Ross Lake Trail

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Hard
Duration
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.
6-8.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
17.4 km
Elevation
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.
1,141 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead
Ross Lake Trail

Hiking the Ross Lake Trail makes for an unforgettable experience. Explore a landscape characterized by vibrant montane meadows, granite monoliths, alpine lakes, and lush woodlands. While demanding, the scenery along this route will blow you away.

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Route Description

Those seeking a challenging adventure in the Wind River Mountain Range will likely enjoy the Ross Lake Trail. This high-demand, high-reward excursion boasts breathtaking alpine scenery along the way to motivate even the most discouraged hikers. As this route requires the navigation of rocky, steep terrain, we encourage hikers to wear a sturdy pair of footwear and to consider using trekking poles. Note bighorn sheep often frequent the area. If you encounter any sort of wildlife, maintain a safe distance and admire them from afar. While unlikely bear encounters are possible, so we suggest someone brings a can of bear spray.

Embark on your adventure along the Ross Lake Trail from the Whiskey Mountain Trailhead. Setting out from here, you will follow the Whiskey Mountain Trail through a meadow and up a steep ridge. Soon after your departure, you will reach an intersection, keep right and begin your climb up several switchbacks, take your time navigating the vertiginous terrain and keep an eye out for wildlife. After some hiking, you will reach another junction, keep left here, and the terrain will begin to plateau. This route will guide you through a montane meadow and to another intersection where you will again keep left.

As you travel further into the wilderness, views of the granite oasis and Ross Lake will unfold. Revel in the beauty of the alpine terrain from the shoreline of the crystalline pool. When you are done marveling at the spellbinding scenery, head back along the trail the way you came.

Getting There

The Ross Lake Trail is accessed via the Whiskey Mountain Trailhead off Trail Lake Road.

Route Details

  • Backcountry Campground

    Backcountry Camping

  • When to do

    May-October

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Out and back

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