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Section 10: Trip Eight

Worland to Moneta on the Nowater Trail


Open Google Map at GPS Coordinates:

Beginning: 43.962275, -107.963084
     Ending: 43.161965, -107.726803

This trip begins by turning off US-20 in Worland and taking Railway Street south to W-432. At mile #2 the highway turns west, but continue south on W-R13 (past the airport turn off) for one mile to a junction on the Hanover Canal. Cross the canal and turn east and then southeast on the Nowater Trail (W-77, BLM-1404). One mile further the road crosses another irrigation canal and you begin traveling across the Bighorn Basin. In this area you can see the Bighorn Mountains to the east, the Bridger Mountains to the south, the Owl Creek Mountains to the southwest, and the Absoraka Range to the west.

Eight miles from Worland, you cross the East Fork Nowater Creek and the road begins following along a ridge above Nowater Creek (off to the south). After four more miles, you pass by a road turning east, but continue southeast down to a junction in Little Sand Draw. Here you pass by the Neiber Road (BLM-1405) going southwest and then west back to US-20. Continue southeast on the Nowater Trail to another junction in three miles. (Nice view.) Here the Devils Slide Road (BLM-1410) turns east along the ridge.

Stay southeast toward the Lake Creek Divide. As the road drops down to Nowater Creek (two miles), you can see Potter Butte off to the west. After crossing the creek, the road ambles along toward Black Mountain. In six miles you come to another junction. Here the Mud Creek Road turns south toward Black Mountain.

Stay east on the Nowater Trail and you cross Scorpion Draw (one mile) and then Black Mountain Draw (two more miles). The road makes a loop north and back east again across Nowater Creek. The road follows along the creek for a bit and then climbs up along a ridge. Here you can see Klondike Peak to the south (on the edge of the Lake Creek Divide). To the east are the Bighorn Mountains and to the north is South Butte. After a couple of miles the Devils Slide Road comes back in from the northeast. Seven miles after crossing Nowater Creek is a junction. Here the Blue Bank Road (BLM-1411) turns north to US-16 (25 miles).

Stay to the east and after two miles you cross Blue Bank Draw. The road then turns southeast to the Buffalo Springs Creek crossing (two more miles). Here you can see Chalk Butte to the north. After two miles, you pass by a ranch road going south and you cross Buffalo Creek. The road makes a long climb up the back side of Lightning Ridge. (Nice drive.) Along this stretch you have a terrific view to the northeast of the Nowood River drainage near Big Trails.

The road heads south along the top of the ridge between Buffalo Creek and the Nowood River. After three miles you drop down to the junction with the Nowood River Road (10 miles from Buffalo Springs Creek). Here you can go north to Ten Sleep (see page 148).

Turn south over a small divide and along the Nowood River to the crossing in five miles. (This is good place to water down the dog.) The road then leaves the river and climbs up to Cottonwood Pass (six miles). Along this stretch you can see Battle Mountain to the west.

As you drop down from the pass along Cottonwood Creek, you can see the Beaver Divide to the far south and to the west is Lysite Mountain. The road then begins traveling out into the basin and you can see Copper Mountain to the west. Seven miles from the pass is a junction. Here the Big Horn Trail turns northeast toward Sioux Pass.

Stay to the south and, after passing Snyder Creek Reservoir, you come to another junction. Here the Badwater Road turns east to Badwater and Arminto. (Note: For people going the other way on this route, take the Wood River Road (F-295) five miles from Lost Cabin and not the ranch road four miles from Lost Cabin.)

Continue south on the Badwater Road and along Badwater Creek to Lost Cabin (five miles). Here the Lost Cabin Road turns east to Arminto. Stay southwest on the Badwater Road (F-117), and after three miles you come to another junction in Lysite. Here the Bridger Creek Road goes west to Shoshoni or northwest to Thermopolis (see page 147). Turn south across Badwater Creek and after passing through the Moneta Hills, you hit US-20 at mile #79 in Moneta (eight miles).