Bighorn National Forest 2013 Eastside 2nd Street Sheridan, WY 82801 307-674-2600. We stayed at Lake Marion both nights. Toying with the idea of a backpacking trip? Catch the trail up the valley of West Tensleep Creek, past a string of gorgeous alpine lakes, and camp below Cloud Peak. You can summit Bomber Mountain from either the east or the west side. I barely had time to dive for cover below the 13,167-foot summit of Cloud Peak before the bomb dropped: Volleys of hail pelted my parka and thunder shook the mountain. A good portion of the trail was walking through pine and evergreen trees that provided shade. Do they offer guided tours to the top for someone like myself that would be inexperienced or a new backpacker I’m in great shape physically but don’t have the experience to ever think about doing it alone nor would I want to in such a wild environment but if they had groups that could go up that would work. If you have never been backpacking before, there are a 3 items that I believe will make or break your overall experience:  a good pack, good shoes, and a good sleeping bag. Allow a full day of alpine excitement for the summit side trip. We hiked Bomber at the end of July and had night time temperatures that got down to 35 degrees F one evening. No very well known backpacking routes or climbs. The Bighorn … I visited Florence lake and the memorial sometime around 2016 or 2017, can’t remember. Big Horn … Here is a great link to a Cloud Peak Wilderness trail map: Cloud Peak Wilderness (National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map). This trail follows along West Tensleep Creek all the way to Mistymoon Lake, passing Lakes West Tensleep, Helen and Marion along the way. Maps: Combine Cloud Peak Wilderness, #720 ($8.99, Trails Illustrated, 800-962-1643) with The Cloud Peak Wilderness Trail Guide ($14.95, Adventurous Traveler Bookstore, 800-282-3963). There are herds of mountain sheep wandering around the Bighorns. Your email address will not be published. The trail is dirt packed and strewn with pine needles and random tree droppings, such as pine cones and sticks. Lower Bighorn Gorge is a popular backpacking destination and includes the wide open and gradually narrowing portion of canyon located between the mouth and the 4th Narrows. Located in north-central Wyoming, the Bighorn Mountain Range can be enjoyed by all ages. Start this mostly alpine loop from Hunter trailhead, then climb an off-trail route over Angeline Pass to Mirror Lake. The lakes contain rainbow, cutthroat, brook, and German brown trout. +1 for the less then 30lb pack. Lake Marion is about at the end of the tree line and we were wanting to camp within the trees. I have hiked the entire Solitude Trail many times, including Bomber and Cloud Peak, and my pack weight for the trip has never exceeded 30 pounds including food, water, fuel and luxuries like a camp chair and Kindle. The area is home to numerous alpine lakes and craggy peaks, … Not the highest peak in the area, but still, Bomber Mountain sits at over 12,840 feet in elevation. Most of the hike is straight up. We set up camp there the first night, hiked out to and up Bomber Mountain the second day, then back to our campsite and tents after the climb. A 42-mile loop from the east side of the wilderness showcases the Bighorns’ sheer mountain walls and crystal-clear lakes. The Bighorn Mountains are one of Wyoming's Best Kept Secrets By: Kyle Frost + Save to a List This range outside of Sheridan (and the Cloud Peak Wilderness within) hides a bevy incredible backpacking, lakes, and hardly any people. Create a personalized feed and bookmark your favorites. I used the Osprey Ariel 65 and my pack weighed right around 50 pounds. Whether seen while seated in a comfortable car or while standing in sturdy hiking boots, these mountains offer views not to be missed. I think quicker and easier with less traffic and fewer restrictions. A weekend in the outdoors, hiking to the top of a really big mountain, camping under the stars, I’m not sure I can come up with a more enjoyable way to spend a few days off. Drive through the Big … During the winter season when the boat transport is closed this route can be done by parking in the String Lake trail head parking lot and starting your journey there. Looking to venture outside of the Black Hills for hiking experience that you won’t forget? Backpacking Cloud Peak, Bighorn Mountains, WY Cloud Peak is the tallest peak