• Activities:

    Chillin, Camping, Fishing, Photography, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking, Fitness

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    18 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    2000 Feet

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Groups
Lake
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

This hike has amazing views, a really beautiful trail and it's relative easy. This is the gateway to the Titcomb Basin and high country.

The Wind River Range is one of the best backpacking + climbing wildernesses in the lower 48. Seneca Lake is right at the beginning of some of the most spectacular high alpine climbing and backpacking routes.

From the Elkhart trailhead parking lot, take the Pole Creek Trail directly adjacent to the restroom. You will follow this trail for approximately 4.5 miles through lodgepole pine forests and beautiful alpine parks, until you hit photographer's point, a really great spot. See Hike To Photographer's Point.

Once you've taken all the photos you need, continue on about a mile to Eklund Lake. This is a great little lake to camp if you want solitude. I never see people there, as most people are heading to Seneca and beyond.

Continue on the trail down valleys and up steep hillsides another 3 miles or so. Great views of Fremont peak and the surrounding peaks of the Winds await.

Summer is very busy and buggy, so be sure to bring lots of spray and maybe even face netting. All in all, the hike is only 9 miles one-way and about 2000 feet elevation gain.

Be advised that the Winds now have Grizzlies, so hike in groups, make noise, and carry bear protection. Also, many outfitters frequent this trail, so be courteous and move off the trail on the uphill side when horses and mules are passing!

Pack List

  • Backpack
  • Water
  • Tent (if you want to make it an overnighter)
  • Hiking boots/shoes
  • Camera
  • Bear protection
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Community Photos

+ Add Photos

Reviews

Overall rating: 

Leave a Review

Seneca Lake is a great place to camp if you don't feel you can make it all the way to Island Lake.

6 months ago
6 months ago

This is the perfect spot to pitch your tent on the way back from Titcomb Basin. We found stunning spots high above the lake looking over Fremont Peak and a pair of osprey fishing.

6 months ago
6 months ago

Andrew Slaton Explorer

Andrew is a commercial landscape and active lifestyle photographer living on the road full-time with his yogi wife, Ellen, dog, Islay Blue, and stud cat, Colonel Bubba. Based wherever the wind takes them, and teaching workshops along the way. www.slatonworkshops.com

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

Nearby Adventures

Hike the Sugar Bowl Loop in Kings Canyon NP

Tulare County, California

First and foremost, to get to this trailhead you need to drive down a 2-mile, one lane dirt road that is quite steep.

8 Saves

Hike to Ehukai Pillbox

59178 Ke Nui Road, Hawaii

This hike starts directly across from Banzai Pipeline, the famous barreling wave at Ehukai Beach.

7 Saves

Winter Hike to Calypso Cascades

1046 County Highway 115, Colorado

While most people go snowshoeing near the Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge area in RMNP, Wild Basin is a much less trafficked option.

5 Saves