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Previously: GDMBR, Montana

Wyoming's Great Divide Mountain Bike Route

Berry Fire
Berry Fire

Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Grand Teton National Park

The Teton Range rose high above the vast sage plains of Jackson's Hole. Isolated black storm systems rolled across the sky. Above the Tetons to the west and the Wind Rivers and Gros Ventres to the east, black streaks of rain reached halfway to the ground. Occasionally a light rain reached me for a few minutes. Rain column associated winds were occasionally fierce, and whipped whitecaps on the lakes, and blew the bike around. I saw Pronghorn in the Sage Grasslands, and got some neat pictures of scrapes they make in the dirt to mark the location of scents from their hoof glands, their scat, and their urine. There were many grouse in the sage. Later I saw a Black Bear sow and cub browsing on roadside bushes.
Miles: 70 1002
Camp: Jackson Hole / Teton Village Hostel
Maps: GDMBR2B/S, NGTI 202 Grand Teton, NPS Grand Teton Handout

Dan and the Tetons
Dan and the Tetons

Thursday, August 18, 2016
I followed an excellent system of paved and separate from motor vehicle traffic bike paths which extends from Jenny Lake in Grand Teton NP miles south of Jackson and to the west as well. I then headed east on US 189/191. I stopped for snacks several times. Intermittent rain fell from Bondurant onward. There were several Red Tail Hawks.
Miles: 57 1059
Camp: The Rim 7921' Bridger Teton NF
Maps: GDMBR2B/S, State Road Map, bike path network maps posted at intersections (pic)

Wagon Wheel Hub
Wagon Wheel Hub

Wood
Wood

Friday, August 19, 2016
I followed US 191 to Pinedale. There were many Pronghorn herds and six tunnels and two bridges for migrating Pronghorn and Mule Deer (pix). I met John / Mother Nature's Son, Al, and Dick / Tin Cup and supplied for a six day hike in the Wind River Range. I bought the 6 BLM quads to follow the historic trails. Along US191 there is a separate paved bike path 3 miles west and 5 miles south of Pinedale.
Miles: 30 1089
Camp: Pinedale Cabin
Maps: GDMBR2B/S, State Road Map

Wood
Wood

Wind River Range Backpack

Dan, Al, John, Dick
Dan, Al, John, Dick

Saturday, August 20, 2016
We got a bit lost on the drive to the trailhead. Our route: US191, 353, (At Buckskin Crossing we should have turned left on 132 / Oregon Trail / California Trail Landers Cutoff, and left again at 4113. [to here, this was the GDMBR]), 118, 108, 28, 446 / 132, 4113. On this long drive through rolling sage grasslands, it occurred to me that rather than focusing on riding miles of the historic trails through one Sage Grassland Ecosystem, perhaps I could try to visit many historic spots along them. We saw many Pronghorn herds and Sage Grouse. We hiked from Big Sandy Trailhead beyond Big Sandy Lake on trail 99. We were briefly on CDT tread. This hike is on the north east corner of BLM Pinedale or the Beartooth map.
Miles: 0 1089 (Hiked 7)
Camp: between Big Sandy and Arrowhead Lakes, Bridger Teton NF, Bridger Wilderness
Maps: GDMBR2B/S, BLM 30' x 60' Quads Pinedale, Farson, South Pass, Beartooth Publishing Wind River Range South www.beartoothpublishing.com (pic)

Lakes
Lakes

Sunday, August 21, 2016
We hiked past North and Arrowhead Lakes, and over Jackass Pass, swam at Lonesome Lake, and walked to Lizard Head Meadows. High in the ascent, I saw 3 Pika, one scruffy and ungroomed. The Cirque of Towers was as pretty as I remembered from my CDT hike.
Miles: 0 1089 (Hiked 4 11)
Camp: Lizard Head Meadows, Shoshone NF, Popo Agie Wilderness
Maps: GDMBR2B/S, BLM 30' x 60' Quad Pinedale, Wind River Range South

Triple Packing Washakie Pass
Triple Packing Washakie Pass

Monday, August 22, 2016
A flock of about 22 female and young Big Horn Sheep was 150 yards above us east of Lizard Head Peak. A couple of Yellow Bellied Marmots were west of Cathedral Peak. On descent I saw a Pika gathering vegetation and occasionally whistling. It was windy and spectacular high country.
Miles: 0 1089 (Hiked 10 21)
Camp: Ranger Park, Shoshone NF, Popo Agie Wilderness
Maps: GDMBR2B/S, BLM 30' x 60' Quad Pinedale, Wind River Range South

