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Old 04-27-2014, 11:48 PM
 
158 posts, read 386,594 times
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I was very impressed and fell in love with Wyoming last year when I briskly drove and camped through with my husband. This year, we plan on seeing the northcentral section we were unable to visit.. up in the bighorns!

We have acquired more carry-friendly camping gear (lightweight stuff) and are more prepared to take our adventures farther away from the paved and dirt roads. Everything is up in the air now, ESPECIALLY seeing that the wilderness exceeds 180k acres of land (the last "preserve" I visited in iowa was less than 1000 acres, and farmland/private property was visable all throughout. Sad, sad trip.) I have no clue where to begin!

Of the main "Scenic Byways," there's US 14 and US 16 to start off with, but beyond that... it's so big and open and we have little precious time not dedicated to the drive to spend exploring!

If you remember me from last year (I come often to visit the forums and read yalls posts either way!) I am interested in moving to Wyoming, and like most, am finding this piece of heaven is difficult to get into and financially I'm finding I may have a rough time, however, I am determined. I am taking as many chances as I can to check out the towns without bugging the husband too much to scout!

Rambling dreams aside, what's a good place to start for a couple of backpackers in the Bighorn forest? We plan on possibly fishing for sustenance if that's an option somewhere along the line, as food and water are both heavy and some areas appear to have a new regulation (2013) to carry your own solid waste out!
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:31 AM
 
11,299 posts, read 46,275,475 times
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Many years ago, we backpacked into what is now the Cloud Peak Wilderness area to check out the glacier. Worth a visit now, although I don't know if you can do subsistence fishing in that area. We went there in late July because there was still a lot of snow on the ground earlier into the summer that year.

IMO, Buffalo is a good jumping off point to head West into the Bighorns. There's a sizable number of campground areas to base from with many trailheads readily accessible. The forest area is sizable but most of the activity takes place near and around the campgrounds so the opportunities for solitude in the backpacking areas when you hike in for a day or so are pretty good.

I'd suggest that you visit the nat'l forest website for more details about the area and get maps for the places of interest to you: Bighorn National Forest - Cloud Peak Wilderness
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Aiea, Hawaii
2,150 posts, read 2,487,203 times
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You'll have to get a fishing non-resident License to fish in the Big Horns. They have non-resident day license for $14.00, the regulation book doesen't say if you can get a week non-resident. Otherwise its $90.00 for non-residents. After one year as a resident its $30.00 a year. So check with the fishing game if they offer have week long non-resident rates. I don't believe they do. Here is the link for the fish & game. http://wgfd.wyo.gov/web2011/Departme...ART0002941.pdf


Enjoy your trip to the Big Horn Mountains and Cloud Peak wilderness area, this summer. That is one area i am looking to check out myself.

Last edited by ScottStielow; 04-28-2014 at 10:19 PM.. Reason: add information
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Old 04-29-2014, 06:11 AM
 
Location: Natrona County
116 posts, read 405,968 times
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Hiking Wyoming's Cloud Peak Wilderness (Regional Hiking Series): Erik Molvar: 9781560447252: Amazon.com: Books

I have this. I had another book, but I loaned it out. Can't recall the title.
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:48 PM
 
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The trail to Cloud Peak is beautiful and there are other options besides the boulder climb up to the peak at the end. There are lots of little lakes out the trail and you ought to be able to catch fish. You didn't mention when you plan to come out here. The high wilderness isn't going to have a good window for hiking/camping until end of July/early August because of snow and weather.
Also, if you decide to climb the peak, you need to plan for a minimum of 5 days for the trip because you'll need to acclimate. 2 days to the basecamp, 1 day to boulder up and down from the peak, and 2 days back to the parking lot. I did it in 3 days and, even though I lived in Sheridan at the time, I got severe altitude sickness at 12,000 ft and the peak is 14,000. Massive headache and throwing up. Then I bashed my knee when I slipped on a wet boulder while coming back down. It made of a very unpleasant afternoon. Also, it was the first week in August and we got snowed on and hailed on on the day we went up to the peak. Then it poured on us and drenched everything we had. I thought we might freeze to death before the morning came. We hiked all the way back to the car the next day, in the pouring rain. One of the best but also one of the worst, experiences of my life! Definitely memorable. At least I can say I did it!