in the Bighorn Mountain range in north-central WY. Hope you enjoyed your hike! I have ridden in the Bighorns and Cloud Peak area. Telephone for the Hearing Impaired 307-674-2604. You can find the first pieces of the wreckage about 3/4 of the way up the mountain, almost directly up from the northern edge of the lake. Also I cringe at a pack weight of over 30 pounds. We will be hiking through the beautiful wilds of the Grand Tetons, … If you aren’t concerned about the tree line, then hiking another mile further to Mistymoon Lake would make the climb up Bomber slightly more enjoyable. And bring more food then you usually eat you burn a lot of calories backpacking. Hiking and camping opportunities abound in the Bighorns. The first and third days were fairly easy to moderate hiking. This hike will bring you deep into the Teton Mountain Range. They are just mountains for horseback riding, camping, fishing, some ATV use outside the wilderness area and of course backpacking. I’m taking a group of scouts up to Bomber in August and I think starting from Hunter. Plan to hike Boomber mountain the end of August. Search Spanning over 1.1 million acres and encompassing 1,200 miles of trails, 30 campgrounds, 10 picnic areas and miles and miles of streams, the Bighorn National Forest offers near limitless hiking … Depending on the season, 60%-90% of the hiking will be in water up to shin deep. Questions what is the feasibility of going to Bomber Mountain on horseback. This is an unbelievable hike up into the base of the Grand Tetons via a boat ride across Jenny Lake. Get the most out of your visit to the Bighorns with FalconGuides Hiking Wyoming's Bighorn Mountains. To read the incredible story behind Bomber Mountain click here. Begin with a 2,000-foot climb over five miles on the Rock Creek Trail to the Crater Lake Trail. We walked around to the east side of the the mountain. This hike requires you to pack out what you pack in. I wrote about this trip in my feature story “Best of Yosemite, Part 2: Backpacking Remote Northern Yosemite.” You will find much more detail on planning this trip in my e-guide “The Prettiest, Uncrowded Backpacking Trip … Whether it is your first backpacking trip, or you have been doing it for awhile, this trip will be unforgettable. The weather is usually worse in the afternoon so try not to summit in the afternoon. Looking to venture outside of the Black Hills for hiking experience that you won’t forget? When I hiked to Bomber with my 7 year old there was a light rain, snow and soft hail. I have the North Face Inferno 0F Regular 850 Down Filled bag which weighs right around 4 pounds. I backpacked to Bomber over the July 4th holiday in 2016 the weather was pretty good and the flowers were beautiful. Day hiking opportunities abound on the Bighorn National Forest. Close Runners-Up: Almost any other trip in the Grand Canyon. As a wildlife biologist and environmental educator he has worked extensively … Join Active Pass to get Backpacker magazine, access to exclusive content, 1,000s of training plans, and more. Access member exclusive content + more benefits → This huge wilderness areas provides 189,000 acres of backpacking, sightseeing and hiking opportunities. The West Tensleep trailhead has the easiest trailhead access. The western climb is supposed to be slightly less steep than the eastern climb, however, it takes quite a bit longer. There is a creek early on in the hike that is 12-14 feet across and stepping stones may or may not be available to keep your feet dry. You should be able to see pieces of the plane reflecting in the sunlight when standing by the lake. This was our first trip to this region and we are looking forward to returning. Set aside five days, and you’ll have time for side trips to Cloud Peak or the sheer cirque surrounding the Lost Twin Lakes. Other very important regulations and rules for hiking and backpacking in the Bighorns can be found here. Where was that humming sound coming from? Fires above 9,200 feet are prohibited so carrying a chemical stove for cooking is necessary. We did a three day, two night, trip up to Bomber Mountain. While in the air, we rise over huge, beryl blue Kluane Lake and cross over the tundra plains of the Burwash Uplands (which we will be hiking … A 42-mile loop from the east side of the wilderness showcases the Bighorns… Thank you, plate tectonics. It is not a “sexy” range. Beaver Pond Nature Trail, 2.6 Miles Round Trip, Moderate; Bighorn