The Haunted Hike In Wyoming That Will Send You Running For The Hills
Usually, hiking is an excellent way to sight-see and get some exercise at the same time. There’s one hiking trail in Wyoming, however, that will get your heart pumping for other reasons.
Cedar Mountain in the northern part of the Cowboy State has a history of being associated with the paranormal. From ancient Native American lore to spooks and specters, you might see more than natural sights if you muster up the courage to hike this trail.
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The Absaroka Mountain Range is where you'll find Cedar Mountain, one of the areas that offer gorgeous views and easy hiking trails as well as more difficult ones for advanced hikers.
Known as Cedar Mountain today, it used to be called "Spirit Mountain" by local Native American tribes.
Native legends say that some of the mountain ranges in Wyoming are inhabited by magical "little people," and Cedar Mountain is supposedly one of the mountains where they live. The stories vary, some attributing the little people with healing powers and others claiming that they are "people eaters."
Two tiny mummified bodies have been found in the Wyoming mountains at different times over the centuries, fueling the stories and seeming to provide evidence that these little people exist.
Many hikers claim to have heard footsteps behind them when they hike on Cedar Mountain, but when they turn around, no one is there. It could be that they were being stalked by the little people. Other legends explain the disembodied footsteps in a different way.
There is a honeycomb of caves under Cedar Mountain that's so extensive that people have become lost in them, never to be seen again. Some attribute the ghostly footsteps heard on the hiking trail to the spirits of the people lost in the caves.
The caves have been gated off to keep people from getting lost in them, though you can get special permission from the forest service to go it. It's believed that a person could enter on one side of the mountain and come out on the other if they knew the passages well enough. However, the caves and passages are so extensive, it's unknown how many there are or if and how they connect to each other.
But there are two specific ghosts that are sometimes credited with haunting hikers on Cedar Mountain.
Buffalo Bill Cody is one of them. Though the official burial site of the icon of the Old West is in Colorado, some say his body was switched and brought to Cedar Mountain to be buried, the place where Buffalo Bill said he wanted to be laid to rest.
Cody died while visiting relatives in Golden, Colorado, and his wife made arrangements to have him buried there. He had, in fact, drafted a will expressing his desire to be buried on Cedar Mountain, but he later wrote another will leaving all arrangements up to his wife. When the citizens of Cody learned that their hero was to be buried outside of his beloved state and not in the spot they felt was proper, they devised a scheme to switch his body with a look-alike. One legend says that the body switch succeeded and Bill was brought back to Wyoming and buried at Cedar Mountain.
Though there's no proof that the body-snatching story is true, there's no denying Buffalo Bill's heart was in Wyoming. A memorial to him sits on a spot overlooking Heart Mountain - a 6-foot fiberglass buffalo, given to the City of Cody by the City of Golden as a peace offering over the burial incident.
The memorial for Buffalo Bill sits next to the grave of another well-known Wyomingite, Breck Moran. He was an integral part of the development of the city, and some say it is his footsteps that still echo on the mountain today.
We may never know who it is haunting Cedar Mountain, but if you hear footsteps behind you, whispered voices in your ear, and the hair on the back of your neck begins to prickle, don't say you weren't warned.
Have you ever had an eerie experience hiking up Cedar Mountain?