Scenic USA - Wyoming

Cloud Peak Wilderness

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Lake Helen - Cloud Peak Wilderness, Wyoming

Photos by Eric Noel
Eric's Cloud Peak Gallery

   Recognized as being special as far back as 1932, the Cloud Peak Wilderness Area Misty Moon Lake - Cloud Peak Wilderness, Wyoming surrounds the backbone of Wyoming's Big Horn Range and its rugged, glacier carved mountains. Now totaling nearly 200,000 acres, this preserve is known for its snow-capped mountains, remarkable forests and mountain meadows, miles of mountain streams and picturesque lakes.
   As one would guess from the word rugged, seeing all these outstanding features, including the namesake of the wilderness, Cloud Peak, hiking is often required. Mulling over 1500 miles of trails, perhaps one of the easiest is Misty Moon Trail #63 to Lake Helen. Well marked and offering incredible views, this route to Lake Helen is five miles long. Here, fishing is labeled as good, and Cloud Peak scenery is grand. From this lakeside view (Lake Helen), Glacial Tarn - Cloud Peak Wilderness, Wyoming Cloud Peak (far right) struggles to peek over an intermediate range. Topping out at 13,167 feet, Cloud Peak is the tallest of the Big Horns. Its broad east face holds the largest glacier in the Big Horn Range. During the summer season, when the days are long, taking on a Cloud Peak ascent is still a three day trip. For climbers, it's suggested to depart from the Battle Park Trailhead.
   The surrounding Big Horn National Forest is a popular year round recreation area. The area offers 32 campsites, three scenic byways, over two dozen picnic areas and seven lodges. Located between Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park, this preserve has been known for its mountain scenery for centuries. Now, more than ever, Cloud Peak Wilderness provides an escape and a place for renewal.

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