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Wind River Peak
Climate within the Popo Agie Watershed varies depending on the elevation and season. Elevation ranges from over 13,000 feet above sea level at the majestic landmark of Wind River Peak (13,976 feet), to 5,000 feet above sea level near the historic coal mining town of Hudson. The Wind River Mountain Range creates a "rain shadow" effect by blocking precious moisture arriving from Pacific Ocean creating a semi-arid climate. On average, the Lander area receives approximately 13.2 inches of annual precipitation, most of which arrives when upslope conditions are present. Temperatures also vary with summer extremes reaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit and winter lows plunging well below zero.
The mountainous areas of the Popo Agie Watershed are dominated by various evergreen tree species. Pine, spruce, and fir species are a familiar sight and create a rich and diverse forest environment. Large aspen and cottonwood stands are common throughout the watershed, and the sparkling spring green and rich hues of fall create memorable scenery. There are several grasses that cloak the landscape including Bluebunch and Western wheatgrass, fescue, Blue grama, and various needle grass and brome species. The characteristic and familiar sagebrush, rabbitbrush, and antelope bitterbrush dominate the vast landscape at lower elevations.