Francis Lake Trail

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This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
19.3 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
610 m
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Directions to Trailhead
Francis Lake Trail

The Francis Lake Trail is a great hike worth the detour into the Winds. While this area is extremely popular, this lovely path boasts a more tranquil experience whilst maintaining the epic views of the soaring granite crests. What more could you ask for?

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Route Description

The Francis Lake Trail is an awesome adventure in the Wind River Range that explores the base of the dramatic snow-capped mountainscape. Wander through the lush meadows adorned with outcrops and meandering creeks, through dense woodlands and beautiful lakes. Traveling through a variety of terrains, we encourage hikers to dress in layers as insurance against changing conditions. While unlikely, bear encounters are possible, so make sure at least one person in your group carries a can of bear spray! Note the trailhead parking lot is extremely busy, so arrive early to secure a parking spot.

Embark on your trek to Francis Lake from the Big Sandy Trailhead. Setting out from here, you will take the Fremont Trail along the Big Sandy River to an intersection. Here, veer left, and you will be diverted onto the Continental Divide Trail. Hike amongst intrepid backpackers through lush meadows, and pine tree stands along this route. Soon you will enter Fish Creek Park, which sits at the base of Laturio Mountain. Here you will confront a junction with the Francis Lake Trail, turn left, heading west.

After some hiking, you will reach the shoreline of Francis Lake. Admire the beautiful scenery and revel in the grandeur of the Winds that rise from the meadowlands. When you are ready, head back to the trailhead the way you came.

Getting There

The Francis Lake Trail departs from the Big Sandy Trailhead off the Big Sandy Opening Road.

Route Details

  • Backcountry Campground

    Backcountry Camping

  • When to do


  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

Elevation Graph


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