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Scab Creek TH to Dream Lake - 1 member in 1 triplog has rated this an average 5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Jul 06 2021

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39 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
Scab Creek TH to Dream LakeCentral, WY
Central, WY
Backpack avatar Jul 06 2021
Backpack22.00 Miles 3,356 AEG
Backpack22.00 Miles2 Days         
3,356 ft AEG
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I spent my first few days in the Wind River Range hiking some more fringe areas and areas that I had not been to. I was enjoying the new sites and short hikes with the pups, but the whole time I was pining to get into the backcountry. However, a system of storms was producing some typical summer like storm conditions in the range and I was waiting on a nearly clear forecast. Backpacking with wet dogs is no fun and admittedly I don’t have much tolerance for sitting out electrical storms in tents these days.

A three day window of clear weather finally appeared and with some creativity to work around Blanco’s old body and inspiration from my hiking guide, I nailed down a three day itinerary that could get us deep enough into the backcountry to scratch my itch. Dream Lake via the Scab Creek trailhead via a base camp at Divide or the Lightning Lakes.

We camped the night before at the Scab Creek campground, which is a nice fee free campground with well taken care of outhouses and potable water. The campground was nearly empty when I was there.

I started hiking around 8:30 in the morning from the official trailhead parking lot. The first couple miles was a steady climb through a forest and although it was not overly steep, I did find myself a little winded at times with the heavier pack. There are no big mountain sky line views for the first several miles, but I enjoyed the nice forest hiking past some pretty nice, but standard for the area alpine lakes. I knew there was good camping at Divide Lake and it was at six miles in, but I gambled on there being good camping at one of the Lightning Lakes. My gamble paid off and I got us a nice site in a meadow across from the largest of the Lightning Lakes.

Initially, the bugs were not that bad, however about an hour and a half before night fall the mosquitoes came out. Both dogs went into the tent early and very willingly. I followed shortly after. We would pretty much be marooned in my tent until sometime after seven the next morning, when the mosquitos finally died down some with the morning sun. But it was still a quick morning pack needless to say, as some lingering mosquitoes stuck around for breakfast. Annoying, but manageable.

The hike to dream lake was more of the same for two miles and then the big views finally showed up. Front and center was a five square mile meadow flanking the upper reaches of the South Fork of Boulder Creek. The next mile and a half or so to the shores of Dream Lake were simply spectacular. With a skyline of Dragon’s Head, Pronghorn Peak, Bonneville and Raider Peak in front of us the entire time. Dream Lake was worthy of its name. I had hoped to spend some time at the lake, as all we had was time and daylight. However, the bugs were a little worse than I had hoped and we left after a quick backpackers bath. Also I should note, the bugs were tolerable for me, but they get irksome for the dogs pretty quickly when you stop and rest, so we pushed on. We took another longer break at the ford of south fork where the bugs were pretty light and then just generally strolled home. Well the dogs chased around three dozen squirrels and a couple of marmots on the way back, I walked.

It sprinkled for a few minutes at camp and threatened to do more for a few hours, which we appreciated as the clouds brought shade and the higher winds kept the bugs at bay some. Nevertheless, as the night before, the bugs won out and we retreated to our tent sanctuary rather early.

We tried to wake up before the bugs for our hike out, but that did not happen. Packing up around five in the morning was a tad brutal and hurried to say the least. We cruised to the trailhead and didn’t stop long enough for the mosquitoes to be a problem and were back at the car just before nine.

This was simply a very fulfilling backpack on so many levels for me. Although, it adds a lot of work and some stress, I loved being able to get both my dogs out there. They bring me a lot of joy and happiness on the trail. In particular, it was great to see Blanco getting around so well and I am grateful to be able to include him on yet another adventure in the Winds. I found some of the views to be absolutely spectacular and on par with some of the better panoramic views in the Winds. The five square mile meadow near the headwaters of Boulder Creek’s south fork should be on every backpacking enthusiasts lists. This was certainly a more obscure route to the Winds backcountry, but it was rewarding and I am excited to incorporate aspects of this trip into some sort of more ambitious traverse of the range.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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