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Hiking & Walking: Wyoming > Bridger-Teton National Forest > Big Piney Ranger District

Quick Facts

Wyoming Range National Recreation Trail

Beginning Elevation: 8,200 Feet (2499 Meters)
Difficulty: Easy to Most Difficult
Elevation Gain: 8,156 Feet (2486 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 6,400 Feet (1951 Meters)
High Point: 11,378 Feet (3468 Meters)
Length: 75.0 Miles (120.7 Kilometers)
Trail Number: 048
Usage: Moderate
USGS Maps: Mount Thompson, Wyoming Peak, Poison Meadows, Mt Schidler, Box Canyon Creek , Park Creek, Triple Peak, Lookout Mountain, Blind Bull Creek, Pickle Pass, Hoback Pea, Bailey Lake, Camp Davis

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

TRAIL BEGINS: In Snider Basin at the South Piney Creek Trailhead.

TRAIL ENDS: At the Bryan Flat guard Station on the south side of the Hoback River and Camp Davis.

ATTRACTIONS: The remote backcountry of the Wyoming Range National Recreation Trail (WRNRT) offers spectacular vistas, personal challenge and diverse terrain in a relatively unknown region. Little sign of civilization is found here; the country is more wild than most designated wilderness, with opportunities for day hikes or extended trips. Much of the Wyoming Range Trail was constructed for purposes other than hiking; parts are used as sheep driveways, parts were built for forest fire protection, and some sections have simply developed through use. As a result, you won't find the trail standards you would expect to see in a national park. The trail is primitive and in some places hard to find. Expect steep stretches, and narrow or indistinct tread, especially where it crosses meadows that are quickly overgrown. A topographic map and a compass are the best tools to assure your location; from the ridge of the Wyoming Range landmarks are not hard to spot. Extra food and clothing are often needed because the weather is unpredictable and changes rapidly. Summer months can be stormy, most often with lightning activity. Lightning danger in open parks and on high ridge tops can be anticipated and avoided.

At the southern end, the WRNRT begins easily, following South Piney Creek, then South Piney's Middle Fork. New signs help with direction. Elk tend to congregate about 1/2 mile south of Cheese Pass. North to Middle Piney Creek, the trail becomes more difficult and picturesque. Watch for a misleading trail about a mile north of Cheese Pass that goes west. An old sign calls it the East Fork drainage. Up to this pint, water and grass are abundant. At the junction with Middle Piney trail, there is a cairn but no sign. North to Straight Creek, watch for small cairns and old range poles, some of which may be down. Continue through woods and alpine type meadows to the head of Lake Creek. The trail is easy to lose for the next couple of miles, especially in the talus slope on the south side of the Lunch Creek drainage. North of here again keep track of progress on the map and you will pass through prime wildlife habitat, and abundant wildflowers. Roaring Fork Lakes are worth the short side trip. From the junction of North Piney trail watch carefully for cairns, as they are the only markers in a huge park. Binoculars help. Climb over a bare flat topped mountain through a park like drainage, and eventually up to a knife edge ridge top with views of the Tetons, Greys River and Wind River ranges. Lightning is a potential danger here in storms. Ridge top and side hill conditions last until Sheep Falls Creek and the North Cottonwood drainage. Take water purified, and feed for pack stock before you need it, as these resources are plentiful where they occur, but not frequent. At North Cottonwood, you must go east through McDougal Gap, to the two track that goes north to the Old Kleinstick Mine. The trail picks up on the road closure. Continuing north, the going is easy, but again look for cairns and old range poles. Just east of Gunsight Pass, expect to lose the trail and make good use of the map and compass. North of the cabin near the Blind Bull Mine, watch for blazes, as there is heavy sheep use with braided trails. First Creek is appropriately, the first creek north of the divide between the Hoback and Green River watersheds. From the signed junction at the Hoback, the trail is easy and clear to Roosevelt Meadows, named for President Theodore Roosevelt who visited the region on one of his hunting safaris. Continuing north, it climbs steeply from the Little Greys River drainage to Pickle Pass, where there are numerous side trails. At the head of Willow Creek the trail descends to the drainage and crosses the creek a half-dozen times. Finally it rises out of the Willow Creek canon, with Greyback Ridge on the western skyline and a sweeping view all around. The administrative site in Bryan Flat is the Wyoming Range Trial's northern terminus on the edge of the Hoback River Canyon.

