The United States Congress designated the Fitzpatrick Wilderness (map
) in 1976 and it now has a total of 198,906 acres
All of this wilderness is located in Wyoming
and is managed by the Forest Service.
The Fitzpatrick Wilderness is bordered by
the Bridger Wilderness
to the southwest.
Originally called the Glacier Primitive Area, this Wilderness now holds 44 active glaciers (one spanning 1,220 acres) and many ragged mountain peaks in the northern half of the Wind River Mountains. Lying on the east side of the Continental Divide, this area displays incomparable beauty and grandeur. You can climb Gannett Peak--at 13,804 feet it's the highest point in Wyoming--for what seems to be unlimited mountaineering challenges. The western border is the Continental Divide, shared with Bridger Wilderness. The eastern border is shared with the Wind River Indian Reservation. Carved by glaciers from granite and limestone rock, the area contains splendid alpine meadows, rocky plateaus, and stands of virgin timber. Precipitous canyons shadow tumbling streams, and at least 60 crystalline lakes are full of fish. More than 75 miles of streams offer excellent trout fishing. Many species utilize these mountains as summer habitat, including elk, mule deer, moose, bighorn sheep, black bears, bobcats, and coyotes. Fall brings many big-game hunters.
Named for Tom "Half-Hand" Fitzpatrick, a mountain man and sometime partner of Jim Bridger, the Wilderness is extremely rugged with miles of bare granite rock. No season is free of frost and snowfall is possible any day of the year. Many miles of trails provide access, and one of the main routes enters the Wilderness from Trail Lake.