Big Sandy Trail, WY
The southernmost trailhead in the Wind River Range, Big Sandy, is the start of an 8.5-mile hike to what many consider the crown jewel of this under-appreciated Wyoming wilderness: the Cirque of the Towers, a remarkable amphitheatre of sheer 12,000-foot granite peaks, surrounding the glacial basin of Lonesome Lake. The trail starts out in lush meadows, rising through evergreen forest, before giving way to stark hillsides of boulders and scree. The Cirque — each slab with an imposing name like War Bonnet, Warrior, and Wolf’s Head — holds some of the best traditional climbing routes in the U.S. An out-and-back is an easy weekend adventure, but the Cirque is also a great first camp for anyone heading further into the Winds.
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