Ice
Ice

Tuesday, August 23, 2016
50+ mph cold gusts blew through Washakie Pass. The distant scenery and local plants and rocks were very pretty. I crossed my CDT side trip over Texas Pass into the Cirque of Towers at Washakie Creek.
Miles: 0 1089 (Hiked 8 29)
Camp: Marm Lake, Bridger Teton NF, Bridger Wilderness
Maps: GDMBR2B/S, BLM 30' x 60' Quad Pinedale, Wind River Range South

John
John

Wednesday, August 24, 2016
I saw Grey Jays and a Hawk dropping for prey on trail, and Magpies on the dirt roads. We finished the hike, and it was quite nice. I pulled the Crank Spider from Roni's Bike and removed my warped small chainring. I was surprised to find it was aluminum, but that explains how quickly it warped so radically and the gross tooth wear. It also made flattening the ring with a carpenter's hammer, a scrap 2x6, and a boulder, all courtesy of the log cabins we lodged at, quite easy. The bike ran much more smoothly during a test ride around the block.
Miles: 0 1089 (Hiked 8 37)
Camp: Pinedale
Maps: GDMBR2B/S, BLM 30' x 60' Quad Pinedale, Wind River Range South

Chainring
Chainring

Dan Flattening Chainring
Dan Flattening Chainring

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Mother Nature's Son, Tin Cup, and I toured Grand Teton NP. The views from Signal Peak were excellent, as was the view from the Bureau of Reclamation dam on Lake Jackson. We had wanted to tour Yellowstone NP as well, but the Berry Fire was burning over the highway, which was consequently closed. We had a late afternoon meal at Buffalo Valley Cafe / Heart 6 Dude Ranch and I started riding the main route into Pinedale over Togwotee and Union Passes. I had detoured through Grand Teton due to the Lava Mountain Fire, but that fire is contained and the roads are reopened. I saw a Bald Eagle, some Hawks, Magpies, and white Geese. A silent large owl flew across the road just in front of me. I saw tracks of Moose and Wolf in dried and spattered mud from the last drenching rain. I ran into a half dozen Alaskans bikers for the third time and enjoyed some conversation and an ear of corn. Many thanks.
Miles: 10 1099
Camp: on ascent from Turpin Meadows / Buffalo Fork Snake River
Maps: GDMBR2B/S

Grizzly Sign

Woodpecker Hole
Woodpecker Hole

Friday, August 26, 2016
I saw a Cow and calf Moose, 2 Mule Deer, and a young elk. I listened to Ravens squaking and got pictures of a road killed Owl's talons. I talked a while with a watershed promoter with a Jasper Mine in the Rattlesnake Hills and was invited to visit sometime, perhaps during the 2017 eclipse. He and his wife gave me a beautiful Jasper, three strips of Pronghorn Jerky, and some meatloaf. I ran into the Alaskans several times. John had talked about the beautiful walls near Togwotee Pass and Brooks Lake, and it's a shame I didn't remember them: They were high and vertical hogbacks of layered sandstone. I rode through patchwork burns on the edge of the Lava Mountain Fire. A few crews were cleaning up and the signs of the fight were everywhere: tractor marks, sawn trees, fire lines, etcetera. Smoke rose from a few smoulders.
Miles: 47 1146
Camp: on ascent to Union Pass
Maps: GDMBR2B/S

Owl Foot
Owl Foot

Wood
Wood

Saturday, August 27, 2016
Ice covered ponds and frost decorated meadows, Red Tail Hawks, Magpies, and Osprey entertained me. One Pronghorn laying 50 yards from me didn't rise and run; quite a brave individual of this skittish species. A road killed Badger provided nice photos of large front claws and smaller rear claws. Salt effloresced from a canal spillover mud flat. The dollar store, library, and grocer were quick stops on the way through Pinedale. Llamas on a ranch were a surprise sighting. Boulder provided an ice cream and soda as the sun slipped below the horizon. Puffs of orange cloud across the sky and the sunset behind me were pretty as a rode east into the evening. The sky was clear and dark. I saw many satellites and meteors when I awoke well before dawn.
Miles: 91 1237
Camp: BLM lands east of Boulder, Sandhill Cranes Trilling
Maps: GDMBR2B/S, BLM 30' x 60' Quad Pinedale

