Right foot, followed by the left foot; repeat

Miles And Miles To Go

The opportunity to engage in the single greatest way to move forward through rocky mountain-topped vistas or forested stream-side trails is never far away in the Lander Valley.

 

Lander has earned an outstanding reputation for not only the quantity, but for the quality of local non-motorized trails that give hikers many options to explore.

 

Starting in Lander, the Lander Pathway System features both on and off street trails that circle the community and connect the city’s parks system. The pathway courses through town along the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie River, then up to Mortimore Lane and back to and around town. This is a comfortable walk, especially to experience the town, the river, and the riparian areas along the walk.

Head Into The

Backcountry

The Middle Fork Trail to the Popo Agie Falls, which begins just off of the Bruce’s Bridge parking area at the head of Sinks Canyon is one of those classic western trails loved by locals and tourists alike. Just eight miles out of town, The trail follows the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie River as it comes  tumbling off the mountain towards Sinks Canyon proper.  The hike to the falls clocks in with a 4 mile round trip and has a vertical rise of 600 feet.  The trail follows the forested river corridor before rising along the canyon walls with magnificent sandstone cliffs rising on both sides of the river.

 

At Sinks Canyon State Park, there are a number of hiking trails with multiple trailheads located throughout the park. These include family-friendly signed nature trails which interpret the native vegetation, birds and wildlife along the paths as well as more standard hiking trails that wind their way throughout the riverine areas and snake their way up through sage-brush covered slopes the conifer forest above.

 

The Sinks is also the gateway to many trails in the Shoshone National Forest with trailheads along the Loop Road, Forest Highway 400, to such locations as Fossil Hill, Christina  Lake, the Blue Ridge Lookout, Louis Lake and Willow Creek trails.

 

For the history buff, South Pass City State Historic Site features over five miles of interpretive trails through the Sweetwater Gold Mining District.

Just Out The

Back Door

Just outside of town along the Baldwin Creek Road, four miles to the west of Lander, is the local playground known as the Bus Loop, or simply the Bus. Named for the rusted out hulk of a bus that rests in one of the washes in this desert playground, the Bus is an unofficial easy-access local stop with several loop trail options. A reef of slick rock on its western edge draws many who admire the contrast of stark sandstone against the foothills of the Wind River Range. The trails can be as moderate or as strenuous as any hiker desires.

Johnny Behind the Rocks
View from "The Bus" looking toward Table Mountain. Named after an abandoned school bus rusting in one of the dry drainage ditches, The Bus, with its various looping trails, is a piece of public land on the edge of Lander popular with mountain bikers, trail runners, hikers, and equestrians. From the top of the property one can take in an incredible 360 degree view of the Wind River Basin.

One of the most newly developed outdoor recreation areas in the Lander foothills is the exquisitely beautiful Johnny Behind The Rocks. Named after a ne’er do well highway bandit, this fast-growing, non-motorized area is great for shoulder season hiking or running. The trail also accommodates mountain biking and equestrian usage and boasts its very own waterfall. JBR, as its known locally, is just off highway 287 on the Rawlins highway.

For more information you can visit the new Lander Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. Trail maps and hiking guides can be found at Wild Iris Mountain Sports, plus maps are available the Washakie Ranger District of the Shoshone National Forest and the Bureau of Land Management Lander Field Office.