The Wild and Remote Wind River Range

We set out from the comfort of our day jobs to experience a new place—a new horizon. We headed north and then west to the Wind River Range of Wyoming. With alternating sounds of good tunes, good conversations, and the constant ‘whirr’ of rubber on the road, we made our way to the trailhead. As the sun slipped lower and lower in the sky, we passed by the tiny ghost towns of central Wyoming and eventually hit dirt. We were closing in.

The Wind River Range might be one of the most remote mountain ranges in the U.S. Just getting to the trailhead required an hour and a half drive along a dirt road with only a smattering of houses. We arrived at the trailhead around midnight, dazed. Soon, tucked into the comfort of our cars, we fell asleep with thoughts of what was to come in the next few days running through our heads.

Morning came and after a quick breakfast we were soon on our feet, packs loaded, and headed into the backcountry of one of the craziest places I’ve ever seen. Ten miles in and 10,500 feet above the sea, we made it to the Cirque, a 270 degree panorama of jagged peaks and steep granite walls. It looked like something straight out of Patagonia or the Dolomites of Italy, not Wyoming. Our home base was established as we watched the sun dip closer and closer to those jagged peaks. Eventually it sank beneath the walls, and the sky turned vibrant hues of orange, gold, and pink. We retired to our sleeping bags, satisfied.

Over the next few days, we tossed some flies, and our bodies, into the high alpine lakes, made spears to (unsuccessfully) catch fish, took naps in hammocks, and simply enjoyed each other’s company. We ended each day with a midnight snack of hot chocolate.  Then as these trips always end too soon, before we knew it, it was time to head back down to our cars and then back to town and real life.

These trips revive me in so many ways. Physically. Mentally. Spiritually. The mountains, the brisk wind, the high mountain streams. I love it. Do yourself a favor, go explore a place that you’ve never been to. Get lost. See new things. It’s life-affirming.

Author: Ben is an adventure photographer currently based in the American West. He has a strong passion for the outdoors and keeping our wild places wild. Photography is just one way for Ben to inspire people to get outdoors and explore the beautiful world around them. You can usually find him in the mountains, on the river, or somewhere in between. Check out more of his work at