Lincoln County High Point Trip Report

Wyoming Peak (11,378 ft)

Date: September 11, 2003
Authors: Jerry and Betty Brekhus

We drove from Afton, Wyoming south on US 89 about 15 miles where a left turn put us on the Smiths Fork Road heading generally east. This is a gravel/dirt road which was quite sloppy from precipitation the previous 24-48 hours. The road was rather greasy near the junction with Greys River Road, 24 miles from Highway 89. We hoped the Greys River Road would be better. It wasn't.

To reach the trailhead for Wyoming Peak, it was necessary to head north about 4 miles on the Greys River Road, which turned out to be a muddy mess, slippery in 2-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive, either way. Archery season was open, so there had been other traffic. The crooked tracks indicated that other drivers were slip-sliding along, too. The harrowing 4 miles eventually passed, and we turned on to the Shale Creek Road, which seemed to be no worse than the road we were on. About 1.3 miles in, where Shale Creek Road turns abruptly to the right, I parked the Blazer at a junction with an unmapped road. We had enough of the mud holes and ruts, and chose to hike from this point.

The road beyond improved considerably. We could have easily driven to the trailhead, having already navigated the worst part by far. Anyway, we walked about 2.3 miles on the Shale Creek Road to reach the Wyoming Peak Trailhead, where a sign indicates 4.5 miles to Wyoming Peak. Note that the trail has been rebuilt in this area since the map was produced. The trailhead is now at sharp curve 0.7 mile beyond the location shown on the quad map and at 8800 feet elevation.

Trailhead GPS Coordinates - UTM Zone 12 - (529138 E, 4715658 N) at 8,819 feet.

We hiked up the trail, which switchbacks, climbing at a steady grade. It is well-built, helpful because snow line from fresh snow was around 9500 feet. At 10,300 feet there is a junction with another trail coming from the south as shown on the Poison Meadows Quad. Snow depth there was about an inch. Views were nice when we were not engulfed in fog/clouds. Above 11,000 feet, snow had drifted into the trail cut, frequently deeper than our hiking boots. Fortunately we wore gaiters.

The remains of a lookout cabin stand at the summit. For how much longer, I don't know. A cloud cap had us completely in fog, so we had no view from the summit. The trail was definite enough to follow all the way, despite the snow. We were rewarded with views again when we got back below 11,000 feet.

Summit GPS readings (WGS84 datum) - UTM Zone 12 - (530849 E, 4716943 N) at 11,406 feet.

We tarried only a few minutes and headed down, lest our tracks disappear.

On our way down, the snow had melted up to the 10,000-foot level. The drive out was uneventful. The roads had dried dramatically. We saw a total of 5 moose, 1 of which was a bull. In summary, this is an excellent trail, easy to follow (undoubtedly easier in August).

Trip statistics:

- road ascent hiking time 49 minutes
- trail ascent 2 hours 44 minutes
- trail descent 2 hours 1 minute
- road descent 45 minutes
- total of above times 6 hours 19 minutes

- Elevation gain 2,960 feet.