Badger Front Foot
Badger Front Foot

Badger Rear Foot
Badger Rear Foot

Sunday, August 28, 2016
I saw a Coyote, a Great Blue Heron, Rabbits, Magpies, Red Tail Hawks, an 8" snake, Mule Deer, and Antelope. There were road killed rabbits, snakes, and a Coyote. The day was hot, and strong dry winds pushed the bike around. A woman stopped, opened her truck door, and exclaimed 'you're fast, I saw you at Green River yesterday!!'
Miles: 65 1302
Camp: Beyond South Pass City
Maps: GDMBR2B/S, BLM 30' x 60' Quad Pinedale

Fred and Shredded Tire
Fred and Shredded Tire

Well Head
Well Head

Monday, August 29, 2016
I saw Pronghorns, feral Horses, Sage Grouse, Dragonflies, and a large Bat. A swim in the Sweetwater River was great. I pumped my rear tire quite a bit this morning.
Miles: 70 1372
Camp: Sweetwater County Road 23
Maps: GDMBR3A/N, BLM 30' x 60' Quad ?

Mud Swallow Nests
Mud Swallow Nests

Oil Pumps
Oil Pumps

Wood
Wood

Tuesday, August 30, 2016
I saw Pronghorns, feral Horses, Sage Grouse, Dragonflies, Rabbits, Mule Deer and a Burrowing Owl in a burrow in tilted rock strata (pic). The rear tire again needed 300 strokes, about 30 psi, this morning. The outlet of A&M Reservoir was clear and had high water flow. Some interesting cabins at 2 defunct pipe cased wells just north of Mineral Exploration Road still had heating coal scattered about but were now inside a foot deep in cattle dung. I can't blame the cattle for escaping the relentless wind and sun of the Great Basin Sage Plains. Along Mineral X Road a little east was a new solar well with no visible water access. Rawlins resupply was quick, with visits to a grocer and McDonalds for food and WIFI. I carried out quite a bit of Fried Chicken, Potato Salad, Fruit, water, and Soda, and took an easy, picnicking, ride out of town. For the next couple of days, there is perhaps a 20% chance of rain, then clear weather for the remainder of the week.
Miles: 85 1457
Camp: Beyond Teton Reservoir Road, Soulful Coyote Song, Crystal Clear views of the stars, the Milky Way, Satellites, Meteors, etcetera, raging Lightning storm on eastern horizon
Maps: GDMBR3A/N, BLM 30' x 60' Quad ?

Pronghorn Scrapes
Pronghorn Scrapes

Wood
Wood

Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Gone were the Pronghorns, the 8" snakes, and the other desert dwellers. I saw many Mule Deer, both does with 1 or 2 fawns and bucks with small antlers in velvet. Along Slater Creek Road 1 was a 20" speckled Garter Snake. I found a soda along the way. Mmm!! One ranch had many Donkeys.
Miles: 64 1521
Camp: Colorado Moffat County Slater Creek Road 1 beyond Road 38
Maps: GDMBR3A/N, GDMBR3B/S, BLM 30' x 60' Quad ?

Wood
Wood

National Historic Trails of Wyoming

The Oregon, California, and Pony Express National Historic Trails all started on the Missouri River between Omaha / Council Bluffs and Kansas City / Independence. The Mormon Pioneer Trail started somewhat east on the Mississippi at Nauvoo, and crossed the Missouri at Omaha / Council Bluffs. East of South Pass City, Pioneers ascended the North Platte River and the Sweetwater River to South Pass. These 4 historic routes cross the CDT and the GDMBR near South Pass City. Between South Pass City and Fort Bridger, many branches of the routes diverge. The branches served to spread the emmigrants all up and down the west coast states, and were also intended to ease travel in certain areas, not always successfully. Perhaps 400,000 emigrants passed through from 1841 and 1868.

South Pass City Area

Wood
Wood

The Seminoe Cutoff
The Seminoe Cutoff, named after trapper Basil LaJeunesse's Shoshone nickname, was on the southern side of the Sweetwater River. It left from the main trail at the 6th crossing and returned at Burnt Ranch, skipping Rocky Ridge and 4 fords. This Cutoff was favored during the spring melt. It was popular in the 1850s, especially with the Mormons.