Head Gate, 0.1 miles Round Trip, Easy; Three Mile Access, 2 Miles Round Trip, Easy; Lovell - South District. This is a 13100 foot peak which can be scrambled-up on the SW ridge, … You can drive right up to the trailhead and park. Hiking should be enjoyable and not drudgery. After a long day of hiking, tossing and turning in your tent because you are too cold to fall asleep could lead to a very miserable experience. Take the Solitude trail to Florence pass and Lake. There is also a steady increase in elevation up until Florence Lake. These maps are durable and detailed and worth the price, $10 last time I bought one. And the place where I’d spend the first part of my vacation would be the Bighorns of Wyoming. It is NOT a National Park. For a weeks worth of hiking and enjoyment the lower weight makes it so much more worth while. Grab your pack, water bottle, and hiking shoes and enjoy all of the wonders the Forest has to offer via one of our spectacular hikes. You can get to the base of the mountain. Share what you know about this area! Lastly, the temperature can get very cold up in the mountains at night. The route we took to get to the top began at the Tensleep Trailhead. trails throughout the Big Horn Mountains and Bighorn National Forest, providing the hiker/backpacker with scenic views of mountain vistas, lakes, and wildlife. Trip at a glance: The July Wyoming backpacking trip is rated as fairly strenuous to strenuous; the September trek is moderate. I learned the hard way to keep one eye on the weather in this rugged, remote wilderness where storms brew quickly. There is another route to Bomber Mountain that might be desirable from the Black hills. Trail Info: Buffalo Ranger District, Bighorn National Forest, (307) 684-1100. Just after Meadowlark Lake take a right onto Forest Road 432, about 45 minutes on US16. We have … Take a right onto 27 and continue to West Tensleep Lake Trailhead on your right. Be sure to have a good 8-10 mile hike in your boots under your belt before attempting this hike wearing them. And quickly and slight right onto Forest Road 431. Guests also enjoy hiking up to the Medicine Wheel along an amazing ridge top trail. Ken Keffer is a naturalist and environmental educator who grew up camping and hiking in Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains. From the lake to the summit, the hike is incredibly difficult. And also the person who came in from hunters trailhead where did you camp along the way. Access member exclusive content + more benefits →, Access member exclusive content + more benefits →, Member Trail Report: Emerald and Moon Lakes, Hike the Living Desert in Ironwood National Monument, Arizona. Hiking in the Bighorn Mountains you get to experience sagebrush prairies and grasslands to alpine meadows. Unfortunately, I ended up with a small blister at the end of the second day so I won’t make a recommendation on the shoes I was wearing. Difficulties encountered on the hike include climbing some minor dry falls and being prepared for backpacking … I can’t imagine the hike being enjoyable at all carrying 50lbs. Camping in the Bighorns We try to camp in the Bighorns, in northeastern Wyoming, at least once a year! The South District of Bighorn Canyon has 12 trails. You could wake up buried in snow so come prepared for any weather. It covers dozens of trails, from short scenic day trips to multiday backpacking excursions. When my hair began to rise and static electricity rattled my ice axe, I quickly figured out what was up. I believe there were ties for horses at the bottom as well. The second day we continued on trail #063 until we came to Mistymoon Lake then turned east (right) onto Solitude Loop Trail, #038. The face of the mountain is made up of broken boulders and rocks and you must climb through these to get to the top. Keep in mind the elevation also. The second day, the hike to the top of Bomber Mountain, is a very difficult hike. Just a thought. See my Custom Trip Planning page to learn how I can help you plan your Big Ditch backpacking trip. Best of Wyoming backpacking trips Deeper into the Bighorn National Forest is a major trailhead, your gateway to a backcountry expedition into the Cloud Peak Wilderness: West Tensleep Trailhead. Our trip through Bighorn National Forest was a rare occasion where plans getting spoiled were a blessing in disguise. Twenty plus miles of hiking also requires some great hiking boots. About 3 of