Jim Bridger, certainly one of the most famous mountain men in American history, is memorialized by this popular Wilderness in the Wind River Range of western Wyoming. This rugged piece of the Rocky Mountains, extending for approximately 80 miles along the western slope of the Continental Divide, contains a unique combination of jagged granite rock, alpine forest, and open alpine meadows. Serving as the headwaters for the mighty Green River, this wilderness holds 7 of the 10 largest glaciers in the Lower 48, more than 2,300 cold crystalline lakes and ponds, and numerous glacier-carved cirques, kettles, valleys, and hanging troughs. Gannett Peak, located on the shared boundary of the Fitzpatrick Wilderness, is the highest point in Wyoming at 13,804 feet, towering above a vast area of stark granite summits that were once thrust violently into the sky by enormous compressional forces within the earth. In addition to the Fitzpatrick Wilderness, the Popo Agie Wilderness and Wind River Indian Reservation also lie directly adjacent to this wilderness on the eastern side of the Divide. More than 600 miles of trails provide access to this seemingly boundless area. At elevations ranging from 8,000 to 13,000+ feet, it can freeze any night of the year, even after warm, sunny summer days. Snow usually lingers on the high trails and passes until mid or late July, but the lower trails are normally open by late June. Visitors are warned to acclimatize to this high-elevation wilderness to avoid succumbing to high-altitude sickness, which is a life-threatening illness. In July and August, mosquitoes and biting flies are pesky, making tents and repellant a must. Mule deer, moose, elk, bighorn sheep, gray wolf, grizzly and black bears are just a few of the many wildlife species found in this wilderness. Other Wilderness residents that you are likely to see include bald eagles, yellow-bellied marmots whistling from sun-washed rocks, little round-eared squeaking pikas, and beavers working busily in this water-rich wilderness. Visitors are required to store food and attractants properly to prevent habituating or encountering black and grizzly bears.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Bridger Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
Wyoming Wilderness Act of 1984 - Public law 98-550 (10/30/1984) To designate certain lands in the state of Wyoming for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System, to release other forest lands for multiple use management, to withdraw designated wilderness areas in Wyoming from minerals activity, and for other purposes