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. 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 … If it weren’t for marquee destinations like the Wind Rivers and the Tetons, the Bighorns would be Wyoming’s premiere hiking attraction. Northern Bighorn … This was my first multiple day backpacking trip… Trip at a glance: The July Wyoming backpacking trip is rated as fairly strenuous to strenuous; the September trek is moderate. Make sure you know how to protect yourself and your campsite from any wildlife you may find in the area. We have 6 pairs of snowshoes available for guests for wintertime hiking. Backpacking In Wyoming ~ The Cloud Peak Wilderness - Big Horn Mountains 3 days 2 nights. A 42-mile loop from the east side of the wilderness showcases the Bighorns… 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 … See my Custom Trip Planning page to learn how I can help you plan your Big Ditch backpacking trip. Hope you enjoyed your hike! It is NOT a National Park. The North District of Bighorn Canyon has 3 trails. And bring more food then you usually eat you burn a lot of calories backpacking. Just after Meadowlark Lake take a right onto Forest Road 432, about 45 minutes on US16. I used the Osprey Ariel 65 and my pack weighed right around 50 pounds. Begin with a 2,000-foot climb over five miles on the Rock Creek Trail to the Crater Lake Trail. trails throughout the Big Horn Mountains and Bighorn National Forest, providing the hiker/backpacker with scenic views of mountain vistas, lakes, and wildlife. Close Runners-Up: Almost any other trip in the Grand Canyon. 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. As a wildlife biologist and environmental educator he has worked extensively … 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. This hike will bring you deep into the Teton Mountain Range. I have the North Face Inferno 0F Regular 850 Down Filled bag which weighs right around 4 pounds. The lakes contain rainbow, cutthroat, brook, and German brown trout. The total distance of hiking on day two was 8.8 miles. This wilderness area is absolutely gigantic. Located in north-central Wyoming, the Bighorn Mountain Range can be enjoyed by all ages. And also the person who came in from hunters trailhead where did you camp along the way. Not the highest peak in the area, but still, Bomber Mountain sits at over 12,840 feet in elevation. The Trekkers have begun a tradition of camping in the Bighorns each Labor Day … Day hiking opportunities abound on the Bighorn National Forest. I learned the hard way to keep one eye on the weather in this rugged, remote wilderness where storms brew quickly. I apologize this reply is so delayed. We hiked 6.5 miles the first and third days on the Mistymoon Trail #063. 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. Be sure to have a good 8-10 mile hike in your boots under your belt before attempting this hike wearing them. Guests also enjoy hiking up to the Medicine Wheel along an amazing ridge top trail. Hiking should be enjoyable and not drudgery. 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. The whole trip is about 3.5 hours from Spearfish. Camping in the Bighorns We try to camp in the Bighorns, in northeastern Wyoming, at least once a year! There is no charge to leave your vehicle parked at the trailhead and no charge for entrance into the Bighorn National Forest. Fires above 9,200 feet are prohibited so carrying a chemical stove for cooking is necessary. Share Your Local Tips! Resume the loop with a steep climb over Florence Pass before returning through the broad meadow of Soldier Park. Almost the weight of your pack alone? Catch the trail up the valley of West Tensleep Creek, past a string of gorgeous alpine lakes, and camp below Cloud Peak. The trail is dirt packed and strewn with pine needles and random tree droppings, such as pine cones and sticks. 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. Do you have any suggestions on where to get a good map of the trails/area? There is also a steady increase in elevation up until Florence Lake. +1 for the less then 30lb pack. Most of the hike is straight up. This is an unbelievable hike up into the base of the Grand Tetons via a boat ride across Jenny Lake. It covers dozens of trails, from short scenic day trips to multiday backpacking excursions. I think quicker and easier with less traffic and fewer restrictions. There are plenty of options to choose from whether you are interested in short day hikes or a full on, multi-day backpacking trip. 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. 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. The Bighorns are National Forest with different rules and regulations. Black bears are said to be in the area. Plan to hike Boomber mountain the end of August. The weather is usually worse in the afternoon so try not to summit in the afternoon. 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. The latest gear, trips, stories, and more, beamed to your inbox every week. Where was that humming sound coming from? Lake Marion is about at the end of the tree line and we were wanting to camp within the trees. Hikers may see many species of wildlife … Get the most out of your visit to the Bighorns with FalconGuides Hiking Wyoming's Bighorn Mountains. From the lake to the summit, the hike is incredibly difficult. You can summit Bomber Mountain from either the east or the west side. Where: 390 miles (61/2 hours) north of Denver. 