Backpacking to Island Lake, Wind River Range - Visit Pinedale, WY

Island Lake

Overview

Island Lake is found in the Wind River Mountain Range in the Bridger Wilderness just below Fremont Peak. The lake and surrounding area offer an excellent place for folks to camp, hike, fish, and enjoy the views.

To access Island Lake, the hike is about 10 miles. Most hikers should be able to reach the lake in a day, but it’s more often done in 2 days, allowing hikers to take their time. Seneca Lake offers great camping and is an ideal mid-way resting point while en route to Island Lake.

Island Lake is most easily accessed from the Elkhart Park trailhead, around 15 miles North of Pinedale. A USFS Campground is also conveniently located at the trailhead. Elkhart Park, at nearly 9,100 feet, is the highest trailhead in the Wind River Mountain Range.

Popular Activities

Visit Pinedale WY Island Lake Camping

CAMPING AT ISLAND LAKE

Island Lake is an excellent place to set up camp. You’ll be able to fish, hike, and climb all from your base here. ‑Island Lake is a fairly high use area so you can expect company. Remember to be respectful to your neighbors and give them their space. Due to the fact that you are above timberline, campfires are not allowed. 

DAY HIKE OPPORTUNITIES FROM ISLAND LAKE

Titcomb Basin is an easy and extremely scenic hike from Island Lake. It should take the average hiker no more than 30 minutes to reach the mouth of the basin. 

Indian Basin is another easy day hike from Island Lake. Indian Pass is one of the easiest routes over the divide in this part of the Wind River Range. However, if you do choose to cross the divide here it is recommended to have proper glacier travel gear and knowledge as a large percentage of this area is glaciated.

Visit Pinedale WY Island Lake Preparedness

FISHING IN AND AROUND ISLAND LAKE

While you may not be catching lunkers in the high mountain lakes and streams, if you possess any skill in angling, you will likely be bringing home dinner. Cutthroat and Brookies are what you’ll see most, but you might see a Brown or a Rainbow, even though they’re not native at this altitude. This is one of the few places in the nation that you’ll find Golden Trout, so make a trip to Elbow Lake to see if you can hook one or two.

CLIMBING OPPORTUNITIES FROM ISLAND LAKE

Island Lake is an excellent place to stage an assault on Fremont Peak. For the easiest and most traditional route up Fremont. One will be in clear view of the peak the whole during the entire approach. Expect a minimum of an hour of steep scrambling to summit from the saddle.

Location

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Lake Island Visit Pinedale Backpacking 2

Before You Go

Island Lake Preparedness

  • Island Lake is a fairly high use area so you can expect company. Remember to be respectful to your neighbors and give them others space.
  • Due to the fact that you are above timberline, campfires are not allowed.
  • Be sure you are camped at least 200 feet from the lake and trails in order to be in compliance with the Bridger Wilderness regulations.
  • Please be sure to have all reccomended food, gear, and water. This is NOT a simple day trip.
  • This is grizzly bear country; practice safe food storage techniques.