Hiking

 

Hiking in the beautiful
Big Horn Mountains
of Wyoming
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The Big Horn Mountains and Cloud Peak Wilderness Area have many loop trails.  Some of the loop trails have combinations which can result in hikes lasting a week or more.  Over 70 percent of wilderness users access the area via the trailheads off Cloud Peak Scenic Byway (U.S. Hwy. 16).  Recommended travel season for the wilderness area is usually from July to September.  Even then, nights can be cold and storms are frequently.  The wettest months are April, May and June, and severe lightning storms are common during the drier months of July, August and September.  Snow can occur in any month of the year.

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Registration is mandatory when entering the Cloud Peak Wilderness Area.  Campfires within 300 feet of lakes, streams and designated trails are prohibited and camping within 100 feet of any water is prohibited.  No motorized vehicles are allowed in the wilderness area.   Regulations are subject to change.  Before hiking be sure to let someone know where you're headed and when you plan to return.

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Baby Wagon Creek ~ Close to Powder River Pass this trail offers open park area, with high alpine views and a beautiful, meandering riparian area, with excellent fishing.  From the east, travel 3+ miles past Powder River Pass, turn right off U.S. Highway 16, follow Forest Service Road 422 mile and turn north on a four wheel drive road (#419), continue 1 miles to Baby Wagon Creek.  Park and walk to the creek for #98 (north and south), a well-marked trail for 2 miles ending at Lake McLain.  Or go to Trail #69 (running east and west), and travel downstream 2 miles to FS road to Meadowlark Lake.

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Battle Park/Paint Rock Creek Loop ~ Paint Rock Creek is a rugged west face canyon area of the Big Horns with wild trout fishery.  This difficult 12 mile loop will briefly access the Cloud Peak Wilderness along Paint Rock Creek.  Registration is required whenever you enter the Wilderness.   Turn west off U.S. Hwy. 16 at Forest Service Road #27, then take FS Road #24 to Battle Park.  From the parking area, take trail #120 north through Long Park to Grace Lake.  Just north of Grace Lake is the entrance of Cloud Peak Wilderness.  After crossing Paint Rock Creek turn west on Trail #62, which follows Paint Rock Creek downstream, eventually turning south and exiting the Wilderness.  When crossing Paint Rock Creek again, turn southeast and cross Long Park Creek before returning to the Battle Park parking area.

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Bear Park ~ Turn west off U.S. Hwy. 16 at Forest Service Road #27, drive north to Island Park Campground.  From there take Trail #67 across Tensleep Creek, go northeast for 3 miles, then north for a mile to Bear Park.  For a side trip, take Trail #68 east one mile to East Tensleep Lake.  To access Bear Park from the north, continue north on Forest Service Road #27 to Deer Park Campground.  Head southeast across Tensleep Creek on Trail #67 for 12 miles to Bear Park.  With a little planning it is possible to start at one of these campgrounds and finish at the other.

 

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