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explore the Snowy Range, Sierra Madre Mountain Range, Upper North Platte River Valley & Rawlins
the sierra madre mountain range
The Sierra Madre Mountain Range is lightly visited, making it possible to explore dense forest areas, hike and bike scenic trails and fish for hours, even days without seeing another soul.
The charming communities of Encampment and Riverside, Wyoming lie just outside the east entrance of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range. There are a handful of places to stay, eat and refuel--plus the Grand Encampment Museum, where you will find a collection of over a dozen historical buildings.
Battle pass scenic byway
The Battle Pass Range Scenic Byway (Highway 70) features several area highlights unique to the Sierra Madre Mountain Range. Typically open Memorial Day through October, weather permitting, this route offers easy access to many picnic areas, campgrounds, observation and interpretive sites and a large network of roads and trails. It extends between Encampment and the Little Snake River Valley.
The Battle Mountain Scenic Byway begins in six miles west of Encampment. As Wyoming’s newest scenic byway, the 28-mile paved highway passes over the crest of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range and the Continental Divide.
Must see places along Battle Pass scenic byway
additional points of interest in the sierra madre Mountain range
This 45.9 mile trail climbs above 10,000 feet with some of the best vistas of Carbon County. It is part of the 3,100-mile Great Divide Mountain Bike Route that follows the Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico. It travels some of America's most spectacular and secluded scenery, offering view of untouched wilderness.
The CDT enters the forest at the Colorado border, straddles the Huston Park Wilderness and continues northwest past Divide Peak. Elevations range from 8,441 ft. at the northern edge to 11,004 ft. at Bridger Peak. There are five access points on the forest, as marked on the Sierra Madre Recreation Map above. The majority of the CDT is best explored via mountain bike, jeep or 4WD, however, a few segments are only accessible to hikers and equestrians.
View from Bridger Peak along the CDT Trail
The Green Mountain Falls Trail is one of the most popular day hiking and mountain biking destinations in the Sierra Madre Mountain Range. The falls are located at the end of the Green Mountain Falls Trail, just inside the Huston Park Wilderness Boundary.
A parking area is available at the intersection of Forest Roads 550/550.2H and the North Fork of the Encampment River. Mountain bike the 4WD road to the Wilderness Boundary, then hike to Falls. The trail is 1.7 miles one way.
The Huston Park Wilderness Area (30,588 acres) and the Encampment River Wilderness Area (10,024 acres) offer great hikes for those seeking relatively undisturbed areas of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range.
ENCAMPMENT RIVER WILDERNESS
The Encampment River Wilderness offers a picturesque trail that follows the Encampment River and is shadowed by steep canyon walls.
The upper trailhead of the Encampment River Trail is located near the Encampment River Campground. Easily accessible, it is a short 5-minute drive from Encampment. However, the lower trailhead for this 15-mile trail is located just above the Colorado/Wyoming border via FS 550 and FS 496. Consider leaving a vehicle at the upper trailhead and driving to the lower trailhead for an all-day hike down river.
The Blackhall Mountain Fire Lookout Tower is located in the southeastern section of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range. Billie Junction is the intersection between FS 409 (the Blackhall Mountain Road) and FS 404 (the Rim Road). From Billie Junction, the road forks with a branch to the right that leads to the East Fork of the Encampment River Trail and the Blackhall Mountain Fire Lookout Tower. The road to the Tower is a low maintenance gravel road, so 4WD is recommended.
Blackhall Lookout Tower is not manned as a fire tower now. The mountain, road and tower were named after the first Forest Supervisor in the area, James Blackhall.
The famed Indian Bathtubs are a natural rock formation that is believed to have been used by Native Americans for summertime bathing.
Located about 5 minutes southeast of Riverside, it is a short 3/4-mile hike from County Road 211.
Whether you are looking for a single-day adventure or an extended stay vacation, southern Wyoming is ideal for group/family outings, weddings, reunions and romantic getaways. Order VIPs Guide to Southern Wyoming today!
VIP's Guide to Southern Wyoming™ is published annually
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