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Bonneville Basin


  • Towering granite spires, peaks and cliffs
  • Rejuvenating solitude and scenery
  • A stunning mountain cirque near the Divide
  • Camps near pristine mountain lakes and streams
  • One of the most vivid night skies you've ever seen


Bonneville Basin is a remote, off-trail cirque that abutts the Continental Divide in the middle of the Wind River Range of Wyoming. To get there requires two solid days of hiking through mountains covered with creeks, meadows, forests and lakes. Once there, it's difficult to not be in complete awe of the intense beauty of this place. Framed by towering alpine peaks, dotted with alpine lakes, and adorned with wildflowers, this off-trail paradise is alive in every way!
Our journey begins in Jackson Hole, where we'll shuttle to the trailhead, which is about 2 hours away. We'll begin our hike and follow a series of trails across the wilderness. Our camps are all near mountain lakes and streams, with amazing meadows allowing views of the peaks of the Continental Divide. The nighttime skies are sure to be some of the most vivid you've ever gazed up at. On day 2 we'll head off trail up to Bonneville Basin, where we'll spend a layover day exploring this intensely special place.
Click here to have a detailed PDF information packet emailed to you, or request a reservation today. You can also call us at 800-715-HIKE.


Wind River Range Photos

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Shuttle to Trailhead: appx 2 hours
Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
Elevation Gain: 1500 feet

We'll pick you up at your hotel in Jackson Hole for a 2-hour shuttle to the trailhead. It's a beautiful drive along the Snake and Hoback Rivers, then paralleling the Wind River Range. Our hike begins with an uphill section over a tall bluff, from the top of which we get great views of the Continental Divide peaks in the distance. We'll drop down into a series of meadows, forests and lakes. We'll hike past Divide Lake, a beautiful body of water nestled high in the mountains, and then continue to Lightning Lakes, where we'll set up camp at the edge of a meadow with a view of the lake.

Once camp is set up you'll have a couple hours to fish, relax, or explore the area around camp. Around a campfire we'll enjoy a wonderful dinner prepared by your guide, then turn in for our first sleep at altitude (9700 feet).

Day 2

Hiking Mileage: 8 miles
Elevation Gain: 300 feet

Today's a relatively long day of hiking through stunning country dotted with mountain streams and lakes. We'll get an early start due to the longer mileage and work our way continuously toward the Continental Divide. The high peaks of the Divide - such as Dragon Head Peak (12,205 feet), Pronghorn Peak (12,210 feet), and Mount Bonneville (12,585 feet) - will grow larger and larger in front of us. We'll break off trail and head into the lower reaches of Bonneville Basin, which is characterized by clear mountain streams, wildflower-laden meadows, and open meadows. We'll set up camp along one of the creeks or lakes and enjoy another restful evening.

Day 3

Hiking Mileage: 4-6 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: approximately 1000 feet

Today is a layover day to explore and enjoy this extraordinary area. We'll eat a big breakfast, then set off with only day packs higher into the cirque. We'll head up Boulder Creek to Bonneville Lake and then Sheila Lake, both incredible picturesque bodies of water near the Divide. Upper Bonneville Basin is a series of meadows, lakes and mountain streams nestled directly beneath a family of towering peaks. It's a fantastically serene and stunning basin filled with wildflowers and stunning views into the higher peaks. We'll be staring directly up at Raid Peak (12,532 feet), Glisade Peak (12,361 feet), Tower Peak (12,330 feet), and of course still Mount Bonneville. We'll top out over 11,000 feet high in the cirque before turning back toward camp.

Day 4

Hiking Mileage: appx 8 miles
Elevation Loss: 300 feet

We'll pack up and get on the trail early today, as we have another lengthy hike ahead of us. With much of our food gone though, our packs will begin to feel much lighter today! We'll continue to enjoy the stunning scenery of the Wind River Range as we now hike away from the Continental Divide. Our views will be out toward the western plains and the Wyoming Range in the distance. We'll make camp near a lake or stream that fits with the day's desired mileage.

Day 5

Hiking Mileage: appx 6
Elevation Loss: 1500 feet
Shuttle to Jackson Hole: 2 hours

We'll continue reversing our route out of the mountains today and descend from the high country, but not before taking lots of breaks to look behind us at the unbeliveable landscapes we've just experienced. Once at the trailhead, we'll load up and make our way back to Jackson Hole for some much-deserved showers and rest!

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary park restrictions, campsite availability, weather, road closures, guest ability/injury, and natural events like fires and flooding.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and technical backpack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Wind River hiking guide
  • Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Jackson, Wyoming to the trailhead and back
  • Bear safety equipment including bear spray cannisters and food-hanging gear
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.

Meals: What To Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.

Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware sleeping bags
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Bear spray cannisters and food-hanging gear
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone

What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? Simply click here and complete the form to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).

Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!

Where Do We Meet?

You'll meet your hiking guide and group at predetermined hotel in Jackson, Wyoming for an orientation meeting at 6:00 PM the evening before the trip begins. The next morning we'll pick you up at your hotel for transport to the trailhead.

Check out our Travel Resources page for information on flights, shuttles, discounted lodging and more.

Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.


Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.

Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time...etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides' off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.

Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on backpacking trips is 6 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 12 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 10 and older to join private tours, with final approval on a case by case basis
  • specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis

Weather Around Yellowstone

Being a Northern mountain environment, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is prone to sudden temperature and weather shifts. This is an exciting aspect of being in Wyoming's mountains. On trips in June, snow is a slight possibility, and the rest of the summer you're likely to get rained on at least once during your trip. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). See below for average summer temperatures around Yellowstone:
Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)