This program is designed for adventurers who are outdoor enthusiasts and are interested in backpacking adventures, fly fishing and field studies in the Rocky Mountain wilderness.
The nature of this excursion is the study of unique western ecosystems by total immersion in those systems. This is done by backpacking into a wilderness area, taking only what you can carry on your back, and subjugating yourself to the wilderness condition by experiencing it in a minimal-impact, educational fashion. The trip is physically strenuous, very rigorous and at high altitudes. You must be able to withstand the physical and emotional rigors of 7 nights tent camping with 5 days of that in the backcountry in primitive, wilderness conditions. Participants must be physically able to withstand the rigors of such a trip.
The Wind River Range is located in north central Wyoming southeast of Grand Teton National Park, west of the towns of Lander and Pinedale and east of Dubois, Wyoming. We will be mostly in the Popo Agie Wilderness Area located within the Shoshone National Forest. It is a high altitude range with an average elevation of ~10,000 feet. With respect to wilderness, it is one of the largest in the contiguous United States and is part of the Bridger, Shoshone and Popo Agie National Forests. It is a wilderness lovers’ paradise with vast roadless areas, large glacial lakes, massive rock formations, and flora and fauna unique to the central Rocky Mountain west. Continuing in a northwesterly direction, the mountains merge with the north-south trending Tetons on the other side of the Jackson Hole.
Due to the high degree of preparedness required for this trip, we will plan on meeting with participants multiple times prior to departure to go over gear, packing, and physical preparations. These meetings can take place in-person or virtually and will be planned once we have a crew signed up to go.
Areas to be visited: Popo Agie Wilderness Area, Shoshone National Forest, Wind River Range, Wyoming
Backpacking: backpacking is the basic component of this course; being able to carry only what you need for an extended trip (8 days) into the wilderness is essential to maintain the roadless, natural qualities of an area
Fly fishing: with its large lakes and clear streams, the Wind River Range offers some of the best mountain fly fishing to be experienced in Wyoming. There will be plenty of opportunity to fish at our backcountry basecamp.
Natural history of the Wind River Range: including geology, wildlife, and unique alpine plant communities (we might see or hear a mountain lion or wolf here too)
Typical Activities and Schedule
The Trip – this is a tentative, but typical itinerary – changes may be made based on hiking and backpacking experience of participants as well as weather conditions.
August 1 – Meet in Lander, WY. Transportation from Buffalo to Riverton and return is the responsibility of the participant. It is best to fly into Riverton, Wyoming from Buffalo, NY. You will be greeted at the airport and transported to Lander. We’ll stay overnight in a Lander motel, eat out at the famous Lander Bar and Grill
August 2 – Get food, fishing licenses and supplies; get tribal permits; drive to Dickinson Creek Campground (Dickinson Park Quad) to set up our acclimation camp.
August 3 – Do some local hiking, birding, wildflower identification and acclimation to 10,000+ ft elevation in and around Dickinson Creek Campground
August 4 – Begin hiking on the Bears Ears Trail. We will hike into the Popo Agie Wilderness Area approximately 7 miles over Adams Pass where we will set up our camp for 5 nights, exploring and fishing a “lake with no name” containing large cutthroat trout just north of Sand Creek and Bears Ears Mountain (11,820′). We will have the opportunity to climb Mount Chauvenet (12,250′) and day hike around the area.
August 9 – We will descend down from camp the way we hiked in, check in to a motel, and feast at the Lander Bar and Grill.
August 10 – Guests will depart from the Riverton, WY airport.
Instructor, Trip Leader
Instructor, Trip Leader
Travel arrangements to and from Riverton, WY are independent of fees for the program. Arrangements will be made to pick up air travelers once they arrive. Once on site, we will provide transportation to our initial destination, Lander, WY.
Flying into Riverton, WY (RIW) with United Airlines and Delta Airlines both of which have flights from Buffalo (BUF). This usually requires a connecting flight in either Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Chicago or Salt Lake City but there are other options for getting to Riverton if you have the time to peruse the internet flight vendors and mix and match airlines.
Please do not make travel arrangements prior to speaking with Earth Spirit about them!
August 1: Upon arrival in Riverton, WY, we will travel to Lander, WY (30 minutes) and check into a yet-to-be-determined motel for the night. We’ll stay overnight in a Lander motel and eat out at the famous Lander Bar and Grill.
* Transportation from Buffalo to Riverton and return is the responsibility of the participant. You will be met at the airport and transported to Lander.
Backpacking and camp food can be purchased in Lander on August 1. Each participant is responsible for purchasing their own food for this trip. Backcountry meal prep and suggestions will be covered at orientation meetings. Meals at the Lander Bar and Grill are included in the cost of the trip. Alcohol is not provided by Earth Spirit and is not to be brought into the wilderness areas.
Costs & Registration
- $2,000.00 per person
- Registration is limited to 9 participants.
- Registration minimum is 7 participants.
- Motel – 2 nights
- 2 meals are covered while in Lander, Wyoming (1 pre and 1 post trip)
- Required access permits
- Fly-fishing equipment
- Transportation from Riverton, WY airport to Lander, trailhead and return to airport.
- Wilderness First Responder Certified Trip Leaders
What's Not Included
- Backpacking equipment, gear, and food for the trip.
- Individual Wyoming fishing licenses
- Travel to and from Riverton, WY.
To reserve your place on this trip:
- A $500.00 deposit is due by 03/01/2023
- The remaining balance is due by 05/01/2023
- Once minimum registration is reached, the trip is a "go" and deposit(s) are not refundable