Directions: The WRNRT has may access trails from each side of the Wyoming Range. The following is a list of these trails. South Piney Creek, Fish Creek, Middle Piney Creek, Straight Creek, Lake Creek, Lunch Creek, North Piney Creek, South Fork South Cottonwood, South Cottonwood Creek, North Cottonwood Creek, South Horse Creek, North Horse Creek, Upper Hoback River, Cliff Creek, Bryan Flat Guard Station, Little Greys River, Deadman Creek, Blind Bull Creek, North Fork Sheep Creek, Sheep Creek, Buck Creek, Ridge Creek, Marten Creek, Box Canyon Creek, Lookout Creek, Shale Creek.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: July through September (NOTE: Snowbanks can persist on high peaks into Late July.) .

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking
ICON Hiking & Walking Wyoming Range National Recreation Trail
ICON Horseback Riding

Related Activities
Blind Bull Road - This road leads from Greys River Road, up Blind Bull Creek, past Blind Bull Lake, into the scenic Wyoming Range.

Boco Creek Trail - This trail leads into the scenic Wyoming Range, with access to the Wyoming Range National Recreation Trail.

Buck Creek #091 Trail - This very steep trail accesses the scenic Wyoming Range, with access to the Wyoming Range National Recreation Trail.

East Fork Trail - This trail accesses the Wyoming Range National Recreation Trail and the scenic Wyoming Range up the East Fork of Greys River.

Fish Creek Trail - Although this trail is steep after the first mile, it is a quick way to the WRNRT. There is excellent big game habitat and alpine meadows.

Lake Creek Trail - North Piney Lake offers breathtaking views and fishing. Some of the trail must be walked but most of the trail is a gradual climb.

Little Greys River Trail - This trail accesses the scenic Wyoming Range from the end of Little Greys River Road. It connects to the Cliff Creek Trail #137.

Lunch Creek Trail - This trail climbs gradually and travels through pine forests and open parks, from the Lake Creek Trail to the Wyoming Range National Recreation Trail.

Marten Creek Trail - This trail accesses scenic waterfalls the Wyoming Range National Recreation Trail the Wyoming Range and Roaring Fork Lakes.

Middle Piney Trail - Middle Piney Lake is a pristine and picturesque high mountain lake with abundant wildlife. The trail continues on to the Wyoming Range National Recreation Trail.

North Fork Sheep Creek Trail - This trail accesses the scenic Wyoming Range. There is abundant wildlife and the trail passes two small lakes

North Horse Creek Trail - Open park and forested slopes make this trail a pleasant ramble along North Horse Creek, with easy access to the Wyoming Range National Recreation Trail.

North Piney Creek Trail - This trail has broad parks, easy walking, good fishing and hunting. It links to the Wyoming Range National Recreation Trail.

Pickle Pass Trail - This trail provides access to the scenic Wyoming Range, and the Wyoming Range National Recreation Trail.

South Cottonwood Creek Trail - This trail leads up to the Wyoming Range National Recreation Trail, with nice views at that junction.

South Fork North Horse Creek Trail - This trail provides access to the Wyoming Range National Recreation Trail and good views of the range.

South Horse Creek Trail - This trail leads up South Horse Creek to the Wyoming Range National Recreation Trail. High, open parks and wildflowers abound.

South Piney Creek Trail - This easy trail travels through a narrow winding canyon with small hills and plenty of water.

Straight Creek Trail - The first 2 1/2 miles or so of this trail are the most appropriate for biking with forested, gently rolling hills. The last 2 miles are quite steep.

Wyoming Peak Trail - This trail leads to Wyoming Peak and the old Fire Lookout for panoramic views. It connects to the Wyoming Range National Recreation Trail.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Big Piney Ranger District, Highway 189, P.O. Box 218 , Big Piney, WY, 83113, Phone: 307-276-3375


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