the 4.4 miles (one way) that you do on day two is moderate to difficult. If you want to hike in from Hunter Corral that is also a great hike BUT the roads are only good to Hunter Corral then you need a high clearance vehicle to get closer to the trailhead unless you want to park at Hunter Corral and hike another 3+ miles to a trailhead(#24 or #45). On the eastern hike, you must get over or through the waterfall, so be prepared. See “5 Epic Grand Canyon Backpacking Trips You Must Do,” and all of my stories about the Grand Canyon. My only negative thought towards it is that its packed size is still about the size of a basketball, which is pretty big in the backpacking world. We hiked 6.5 miles the first and third days on the Mistymoon Trail #063. Resume the loop with a steep climb over Florence Pass before returning through the broad meadow of Soldier Park. We were passing through on a long road trip and picked out a hike near Ten … August 1-4, 2017 My big trip for summer 2017 was in the Bighorn Crags located in central Idaho in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wildness. Backpacking In the Bighorns – Hiking Bomber Mountain. While you could trek all the way to the top of Cloud Peak, there are many other backpacking trips … Share Your Local Tips! Backpacking in Death Valley National can be challenging, but the opportunities for experiencing solitude, sweeping vistas, dark night skies and awesome geology abound within the … The weather was nice at Mistymoon lake during the day but very cold at night and first thing in the morning. Do you have any suggestions on where to get a good map of the trails/area? … Make sure you know how to protect yourself and your campsite from any wildlife you may find in the area. The Bighorns are National Forest with different rules and regulations. With all the choices in equipment these days Why burden your trip with excess weight? The Bighorns National Forest is the sister range to the Rockies, and is made up of 189,000 acres of wilderness, and 1,500 miles of trails. Black bears are said to be in the area. Bighorn National Forest Hiking. If it weren’t for marquee destinations like the Wind Rivers and the Tetons, the Bighorns would be Wyoming’s premiere hiking attraction. There are 19 maintained campgrounds in the Bighorns… Take I90, heading west, from Spearfish, SD. Most likely you will be packing anywhere from 40-60 pounds of supplies with you so an uncomfortable pack could make that pretty uncomfortable weight. Required fields are marked *. I apologize this reply is so delayed. Where: 390 miles (61/2 hours) north of Denver. Available … At the eastern edge there is a plaque on the east side of a rock that is a dedication to the soldiers who crashed in the plane that gave Bomber its name. A very informative and well written article for one of my favorite places. The North District of Bighorn Canyon has 3 trails. The best trek is a four-day, 35-mile traverse from Rock Creek trailhead (41 miles west of Laramie) to Lake Marie trailhead and 12,013-foot Medicine Bow Peak. There is a product link on the bottom of this page that will show you to these items, as well as other items that I packed with me on this trip. 378 Miles 608 Kilometers of Trail 9 Recommended Routes 2 Gems ; 3 Easy Trails ; 40 Intermediate Trails ; 17 Difficult Trails ; Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Hike all of the “ 10 Best Backpacking Trips … There are lakes, streams and glacial valleys. I was wondering g where you camped the 2nd night. This hike takes place in an area of the Bighorns known as the Cloud Peak Wilderness. My pack (70L), sleeping bag (0 degree) and one man tent weigh just over 6 pounds. The Bighorn Mountains have ample recreational opportunities including hiking, backpacking, OHV trails, and dispersed RV camping. Also keep in mind the weather can do anything! Please don’t hesitate to comment on this post or email me if you want a more detailed description of the items I took along to the Bighorns. The Cloud Peak Wilderness Area is found within the Bighorn Mountains. Big Horn National Park is a relatively close landmark that contains hundreds of miles of trails that can keep you entertained for a very long time. I didn’t see the link you mentioned and was wondering about the gear you took with you. Medicine Wheel Ranger District 95 Highway 16/20 … Your article was great, my brother just dropped this idea on me for over the 4th of July 2017, if