Click Image to Enlarge Map

Section 1: Trip Eleven

Van Tassell south past Prairie Center to Torrington


Open Google Map at GPS Coordinates:

Beginning: 42.662777, -104.093906
     Ending: 42.087812, -104.187689

This trip begins by turning south off US-20 at mile #61 at Van Tassell. The South Van Tassell Road crosses the Niobrara River and climbs to the top of a small bench. Here you can see Rawhide Butte to the west. You continue traveling south (past a few side roads going east/west) to a junction 11 miles from the highway. Here you can turn west (R-18) under the tracks and travel to Prairie Center (five miles). From there you can go west to US-85 at mile #133 or #127, or you can go north back to US-20 on the McMaster Road.

Continue south and you cross over the tracks in a couple of miles. The road then turns west for three miles to pavement. From this area you can see Laramie Peak to the west, Pine Ridge to the southwest, and Spoon Butte to the southeast.

After traveling three miles south on the pavement you come to another junction. Here you can turn west to US-85 (mile #127) at Jay Em (11 miles). Also on this road, you can turn north to Prairie Center (seven miles).

Continue south for seven miles and you pass by Spoon Butte off to the east. About six miles further, the road drops down through some small breaks and the state maintenance begins on W-159. Along this stretch you can see Tea Kettle Rock off to the west.

Thirteen miles further south, you enter the outskirts of Torrington and roads begin turning off to residential areas. Stay on W-159 (West C Drive) and after passing the hospital and college, you hit US-26 (Valley Road).

Old snapping turtles like this one are common in some of the ponds and mud holes in the Torrington and Lusk area.