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Section 11: Trip Eight

Arvada to I-90 on the Powder River Road

 

Open Google Map at GPS Coordinates:

 
Beginning: 44.652802, -106.134435
     Ending: 44.215112, -106.158368
 

This trip begins by turning off US-14 at mile #55 and taking W-341 south to Arvada (three miles). Here you can cross the Powder River and go southeast to Gillette on the Echeta Road (see page 163).

Continue south on the Upper Powder River Road (S-273). The road crosses Coal Draw after one mile and you begin following along a ridge above the Powder River. Here you can see Tincom Butte off to the east. This is a nice drive along the meandering river below and the eroded hills to the east.

Six miles from Arvada is the Cottonwood Creek crossing and one mile further you enter Johnson County. Along here the valley becomes more pronounced and you begin crossing several small draws. Seven miles after crossing Cottonwood Creek is a junction at the Crazy Woman Creek confluence. Here you can take the Tipperary Road (J-54) southwest along Crazy Woman Creek to Buffalo (see page 165).

Stay to the south on J-195 and across the creek. Along here, you follow the meandering river through the valley, past broad floodplain loops with pretty stands of cottonwood trees, to where the road makes a big lazy zig-zag across Kinney Draw (seven miles). Five miles south of Kinney Draw is Coal Gulch. (Note the thin vein of coal in the cutbank to the east.) In this area you have a nice view of the Bighorn Mountains to the west.

The road then travels through some small breaks and crosses Flying E Creek (four miles) and Dry Creek (two more miles). Four miles south of the Dry Creek crossing, you hit I-90 at exit #88 between Buffalo and Gillette.

Almost the entire length of this trip follows along the crumbling banks of the Powder River. The floodplain is wide with stands of cottonwood on every loop and bend.