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Section 3: Trip Four

The Aspen Alley Road from Rawlins south to Savery

 

Open Google Map at GPS Coordinates:

 
Beginning: 41.778665, -107.251594
     Ending: 41.025101, -107.449375
 

This trip begins by taking I-80 exit #214 to Rawlins and then turning west on W-71. After going under the interstate, the road swings south and climbs to the top of Five-mile Ridge. Here you can see Rawlins Peak to the north. The road travels along the top for a bit to a road going west to the Rim Lake Recreation Area (mile #6) Along here you can see Chokecherry Knob to the east, Atlantic Rim to the west, and Miller Hill to the southwest.

At mile #11, W-71 ends and you continue south past Sheep Mountain (off to the east). Here you can see the Sierra Madre Mountains to the south and to the southeast are the Snowy Range Mountains.

Two and a half miles from the end of W-71, you go by the Bridger Pass Road (BLM-3301). On this road you can go over to the Cow Butte Road, the McCarty Canyon Road, and the Miller Mountain Road (see page 50 and page 52). Continue south and past the road to Teton Reservoir. Along here you can see Pennock Mountain, Coad Mountain, and Elk Mountain to the far east. The road then crosses Miller Creek, Stoney Creek, LaMarsh Creek, Lonetree Creek, and Rasmussen Creek. (Note: On either side of Stoney Creek there are a couple of new mine roads running east and west.)

You cross Sage Creek fourteen miles south of W-71. The road now climbs up Middlewood Hill to a junction (five miles). Here C-503 turns down the hill to the southwest. On this road, you can take the McCarty Canyon Road to Dixon, the Cow Butte Road to Dad, or you can loop back to W-71 on the Muddy Creek/Bridger Pass Road (see page 50).

Stay to the south and you begin following Fish Creek down to the next junction (three miles). Here you can take C-500 up the hill to the east and on over to Saratoga (see page 53).

Continue south along Fish Creek and across North Fork Savery Creek. The road then climbs a hill and drops down to Smiley Meadows and Truckdriver Creek. You go up and over the next hill to Deep Gulch. You then climb up the next hill to a road going west to High Savery Creek Reservoir. Here you can see Divide Peak off to the east and Dexter Peak to the southeast. You then drop down across East Fork Savery Creek and up and over again to Dirtyman Creek.

Just after crossing Dirtyman Creek, you come to another junction (41 miles from Rawlins). Here you can take C-602 southwest to Tullis and over to Dixon (see page 53).

Continue south toward Green Ridge and you can now see Singer Peak off to the east. The road then swings southeast as you enter the national forest and begin traveling on NF-801. The trees in this area are aspen, ponderosa, and lodgepole pine.

Two miles further, the road crosses Deep Creek to a junction. Here you can take the Jack Creek Road (NF-830) west to Saratoga or Riverside. The main road drops down a steep grade to Big Sandstone Creek (a few cottonwoods here) and then gradually climbs back up again to Little Sandstone Creek (nice drive here).

After crossing the Little Sandstone Creek, the road travels through a small park and you can now see Singer Peak to the northeast (beautiful drive here). About one mile further, you pass through Aspen Alley (fantastic drive here) to a junction with W-70 at mile #33. Here NF-801 ends and you can take W-70 east over to Encampment (see page 51).

Turn west on W-70 toward Baggs. At mile #32 you pass by the Battle Creek Campground to a terrific scenic overlook at mile #31. To the south is Columbus Peak (large and domed), southwest is Battle Mountain, and to the far southwest is Hahns Peak . From this overlook, you continue west through the mixed forest for about four miles and then southwest past the Savery Stock Driveway (mile #27).

As the road heads toward Battle Mountain, you can see Squaw Mountain between Columbus Mountain and Battle Mountain, and in the foreground east of Squaw Mountain is Flattop. Further to the southeast is the broad topped Saddle Mountain and behind it to the east is Hahns Peak. Below Saddle Mountain is the rock capped Sheep Mountain and to the east of it is Three Forks Mountain. (Nice view.)

At mile #21 you pass between Battle Mountain and Horse Mountain. One mile further you pass by C-710 going south to Steamboat (62 miles). The road then travels below Sugarloaf and enters Colorado where you begin following the Little Snake River at Slater (mile #17). You then travel back into Wyoming and cross Savery Creek into Savery at mile #11. Here Bakers Peak is off to the south.

Timing is everything when it comes to fall colors in Wyoming. I missed the fantastic Aspen Alley by three days because I was in the Black Hills photographing paper birch and bur oak.