Stream, Stones
Stream, Stones

Sunrise
Sunrise

The Lander Cutoff
Frederick W. Lander supervised construction by federal contractors starting in 1858 of several improvements to the various routes. The Lander Cutoff started at Burnt Ranch and ran north of South Pass and Fort Bridger. It continued up the Sweetwater, crossing the Divide on the south flank of the Wind River Range. It crossed the Green River near Big Piney, Wyoming and continued west to the Oregon Trail and the California Trail.

Wood
Wood

The Sublette-Greenwood Cutoff
In 1844 Caleb Greenwood and Isaac Hitchcock led the Stephens-Townsend-Murphy Party from the Little Sandy west of South Pass across 40 miles of dry desert to the Green River, to the Oregon and California Trails, skipping Fort Bridger. The Sublette name may have come along later.

Red Alpine Plant
Red Alpine Plant

Sign
Sign

Fort Bridger
At Fort Bridger the Oregon Trail diverged north west from the California, Pony Express, and Mormon Pioneer Trails heading west south west to Salt Lake City. James Felix Bridger (March 17, 1804 July 17, 1881), was among the best known of the mountain men / trappers. In 1843, Bridger and Louis Vasquez built a trading post, eventually Fort Bridger, on the Blacks Fork of the Green River. The Mormons established rival Fort Supply nearby in 1853 and made various attempts to take over the trading post. In 1857, the US Army came to Utah to replace the Mormon government. Bridger's post and Fort Supply were destroyed to keep them from the Army. The Army established Fort Bridger in 1858. The fort was abandoned in the Civil War, and in 1878, before closing for good in 1890. The trading posts were very important supply sources in the emigrant era.

Post
Post

Wood
Wood

Other Historic Trails of Wyoming

Mud Cracks
Mud Cracks

The Bridger Trail
The Bridger Trail (Scouted 1864 by Bridger) left the Oregon Trail at Red Buttes, near Fort Caspar, east of the CDT. It headed northwest into the Montana Gold Fields near Virginia City.

Lichen
Lichen

Lichen
Lichen

The Bozeman Trail
The Bozeman Trail (Scouted 1863 by Bozeman and Jacobs) left the Oregon Trail at Fort Fetterman, a little further east. The Bridger Trail joined it at Rock Creek, past Bridger, Montana.

Lichen
Lichen

Horseshoe
Horseshoe

Overland Trail / Overland Stage Line
The CDT and GDMBR meet the Overland Trail perhaps 15 miles south of Rawlins, Wyoming. There are many other Overland Trails, causing difficulties with research. This route, which had been explored and used as early as the 1820s, was most popular in the 1860s as an alternate to the Oregon, California, and Mormon National Historic Trails north of Rawlins, on the North Platte and Sweetwater Rivers. Ben Holladay's Overland Stage Company ran mail and passengers in the early 1860s from Atchison, Kansas, down into Colorado, north to Wyoming, west to the Oregon Trail at Fort Bridger, then continuing to Salt Lake City, Utah. In 1869 the First Transcontinental Railroad caused the closure of the stage line.

Dragon Tree
Dragon Tree

Rawlins-Baggs Stage Road
The Rawlins-Baggs Stage Road leaves Rawlins to the southwest.

Culvert Pipe
Culvert Pipe

Historic Trails and BLM Quads
I'd like to look at BLM 30'x60' quadrangle maps Farson, Lander, Rattlesnake Hills, Pinedale, Baroil, and Baggs to see if I can ride some of the old trails. (I have Rawlins and South Pass.) The BLM Pinedale Field Office is at 1625 West Pine Street and might sell them.

Afton Pinedale
O CL
Lander
O C MP PE
Rattlesnake
Hills
O C MP PE
Casper
Interpretive Center
Fontenelle
Reservoir
Farson
O C MP PE Network
South
Pass
O C MP PE Network
Bairoil
O C MP PE
Shirley
Basin
  Rawlins
Overland, Rawlins-Fort Washakie Stage, Rawlins-Baggs Stage, Network
Medicine Bow
Baggs Saratoga

National Scenic and Historic Trails

National Scenic and Historic Trails

Next: Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, Colorado

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