If I EVER hike out that way again, I'm never climbing the peak again. The actual hiking portion is great. The bouldering sucks.
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Old 04-30-2014, 07:40 PM
 
Location: The High Desert
9,374 posts, read 5,042,440 times
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Many years ago (1975) My wife and I hiked up into the Cloud Peak Wilderness and camped several days on a bluff above Mirror Lake. I fished the Tensleep Creek and hiked and fished up to Lost Twin Lakes. The trail (West Tensleep Trail?) was not too rugged, which was good because it was her first backpack trip. We did this in late July and really only saw a couple other groups out on the trail. Mosquitos were terrible. which is why we picked a windy spot to camp. Fishing was good in the creek but the fish were so small at that elevation that you couldn't catch enough to subsist on. Fishing might be better in the lakes. I hope it is still as pretty up there as it was then.

We went back to the Big Horns a few years ago on the way to Glacier NP -- still one of my favorite places. If you stop in Buffalo WY, be sure to visit the Occidental Hotel....stay a night if you can work it out.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:05 PM
 
148 posts, read 212,175 times
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Believe it or not, I know two avid outdoorsmen here in Worland who have bicycled, starting in Worland, up to the West Tensleep trailhead, hiked up to Cloud Peak, back down to the trailhead, and then cycled back to Worland, all in one day. From Worland to the trailhead is 50 miles, and then from there to cloud peak is at least a 12 mile hike to the summit, one way! This definitely highlights the varying levels of ability that exist out there.
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:29 AM
 
158 posts, read 386,594 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Land_Girl View Post
The high wilderness isn't going to have a good window for hiking/camping until end of July/early August because of snow and weather.
Also, if you decide to climb the peak, you need to plan for a minimum of 5 days for the trip because you'll need to acclimate..
We just discussed this earlier today, we plan on going late August-early September, our last time through, it was late May and it snowed, hailed, rained, and was freezing pretty much the whole time! This time we'll be more prepared for the wind and cold... haha... I don't know how much climbing we'll be doing, the husband loooves rock crawling, but I'm pretty scared of heights and just barely started gaining courage to do little things!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkunkApe View Post
Hiking Wyoming's Cloud Peak Wilderness (Regional Hiking Series): Erik Molvar: 9781560447252: Amazon.com: Books

I have this. I had another book, but I loaned it out. Can't recall the title.
Thanks! I'll definitely get this ordered and we'll have a look through, or bring it along for the car ride got a loong way with little to do on the road!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottStielow View Post
You'll have to get a fishing non-resident License to fish in the Big Horns. They have non-resident day license for $14.00, the regulation book doesen't say if you can get a week non-resident. Otherwise its $90.00 for non-residents. After one year as a resident its $30.00 a year. So check with the fishing game if they offer have week long non-resident rates. I don't believe they do. Here is the link for the fish & game. http://wgfd.wyo.gov/web2011/Departme...ART0002941.pdf

Enjoy your trip to the Big Horn Mountains and Cloud Peak wilderness area, this summer. That is one area i am looking to check out myself.
Thank you so much!!! If you head out around September maybe you'll run into us! A really REALLY tall guy and a really short girl (I'll most likely be on the ground or on top of something trying to get pictures!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SunGrins View Post
Many years ago (1975) My wife and I hiked up into the Cloud Peak Wilderness and camped several days on a bluff above Mirror Lake. I fished the Tensleep Creek and hiked and fished up to Lost Twin Lakes. The trail (West Tensleep Trail?) was not too rugged, which was good because it was her first backpack trip. We did this in late July and really only saw a couple other groups out on the trail. Mosquitos were terrible. which is why we picked a windy spot to camp. Fishing was good in the creek but the fish were so small at that elevation that you couldn't catch enough to subsist on. Fishing might be better in the lakes. I hope it is still as pretty up there as it was then.

We went back to the Big Horns a few years ago on the way to Glacier NP -- still one of my favorite places. If you stop in Buffalo WY, be sure to visit the Occidental Hotel....stay a night if you can work it out.
Sounds like you had a wonderful time! I prefer wind to bugs myself... our first night we camped atop a hill... a thunderstorm rolled through in the middle of the night. It was exciting to say the least!

Good to know about the fish size, I have never fished myself (we just bought new reels and supplies the other day) but I'll be practicing as much as possible before we head on out.
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