The grand landscape of Wyoming offer hidden gems for the CDNST Experience. From Wild Ponies in the Great Basin to the incredible Wind Rivers Range, and the iconic Yellowstone National Park, your Wyoming adventure is awaiting you. Rich in pioneering history and marked with evidence of ancient people and earth’s mountain building episodes, Wyoming welcomes the CDT for nearly 550 miles through deep gorges snaking between high rock walls, on craggy ice carved peaks and through meadows and open desert plains.
The CDT travels through some of Wyoming’s most stunningly diverse landscapes: Yellowstone National Park our first national park, with steaming geysers and volcanic activity, the craggy Teton Wilderness and Absaroka Mountain Range, the geographic phenomenon of Two Ocean Pass, the Bridger Wilderness and spectacular Wind River Range boasting 1,300 lakes and some of the largest glaciers in the lower 48 states, the restored South Pass City, where hundreds of thousands of pioneers passed on the Mormon, Oregon and California Trails, the expansive Great Divide Basin – the only place that the Continental Divide splits and rejoins, the deserted mining town of Battle, and the gentle Sierra Madre Mountains.
National Park Service:
Yellowstone National Park
PO Box 168 Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168 (307) 334-7381
Bridger-Teton National Forest
PO Box 1888 Jackson, WY 83001 (307) 739-5500
Jackson Ranger District
25 Rosencrans Lane PO Box 1689 Jackson, WY 83001 (307) 739-5400
Buffalo Ranger District
Highway 26/287 Moran, WY 83013 (307) 543-0150
Pinedale Ranger District
29 E. Fremont Lake Rd. PO Box 220 Pinedale, WY 82941 (307) 367-5750
Shoshone National Forest
808 Meadow Lane Cody, WY 82414 (307) 578-1200 (307) 527-6241
Wind River Ranger District
1403 W. Ramshorn Dubois, WY 82513-0186 (307) 455-2466
Washakie Ranger District
333 East Main St. Lander, WY 82520-3499 (307) 332-5460
Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest
2468 Jackson Street Laramie, WY 82070 (307) 745-2300
Brush Creek-Hayden Ranger District
South Highway 130/230 PO Box 249 Saratoga, WY 82331 (307) 327-5481
Bureau of Land Management:
Bureau of Land Management – Lander Field Office
1335 Main PO Box 589 Lander, WY 82520-0589 (307) 332-8400
Bureau of Land Management – Rock Springs Field Office
280 Highway 191 N. Rock Springs, WY 82901-3448 (307) 352-0256
Bureau of Land Management – Rawlins Field Office
1300 N. Third PO Box 2407 Rawlins, WY 82301-2407 (307) 328-4200 (307) 328-4256
Wyoming offers sharp contrasts in its weather. You may hike for weeks, experiencing only an occasional cooling rain. Or, particularly in the mountains, you may encounter fog and rain so heavy you can only see a few feet in front of you for days. At the higher elevations, snow and hail can occur at any time of the year. At both high and low elevations, be prepared for electrical storms.
Thru-hiking the CDT in Wyoming is complicated by the fact that it begins in the mountains, drops to near desert conditions in the basin, and then climbs to the tundra. Hiking south to north, you begin near an elevation of 10,000 feet in the Sierra Madre. The trail loses 3,500 feet by the time it reaches Rawlins on the southern fringe of the Great Divide Basin. From there it winds its way north across the hot, dry basin, then climbs through the forested foothills and on to the tundra of the Wind River Range. The high point of 11,120 feet above sea level is reached among these rugged peaks. The CDT drops out of the clouds just south of Green River Lakes, and spends its last few hundred miles somewhere between 7,500 and 9,000 feet in the Teton Wilderness and on the high plains of Yellowstone. Over this wide variance in altitude, annual precipitation ranges from an average of less than 8 inches at places in the Basin to over 40 inches in the Wind River Range. To this diversity in altitude, add a 4-degree change in latitude across the state.
Lower elevations, below 8,000 feet, will be almost free of snow by late May, but back roads can still be rough and muddy, occasionally blocked by deep, slow melting snowdrifts. Sudden and paralyzing spring blizzards can occur into June. The first two weeks of June are a good time to be in the Great Divide Basin. The flowers bloom early at this elevation. By mid-summer they are dry, thin shadows of themselves, while their alpine cousins are in full bloom. Wildlife is active in May and June also, their attention focused on mating, home building, and rearing their young. There is usually still plenty of water available from runoff. Be prepared for storms at any time of the year. Shelter from the elements is important, but a deep rut in the road or a patch of sagebrush may be all that’s available.
The higher elevations are not clear of snow until early or mid July, and expect it to be later than earlier. The tundra above 10,500 feet retains large patches of snow throughout the summer. Stream crossings can be difficult if not impossible until early August. Late summer above 8,000 feet is wonderful, as the crowded trailheads and overused trails will attest. The days are long and warm and it rains less often. You may experience long stretches of dry, warm days. Be vigilant and always stay prepared for rain or snow.
