Flickr album link: Frye Lake Campground
Frye Lake is located in the Shoshone National Forest in the high elevations of the Wind River Mountains. The town of Lander, Wyoming is the closest place for modern conveniences and it is about an hour away, so stocking up ahead of time is the best way to go. When traveling from Lander, Highway 131 first goes through Sinks Canyon State Park, which is a day trip destination worth remembering. Near Sinks Canyon, Louis Lake Road is the travel route to look for and this road zig zags uphill to Frye Lake. RV campers and trailer haulers may have a tough time with Louis Lake Road, because there are several tight switchbacks to negotiate up the steep climb. Passenger cars will have no problem getting to Frye Lake, but a high ground clearance 4x4 will present far more options for touring the lengthy national forest dirt roads in these mountains.
Frye Lake is a large reservoir surrounded by deep pine forests and mountain meadows. Picturesque rock outcrops dot this landscape and part of the developed shoreline is covered with boulders. The rest of the shoreline butts up against the deep forest and the water floods the low ground during the snow melt season. For this reason, it is best to take a good look at the soil conditions upon arrival at the campground at the far end of the lake, because the ground can be soggy enough for a vehicle to get stuck. Avoiding this situation is best to do, since the Frye Lake Campground is in a very remote area.
The Frye Lake Campground is a primitive dispersed camping site and only basic sanitation facilities are available. The tall pines provide plenty of shade and there are cozy campsites between the trees. The shallow end of the lake is only a short walk from the camp, but the conditions tend to be muddy. For this reason it is better to hike along the high ground to the boulder covered shoreline that parallels the road when seeking a fishing spot. Frye Lake offers world class angling, so be sure to pack some fly fishing gear and plan on fresh fish for dinner. The towering outcrops in the Wind River Mountains are a primary nesting area for raptors and bald eagles can frequently be seen fishing at this lake too.
On the downside, uncontrolled ranching has resulted in cattle overrunning this campground and the entire Fry Lake recreation area. There are dung piles everywhere and the puddles around the campground are stagnant, so if dysentery or communicable pathogens are a concern, then it may be best to avoid this destination. Other than that, Frye Lake is a great place to do some bird watching and several more campgrounds can be found nearby.
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