ATTRACTIONS AND CONSIDERATIONS:
Copyright: USDA Forest Service
Aerial view from the Buffalo Pass area north into the Zirkel Wilderness
This area was affected by a large tree blowdown. Contact the Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District for current conditions.
Most of this trail follows the Continental Divide and thus offers views both east and west, into North Park and major drainages flowing west. It also extends for 20 miles inside the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness area much of which is above timberline. This trail offers day hikes, overnight trips or extended overnight trips. The trail crosses many boggy areas, some which are over 1 mile in length. Users should be prepared for weather extremes at all times of the year. Snow covers portions of the trail until late July during some years. The trail between the Divide and Gold Creek is difficult to follow. On the USGS Quads, the trail is labeled as "Wyoming Trail, Jeep Trail, Stock Driveway and Fireline Trail".
NARRATIVE: At the south end, the Wyoming Trail begins down an old jeep road that steers steeply down for about half a mile, through a grassy valley meadow and then up to Fishhook Lake after another mile. Continuing on the trail, a bit later you come to a fork where you may take a short walk right, to Lost Lake. The next lake the trail will encounter is Lake Elmo (mile 3.3). The Wyoming Trail will shortly intersect trail 1102, Fish Creek Trail, to the left, and trail 1134, Percy Lake Trail, to the right and will pass close by Round Lake. It follows the Divide north past Grizzly Lake until it joins the Fish Creek Reservoir Road 1 mile south of Buffalo Pass. Follow the road north to Buffalo Pass Road (mile 9.6) and rejoin the trail 100 yards west of the summit. Follow the old jeep trail north (limited ONLY to foot and horseback from this point) crisscrossing the Divide, going just left of Mt. Ethel's summit and right over Lost Ranger Peak. The trail drops off the Divide into Gold Creek to Slavonia. It will parallel the Seedhouse Road on the north side for about three miles (now at mile 29.9) before turning north (onto Forest Road 433) across English and Lost Dog Creeks. Go north four miles to a left fork. This old jeep trail will continue north up the Trail Creek Drainage. This is also a stock driveway. You will climb out of Trail Creek to rejoin the Continental Divide. From here the Wyoming Trail follows the Fireline Stock Driveway and the Divide to the crossing of Forest Road #550 in the Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming. At this point the trail is at mile 49.3.
NOTE: This is a very brief guideline to this trail and is not intended to take the place of mountaineering skills, compass, and topographic maps of the area. Be familiar with backpacking and mountain weather before engaging on any backpack trip.
SPECIAL NOTE ON TRAVEL REGULATIONS:
*From BASE CAMP Trailhead to trails 1102/1134 intersection is open to mechanized-use.
*From 1102/1134 intersection to Buffalo Pass is open to mechanized and motorized-use (ATVs and motorcycle).
**Upon entering the Mount Zirkel Wilderness, equestrian & foot travel only.
*From the Slavonia Trailhead following Road 400, Road 433 and onto 1101, mechanized and motorized-use is open (ATVs and motorcycle).
LEAVE NO TRACE
As humans, we must minimize our impacts to help preserve this resource for present and future generations.
Directions from Steamboat Springs: ACCESS #1: Travel southeast on US HWY 40 for 19 miles, up Rabbit Ears Pass, to the Dumont Lake sign. Turn left (north) at this sign (FDR 315) and continue about 1.5 miles to the old Rabbit Ears stone monument. Turn left here (FDR 311-Base Camp Road) and drive 4.5 miles on this bumpy dirt road to the Base Camp TH.*There is no defined route to the east or west--only travel to the north along CDNST is possible from this access point.
Directions from Steamboat Springs: ACCESS #2: Travel west of to County Road 129, Elk River Road. Turn right on this road and travel approximately 30 miles to the junction of County Road 129 and Forest Road 550. Take the right fork (#550) through Crane and Whiskey Parks into Wyoming for about 1 mile to the Continental Divide. The trail goes to the east (right) and is marked by black and yellow signs identifying the center of the stock driveway.
Mid-Summer through Fall
(NOTE: Accessibility depends on snow depth and weather. Portions of this trail may be covered with snow until Late July.)