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 … Whether seen while seated in a comfortable car or while standing in sturdy hiking boots, these mountains offer views not to be missed. The face of the mountain is made up of broken boulders and rocks and you must climb through these to get to the top. We were passing through on a long road trip and picked out a hike near Ten … The Cloud Peak Wilderness Area is found within the Bighorn Mountains. Twenty plus miles of hiking also requires some great hiking boots. The Bighorn … I visited Florence lake and the memorial sometime around 2016 or 2017, can’t remember. 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). Anywhere you start your hike you are going to be around 9000 ft in elevation… so if you come from a lower elevation you may want to camp out a night to let yourself get acclimated before you start your hike. 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. 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. It is not a “sexy” range. The West Tensleep trailhead has the easiest trailhead access. We walked around to the east side of the the mountain. And take some advice from me: Get off the high peaks before noon. For a weeks worth of hiking and enjoyment the lower weight makes it so much more worth while. I have ridden in the Bighorns and Cloud Peak area. Anybody got any good suggestions? The South District of Bighorn Canyon has 12 trails. There is another route to Bomber Mountain that might be desirable from the Black hills. My pack (70L), sleeping bag (0 degree) and one man tent weigh just over 6 pounds. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. 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. I’ve been planning this for about a year now. Great Article. If it weren’t for marquee destinations like the Wind Rivers and the Tetons, the Bighorns would be Wyoming’s premiere hiking attraction. 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. Big Horn … This was our first trip to this region and we are looking forward to returning. We stayed at Lake Marion both nights. Backpacking In the Bighorns – Hiking Bomber Mountain. Take I90, heading west, from Spearfish, SD. On the eastern hike, you must get over or through the waterfall, so be prepared. Areas Within Bighorn … 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. This hike requires you to pack out what you pack in. Your email address will not be published. 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. 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. We have … A very informative and well written article for one of my favorite places. I didn’t see the link you mentioned and was wondering about the gear you took with you. Visitor Center Pond, 0.26 Miles Round Trip… We hiked Bomber at the end of July and had night time temperatures that got down to 35 degrees F one evening. Difficulties encountered on the hike include climbing some minor dry falls and being prepared for backpacking … There are a couple man made wooden bridges and walk ways on this portion of the trail as well. We did a three day, two night, trip up to Bomber Mountain. The area is home to numerous alpine lakes and craggy peaks, … Take the Solitude trail to Florence pass and Lake. A 42-mile loop from the east side of the wilderness showcases the Bighorns’ sheer mountain walls and crystal-clear lakes. Medicine Wheel Ranger District 95 Highway 16/20 … Create a personalized feed and bookmark your favorites. 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 … Thanks and have a blessed evening Will from Etta, Mississippi. Take a right onto 27 and continue to West Tensleep Lake Trailhead on your right. The western climb is supposed to be slightly less steep than the eastern climb, however, it takes quite a bit longer. 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. You can drive right up to the trailhead and park. © 2021 Pocket Outdoor Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. 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. The second day we continued on trail #063 until we came to Mistymoon Lake then turned east (right) onto Solitude Loop Trail, #038. Backpacking Cloud Peak, Bighorn Mountains, WY Cloud Peak is the tallest peak in the Bighorn Mountain range in north-central WY. The route we took to get to the top began at the Tensleep Trailhead. One of my favorite place on the planet, but please note. Keep in mind the elevation also. 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. Also keep in mind the weather can do anything! While you could trek all the way to the top of Cloud Peak, there are many other backpacking trips … 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. The Bighorn Crags of central Idaho are a fantastic backpacking destination located in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. And the place where I’d spend the first part of my vacation would be the Bighorns of Wyoming. I’m taking a group of scouts up to Bomber in August and I think starting from Hunter. Lastly, the temperature can get very cold up in the mountains at night. You pass several lakes in this stretch, including Mistymoon, Fortress, Gunboat, and eventually Florence Lake which is at the base of Bomber Mountain. The weather was nice at Mistymoon lake during the day but very cold at night and first thing in the morning. Specifically, a hike up to the top of Bomber Mountain is an experience you won’t quickly forget. The second day, the hike to the top of Bomber Mountain, is a very difficult hike. It is the same type of trail as day one, only you loose the tree cover and shade. I was wondering g where you camped the 2nd night. The Trip. Trail Info: Buffalo Ranger District, Bighorn National Forest, (307) 684-1100. 