Lander’s Backyard Playground

Sinks Canyon

Just a few minutes from downtown Lander on State Highway 131, Sinks Canyon is known for its river that disappears into a limestone cavern, only to reappear in a trout-filled pool on the opposite side of the canyon a quarter mile downstream. But that’s not the only attraction here. The Middle Fork Trail in the Shoshone National Forest takes hikers and equestrians to the falls of the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie River and to a larger system of trails into the high country. The falls is comprised of a magnificent series of cascades as the river emerges from the Wind River Range and flows downhill into the canyon and to the Lander Valley below.

The trail to the falls is 1.5 miles long and is a family friendly hike with the cool reward of a dip in one of the fall’s pools. You may also want to try to slick rock slide into the pool, a natural swimming hole.

 

The Canyon is also the northern terminus of the Loop Road, Forest Service Road 400 which travels through the Shoshone National Forest through timber, scrub and sagebrush terrain past four lakes and more trailheads to the backcountry. The southern end of the trail intersects with the South Pass Highway, Wyoming 28.

 

A good portion of the canyon contains Sinks Canyon State Park, comprised of 600 acres of sagebrush and juniper covered foothills that lead to conifer forests, large stands of aspen, and mountain meadows. In between is found an amazing diversity of birds and wildlife. A must stop is at the Sinks Canyon State Park Visitors Center where information on its nature trails and the flora and fauna of the canyon can be found and questions answered.

 

Campground and picnic areas are located throughout the park, which also offers yurt camping, reservations required.

 

There’s nothing like fishing or relaxing next to the ripples and splashes of the flowing river. Make sure to take your camera, too. There’s lot to see and enjoy in this beautiful park.