Hike to the Crow’s Nest in the Wind River Range

Rate this Adventure 12 miles 500 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Andrew Slaton

Massive views of the Wind River Range in Wyoming, high above Fremont Lake and the crowds. A beautiful day hike, full of aspen groves, wildflowers, and jaw-dropping views.

The Crow’s Nest sits just above Glimpse Lake in the Winds. It is best accessed from the most infrequently used trailhead in the range. To access the remote trailhead from Pinedale, take Jackson Street north toward Soda Lake Wildlife Management Area. It becomes an improved dirt road about a mile in. No four wheel or high clearance needed for the next 10 miles. Follow this road through several cattle guards and stay straight. When Soda Lake appears on your right, it is still a few miles further. You will eventually come to a fork in the road, with Willow Lake straight ahead, and Spring Creek Park to your right. Go right. The road is only 2-3 miles, but it becomes very bad. At least high clearance is needed from here.

Once reaching the visitor parking area, you can continue the dirt road that leads up the hill to the right. Follow this through deep timber until you see an opening and a small pond on your right. You will see a sign indicating the trail to your right. Park wherever you can, if needed, you can go a little further to an old cow camp cabin in Spring Creek Park and park here, backtracking down the road. Or just find a spot to pull off here.

Begin the trail to south/southeast around the pond. It will lead you through gorgeous aspen groves and in early to mid summer, may be full of mountain wildflowers. The trail is not well maintained and there is frequently deadfall blocking the path. It is a slow, steady climb to your first overlook only about a mile in. You get sweeping views of Soda Lake, Fremont Lake, and the desert below. 

Continue on with the slow ascent for another 2 miles. The trail winds through deep timber, all the while hugging the western ridge above Fremont. Views continue to pop up to reveal the Winds and the deep, dark, Pine Creek Canyon, 2000 feet below. The Bridger Wilderness boundary appears at about 3 miles in. After winding back in to the trees, a small, lily covered lake will begin to emerge on your right. Within a mile or so after this, Glimpse Lake will appear below you to the right. You will descend a few hundred feet, through an impressive granite boulder slide, until you reach the shores of Glimpse. There are several phenomenal spots to camp along the lake.

Continue along the trail, winding around the southern shore of the lake, and then climbing the east ridge. Once you reach the top of the ridge, a trail maker comes into view, indicating Trapper Lake to the left, Spring Creek Park Behind you, and The Crow’s nest to the right. Bear right. From here it is only about 0.5 a mile up to the beautiful, rocky ledge overlook.

All in all, it is just under 6 miles in to the Crow’s Nest from the trail sign I described at the beginning. Depending upon your speed and ability, the hike should only take between 3.5-5 hours for the 12 miles round trip. Bring water and some snacks for energy, and be bear aware!

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