you could email me all the details and items you packed that would be a great starting idea for me, also I am in mild shape we did some 3-4 mile hikes last summer in Yellowstone, we had a 14 and 11 year old so anymore than that would of been a killer, we also hiked bear butte one morning with the kids. There are a couple man made wooden bridges and walk ways on this portion of the trail as well. Visitor Center Pond, 0.26 Miles Round Trip… Specifically, a hike up to the top of Bomber Mountain is an experience you won’t quickly forget. Great Article. A fishing license must be purchased prior to reaching the Bighorns and they are $14 per day. In the evenings we could hear coyotes howling and in the mornings we woke to elk calling. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. There is no charge to leave your vehicle parked at the trailhead and no charge for entrance into the Bighorn National Forest. I have a pretty good idea what i need but would be great to have a little extra input from someone who has already done it. © 2021 Pocket Outdoor Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Cloud Peak Wilderness, at the glaciated core of the Bighorn Mountains, is filled with distractions: lakes brimming with gullible trout, long glacially carved valleys ideal for easy walking, and enough nontechnical routes up 12,000-foot peaks to satisfy any summit junkie. The leave no trace mantra is especially important in this wilderness and things like Wag Bags and trash sacks are vital to keep the Bighorns beautiful. Areas Within Bighorn … Northern Bighorn … This wilderness area is absolutely gigantic. The highlight of a recent shoot in Wyoming was a trip to the Bighorn Mountains. I felt the pack weight was an incredibly comfortable experience. If you want a great map, stop in either Sheridan or Buffalo at the National Forest Ranger Station and buy a map of the Bighorns. Your email address will not be published. There is a registration for anyone on the trails at the beginning of the hike that is mandatory. The Trip. If it weren’t for marquee destinations like the Wind Rivers and the Tetons, the Bighorns would be Wyoming’s premiere hiking attraction. The Bighorn Crags of central Idaho are a fantastic backpacking destination located in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. The total distance of hiking on day two was 8.8 miles. There are plenty of options to choose from whether you are interested in short day hikes or a full on, multi-day backpacking trip. Continue on 431 for about 5 miles where you will come to Forest Road 27, or 10 Sleep Road. You often see elk, deer, and moose. To maximize your enjoyment of the trip, we strongly encourage participants to begin a training regimen at least 3 months prior to departure that incorporates hiking … That is starting from Hunters Corral, not far up the highway from Buffalo, WY. Anybody got any good suggestions? There are many animals that may or may not be seen when hiking this trail. At Buffalo, WY, take exit 58 for US16 towards I90 BUS/Buffalo/Ucross (left). Thanks and have a blessed evening Will from Etta, Mississippi. The Trekkers have begun a tradition of camping in the Bighorns each Labor Day … I’m a USAF vet and I left my Air Force hat next to the memorial to honor my fallen brothers, it’ll be cool if anyone can tell me if that hat is still there. We set up camp at Lake Marion. Backpacking In Wyoming ~ The Cloud Peak Wilderness - Big Horn Mountains 3 days 2 nights. Our Yukon backpacking adventure begins with a short, but spectacular float plane ride to Bighorn Lake in Kluane National Park. Hunter trailhead is 18 miles west of Buffalo on US 16, then 3 miles on Forest Road 19. You pass several lakes in this stretch, including Mistymoon, Fortress, Gunboat, and eventually Florence Lake which is at the base of Bomber Mountain. Its traveled from many states, bases, and countries to reach that spot. We have 6 pairs of snowshoes available for guests for wintertime hiking. It is the same type of trail as day one, only you loose the tree cover and shade. And take some advice from me: Get off the high peaks before noon. The latest gear, trips, stories, and more, beamed to your inbox every week. I’ve been planning this for about a year now. One of my favorite place on the planet, but please note. The whole trip is about 3.5 hours from Spearfish. Almost the weight of your pack alone? 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