Camping, Hiking, United States, Wyoming

Wyoming Explored: Browns Peak Circumnavigation

Alpine Lakes Loop
11.8 miles

Back in September my adventure buddy, Lydia, and I headed up to the Snowies for a late summer season camping adventure. We didn’t quite bank on a foot of snow when we arrived to Brooklyn Lake, but we found a spot fairly sheltered from the wind and set up camp, ready to take on our wintry adventure.

I’ve never camped in the snow before, so this was an adventure! Luckily I was warm and toasty in my tent and slept the best that I had in months!
Oh…
Lydia slept in her car, and fashioned a tarp over her rear hatch to give us some wind protection, which we topped off with a propane fire pit (allowed under the fire ban since it’s on/off).
Nothing like a pot of mashed potatoes and Dinty Moore stew!!

The next day we set out on a hike, packing lots of snacks (and even a can of soup to share), figuring we would wing it based on how we felt. I knew we could make a loop of Browns Peak using Lost Lake, Gap Lakes, and Sheep Lake trails, but I felt like it was eight miles. We finally hit a small spot of LTE phone service, and I was able to find out it was eleven miles. We shrugged, and decided to carry on since it was a beautiful, warm day with clear skies and we had plenty of snacks. This would be one of my longest hikes ever, hey… YOLO hahah. So began our Browns Peak circumnavigation!

We set out about 10:45am from the Brooklyn Lake Campground in a clockwise manner, leaving on Lost Lake Trail. Conditions for the day would vary from dirt to postholeing in slushy snow
What an unusual tree!!
One of the many alpine lakes we’d see on our hike
Time for some mud!
Oh snap, bear track!
Lost Lake
These colors!
Sandy Lake
The west end of Lost Lake Trail turned snowy
Intersection of Lost Lake Trail and Gap Lakes Trail
South Gap Lake
Making our way around South Gap Lake. The trail ascends and descends that talus ridge in the background to North Gap Lake.
Talus field makes up the trail at the north end of South Gap Lake. We heard a rock fall while standing here which was quite crazy!
North Gap Lake
Enjoying some soup and views at North Gap Lake
Glacial erratic
Gap Lake Trail intersection with Sheep Lake Trail
Sheep Lake in the distance
Heading towards Brooklyn Lake on Sheep Lake Trail. Just a few more soggy miles left!
Sheep Lake Trail
There Heidi goes, petting all the moss again

Altogether, our hike took a little less than six hours total, including all the snack, meal, and photo breaks. The weather remained sunny and warm, which led to sloppy trail conditions, but a pleasant day. This hike is great because the terrain is variable, and the views are pretty magnificent, too.

We opted for an early dinner after our long adventure! Steak, rice, potatoes, and sweet peppers!
Relaxing and resting our legs with some beers and shenanigans!
Sunset
The Milky Way was the most brilliant I had ever seen, but I didn’t bring my DSLR so this simple iPhone photo will have to do.

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