(listed north to south)
General Delivery US Post Office Old Faithful Station, WY 82190
C/O The Cowboy Village Resort Box 91 Moran, WY 83013
C/O Big Sandy Lodge 8 Spotted Trail Circle Rock Springs, WY 82901
C/O General Delivery US Post Office South City Pass, WY 82520
C/O General Delivery US Post Office Atlantic City, WY 82520
C/O General Delivery US Post Office Lander, WY 82520
C/O General Delivery US Post Office 106 5th Street Rawlins, WY 82301
Yellowstone N.P. Official Home Page- http://www.nps.gov/yell/home.htm
Total Miles: 69.1
Elevation Gain: 3865
North Entrance/Old Faithful– From the North Entrance of the Park at Gardiner, Montana travel 56 miles to Old Faithful. The Divide is accessed along the Howard Eaton Trail, located on the on the South side of the Grand Loop.
Heart Lake T.H.- From US Hwy 191 in Jackson travel North 75 miles to Heart Lake Trailhead Located on the East side of the road past Lewis Lake.
Teton Wilderness: http://www.wilderness.net/index.cfm?fuse=NWPS&sec=wildView&WID=78
Total Miles: 44.9
Elevation Gain: 5031
North Buffalo Fork-Turpin Meadow C.G.- From US Hwy 287 in Moran travel 4 miles East, turn north on Forest Service Road 30050 (Buffalo Valley Rd). Continue 13 miles to the Turpin Meadow CG.
Brooks Lake T.H.– From US Hwy 287 in Dubois travel northwest 24 miles to Forest Service Road 515. Head North on FR 515, 5 miles to Brooks Lake Campground.
Two Oceans Pass
Shoshone National Forest: The ShoshoneNational Forest was set aside in 1891 as part of the Yellowstone Timberland Reserve, making the Shoshone the first national forest in the United States. It consists of some 2.4 million acres of varied terrain ranging from sagebrush flats to rugged mountains. The higher mountains are snow-clad most of the year. Immense areas of exposed rock are interspersed with meadows and forests. With Yellowstone National Park on its western border, the Shoshone encompasses the area from the Montana state line south to Lander, Wyoming which includes portions of the Absaroka, Wind River and Beartooth Ranges http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/shoshone/
Total CDT Miles: 20.5
Elevation Gain: 2000
Sheridan Pass – From US Hwy 287 in Dubois travel north 16 miles turn West/SW on Forest Service Road 532. Continue on FR 532 until intersection with Forest Service Road 538. FR 538 heads west to the summit of SheridanPass.
Bridger-Teton National Forest : http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/btnf/
Total Miles: 107.3
Elevation Gain: 11,309
Green River Lake T.H.- From US Hwy 191 in Pinedale travel 6 miles to intersection of WY 352/Green River Lakes Road. Travel North on WY 352 past the town of Cora, 26 miles outside of Cora WY 352 becomes a gravel road. Continue for 20 miles to the Green RiverLakeTH.
Boulder Lake– From US Hwy 191 in Boulder turn East/NE on WY 353. Travel 2.25 miles on WY 353 to turn off for BoulderLake. Continue North past BoulderLake to North Fork Trailhead.
Big Sandy T.H.- From US Hwy 287 in Lander, travel south 9 mile to the intersection of WY 28. Travel south on WY 28 35 miles to the Lander Cutoff Road/ Rd 446. Turn West on Rd 446 travel 15 miles to intersection with BLM 4105, continue on BLM 4105 21 miles to Big Sandy Campground.
The Wind River Rangehttp://www.peakbagger.com/range.aspx?rid=1443
Fish Creek Park
Cirque of Towers
LesterPass –Highest point for CDT in WY
Great Divide Basin : http://www.wy.blm.gov/recreation/cdnst/
Total Miles: 126.8
Total Elevation Gain: 6,658
South Pass City Historic Site- From US Hwy 287 in Lander travel South 9 miles to the intersection of WY 28. Travel South on WY 28 20 miles, turn south onto a paved road towards Atlantic City/South Pass City Historic Site. At 3 miles you will reach Atlantic City, continue an additional 4.5 miles to South PassCity.
Rawlins- The town of Rawlins is located at the intersections of I-80 and US Hwy 287. At this point the CDT follows motorized routes north and south of the Town of Rawlins.
Oregon Buttes http://wyoshpo.state.wy.us/trailsdemo/oregonbuttes.htm
Alt.Route-Sweetwater River Canyon Wilderness Study Area http://www.wy.blm.gov/lfo/wsa.htm
South Pass City Historical Site
Atlantic City Historical Site
Medicine Bow National Forest : http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/mbr/
Total CDT Miles: 44.8
Elevation Gain: 4575.00
Deep Jack T.H.- From US Hwy 130 in Saratoga travel west on County Road 500 for 17 miles, turn south on County Road 405. Continue on County Road 405 for 4.5 miles ahead CR 405 becomes CR 452. Continue on CR 452 for approximately 6.5 miles, turn on Forest Road 830 travel 5.5 miles to Deep Jack Trailhead.
Green Mtn. T.H- From US Hwy 230 and WY 70 in Encampment travel south 5.6 miles on WY 70. Turn South on Forest Road 550, travel 6.4 miles to Forest Road 406. Forest Road 406 becomes a 4WD only road, continue 2.4 miles West to Green Mountain Trailhead.
Pipeline/Little Snake Divide– From US Hwy 230 and WY 70 in Encampment travel south 5.6 miles on WY 70. Turn South on Forest Road 550, continue 22 miles to Forest Road 809. Travel 1 mile on FR 809 to Little Snake Divide.