top we were treated to views down New Fork and Palmer Canyons. Looking back, we enjoyed a view of the entire length of Porcupine Creek, from the pass to Lower Green River Lake. Continuing on we descended 1500 ft towards the New Fork Trail. And then we ascended the same 1500 ft to the Lozier Lakes Basin.

For my taste, the Lozier Lake area is the most beautiful region of the Wind River Range. We were treated to tremendous views of the tallest peaks in the range with Gannett Peak, the high point of Wyoming, dominating the skyline and Peak Lake Basin directly in front of us. Peak Lake Basin, at the headwaters of the Green River, ends at Knapsack Col – and provides an interesting way to enter Titcomb Basin. Stroud, Sulfur, Twin, Ladd, and Winifred Peaks, Mount Whitecap and Split Mountain line the Basin.

After hiking through Lozier Lakes Basin we ascended another not-so-small pass that provides entry to Clark Lake and a descent to the Trail and Green Rivers. At the pass we turned a hard left to hike the last 200-300 ft up to the summit of Greeley Point. Oldbull led the way and let out a whoop at the summit. And as we joined him at the summit cairn we found out why he was so excited. With 360o views of mountains, lakes, and drainages, Greeley Point is a tremendous vantage point. If you’re hiking anywhere in the area you must take in this view. Wow!

After eating the nano-sized, feta-infused lamb burgers we descended nearly 3,000 ft to the Green River and a long march out to the Green River Lake Campground. While this portion of the hike was beautiful, we were tired and hurting from the 25+ miles we’d just hiked. By the time we reached the Upper Green River Lake we were firmly in death march mode. But the hike ended uneventfully with smiles all around. This hike was the best of the best.

Greeley Point, Wyoming – flyingelvis, oldbull, sirloinofbeef, wimpy

* no Gore-Tex was harmed during the ascent of Greeley Point

Squaretop and The Bottle The Money Shot The Boys Moon Setting

Mileage Chart – Greeley Point Hike

Location Mile
Green River Lake Campground 0.0
Porcupine Pass 9.8
New Fork Trail Junction 12.0
Lozier Lakes Pass 14.3
Greeley Point Pass 16.8
Trail Creek Junction 19.2
Green River Bridge 22.9
Green River Lake Campground 32.6
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Entry filed under: Wyoming Summits.

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The Mission

To encourage, enable, and document the consumption of a Cheeseburger on every summit on earth.

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