Nature March 24, 2018
The One Incredible Trail That Spans The Entire State of Wyoming
If you’re up for an epic hike this summer, don’t plan a day hike or one that only lasts a weekend. Instead, spend more than a week hiking the incredible trail that crosses the entire state of Wyoming.
The section of the Continental Divide Trail the crosses Wyoming stretches from the southern border up to the northwest corner of the state and passes through some of the most stunning wilderness in existence. Though you could probably finish in about 10 days, it will be hard to pass by all that gorgeous scenery without frequent breaks to take pictures and soak it all in.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
The Continental Divide Trail is about 3,100 miles long and spans across five states. The part that crosses through Wyoming covers about 600 miles.
It begins in the southern part of the state at the Wyoming/Colorado border and winds through the majestic Medicine Bow Routt National Forest.
Most of this section, known as the Sierra Madre Segment, can be hiked on roads and highways through the forest while still enjoying breathtaking scenery.
The trail heads northwest and will take you to the charming little town of Rawlins before leading back into the wilderness.
You'll be trekking through a lot more countryside and on a lot fewer roads when you reach the Ferris Mountains Segment.
The Ferris Mountains are known for the stunning views and excellent hiking.
The Great Divide Basin in the central part of Wyoming is where the massive mountain range splits to form a sort of bowl. You can hike around either side, but the most common route is along the eastern rim.
There's not a lot of water along the Great Divide Basin Segment of the trail. You'll probably spot some wildlife, though, including herds of wild horses that roam the area.
There are a few more roads through the Sweetwater River Segment, though most of them will be well-traveled dirt roads. You'll get to visit some of the ghost towns Wyoming is known for, and will probably catch glimpses of antelope, golden eagles, and red-tailed hawks.
The next leg of the trail is the Bridger Wilderness Segment that crosses the Wind River Mountains. Here you'll be treated to views of mountain lakes and incomparable Alpine views.
This is a popular site for summer hiking, so don't be surprised if it seems crowded compared to other segments on the trail, especially if you come through in June or July.
The fantastic landscape just keeps unfolding as you reach the Gros Ventre Segment of the Continental Divide Trail. Cutting through some of the most spectacular wilderness in the state, you'll pass by the Union Pass historic site and can take a slight detour to see the Triple Divide. It's where the Colorado, Columbia, and Mississippi basins converge.
More forests, rivers, and streams await in the Teton Wilderness Segment. It's where the trail crosses into Yellowstone National Park. Follow the Snake River and keep an eye out for moose, elk, deer, pronghorn, and bears.
The Old Faithful Segment is at the northernmost end of the trail, up in the northwestern corner of Wyoming. Naturally, you can expect to see the parks famous attractions such as Old Faithful...
...plus splendid lakes including Shoshone Lake.
This part of the trail is known for being a bit more difficult than the rest, making it a good stopping point if you don't intend on hiking further north into Idaho and Montana.
Have you hiked all or even part of the Continental Divide Trail through Wyoming? What was the best part of the trip?
If you’re not quite up for crossing the state in one hike, here are
8 Incredible Hiking Trails in Wyoming that should be on everyone’s bucket list.