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. Drive through the Big … Looking to venture outside of the Black Hills for hiking experience that you won’t forget? Hiking in the Bighorn Mountains you get to experience sagebrush prairies and grasslands to alpine meadows. At Buffalo, WY, take exit 58 for US16 towards I90 BUS/Buffalo/Ucross (left). Hike all of the “ 10 Best Backpacking Trips … I felt the pack weight was an incredibly comfortable experience. 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 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. A fishing license must be purchased prior to reaching the Bighorns and they are $14 per day. It was 22.8 miles total hiking from the Tensleep Trailhead to the top of Bomber Mountain and back to the trailhead. 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. 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. Toying with the idea of a backpacking trip? The first and third days were fairly easy to moderate hiking. Thank you, plate tectonics. This hike takes place in an area of the Bighorns known as the Cloud Peak Wilderness. When my hair began to rise and static electricity rattled my ice axe, I quickly figured out what was up. To read the incredible story behind Bomber Mountain click here. Bighorn National Forest 2013 Eastside 2nd Street Sheridan, WY 82801 307-674-2600. The highlight of a recent shoot in Wyoming was a trip to the Bighorn Mountains. There are herds of mountain sheep wandering around the Bighorns. This huge wilderness areas provides 189,000 acres of backpacking, sightseeing and hiking opportunities. The Bighorn Mountains have ample recreational opportunities including hiking, backpacking, OHV trails, and dispersed RV camping. A good portion of the trail was walking through pine and evergreen trees that provided shade. Access member exclusive content + more benefits → Join Active Pass to get Backpacker magazine, access to exclusive content, 1,000s of training plans, and more. With all the choices in equipment these days Why burden your trip with excess weight? 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. Our Yukon backpacking adventure begins with a short, but spectacular float plane ride to Bighorn Lake in Kluane National Park. About 3 of the 4.4 miles (one way) that you do on day two is moderate to difficult. Ken Keffer is a naturalist and environmental educator who grew up camping and hiking in Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains. 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. 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. Share what you know about this area! 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. Just a thought. 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. Other very important regulations and rules for hiking and backpacking in the Bighorns can be found here. We will be hiking through the beautiful wilds of the Grand Tetons, … Its traveled from many states, bases, and countries to reach that spot. Here is a great link to a Cloud Peak Wilderness trail map: Cloud Peak Wilderness (National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map). … This is a 13100 foot peak which can be scrambled-up on the SW ridge, … In the evenings we could hear coyotes howling and in the mornings we woke to elk calling. Telephone for the Hearing Impaired 307-674-2604. Also I cringe at a pack weight of over 30 pounds. Our trip through Bighorn National Forest was a rare occasion where plans getting spoiled were a blessing in disguise. There are many animals that may or may not be seen when hiking this trail. 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 … Your email address will not be published. There are 19 maintained campgrounds in the Bighorns… There is a registration for anyone on the trails at the beginning of the hike that is mandatory. These maps are durable and detailed and worth the price, $10 last time I bought one. Continue on 431 for about 5 miles where you will come to Forest Road 27, or 10 Sleep Road. Questions what is the feasibility of going to Bomber Mountain on horseback. I believe there were ties for horses at the bottom as well. Start this mostly alpine loop from Hunter trailhead, then climb an off-trail route over Angeline Pass to Mirror Lake. And quickly and slight right onto Forest Road 431. See “5 Epic Grand Canyon Backpacking Trips You Must Do,” and all of my stories about the Grand Canyon. There are lakes, streams and glacial valleys. 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. I backpacked to Bomber over the July 4th holiday in 2016 the weather was pretty good and the flowers were beautiful. I can’t imagine the hike being enjoyable at all carrying 50lbs. 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