Section 10: Trip Fourteen

Ten Sleep to Kaycee on the Rome Hill/Slope Road

 

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Beginning: 44.053206, -107.392013
     Ending: 43.716764, -106.643611
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This trip begins by turning off US-16 at mile #30, three miles east of Ten Sleep. As you head southeast on W-436, the road climbs up through a cedar forest and follows along Canyon Creek. (Nice drive.) At mile #3 you pass through a small saddle, and at mile #6 the pavement ends at the Nature Conservancy Preserve (old Girl Scout Visitor Center).

Continue southeast on W-56 along the edge of Cooks Canyon and after about five miles you pass by the Murphey Road going north to the Nature Conservancy Headquarters. Continue up the hill. Along this stretch you can see the Nowood River drainage on the west. As you climb further up, the road swings east where you can see part of the Cloud Peak Wilderness to the northeast.

The road travels along the open top for seven miles to a junction at Billy Creek. Here you can take the Hazelton Road (J-3) north to Dull Knife Reservoir and US-16 (see page 149).

Turn south on the Hazelton Road (J-3) and you drop down past fir, spruce, and limber pine trees. After three miles, you cross Pass Creek and then drop down to a junction at Beartrap Meadows (26 miles from US-16). Here you can continue south on J-3 to Casper or Waltman (see page 149).

Turn southeast on the Mayoworth Stock Trail (Slip Road, J-67). The road follows along the creek for a bit and then climbs to the top of Red Hill Mountain. Here you drop down to Mud Springs and then begin following Arch Creek. After about three miles, you cross the creek and climb up a steep hill.

The road follows along a ridge for a bit where you have a good view of the Powder River Basin. To the east are the Pumpkin Buttes and to the southeast is Pine Ridge. To the northeast is The Horn (large protrusion of the mountain out into the valley). You then begin dropping down the mountain and go past Government Reservoir. Here you start the descent down The Slope. (This is a very steep road and you'll need a low gear to both go down and climb up the mountain.)

You reach the Foot of the Slope at the junction with the Mayoworth Road (J-266), four miles from the reservoir. You pass by the Elk Mountain Road (J-60) going south and just after crossing the North Fork Powder River is a junction at Mayoworth. Here the Mesa Road (J-115) goes northeast toward Horn Creek Reservoir.

Stay southeast on W-191 (from mile #12) and along the river. At mile #5 you cross the river and at mile #1 you come to a junction. Here W-190 turns southwest to Barnum and the Outlaw Cave Trail (see page 151). Continue east for one mile to I-25 at exit #254 in Kaycee.

After dropping down the Slope during a torrential rainstorm, Black Irene takes a well deserved break and updates a county grader on current road conditions.