Fall Foliage Walks

Wind River Mountains, Wyoming
  |  Gorp.com
In Wyoming's Wind River Mountains, autumn comes in shades of yellow aspen, golden willows, and orange grasses.

This destination requires more traveling time than our other fall trips—after all, nothing in Wyoming is exactly proximate to a major metropolitan area. The trade-off is that you'll have this popular tourist spot all to yourself because it's the so-called off-season. This is our pick for the serious wilderness lover with a few vacation days and a passion for beautiful places.

The Wind River Range features short trails and long trails, wilderness lodges nestled right up against the mountains, and some of the world's most stunning scenery.

Recommended Ramble
From Pinedale, drive on Road 134 north past Fremont Lake to the Trail's End Campground (about 15 miles). From there, take the trail to the right, which heads southeast to Pole Creek Lakes. The only problem with this hike is that you've got to keep track of time—the high country scenery is so spectacular you might forget to turn back. Remember: Higher elevations require a little caution. If you're coming here from sea level, acclimate by spending a day or so down in Pinedale or Jackson Hole. Be sure to get a weather forecast, because up here, it can snow any day of the year. Bring a rain jacket, extra clothing, a hat, a camera—and plenty of extra film.

Special Extras
The Wind River Mountains are within short distance of both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. In autumn, the crowds are gone—but Old Faithful is still gushing faithfully and Jenny Lake (at the base of the Grand Teton) remains one of the prettiest lakes in the world.

For More Information
Pinedale Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest, (307) 367-4326. Jackson, Wyoming is the closest airport; Pinedale, Wyoming is the closest town. Jackson has all manner of accommodations and tourist facilities, from ski chalets to motels; Pinedale is more low-key. Early September is best for hiking here—by late September, you're risking snow.


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