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Section 3: Trip Five

Dixon to Rawlins on the McCarty Canyon - Bridger Pass Road


Open Google Map at GPS Coordinates:

Beginning: 41.036341, -107.535573
     Ending: 41.778665, -107.251594

This trip begins by turning off W-70 at mile #7 in Dixon. As you head north toward Muddy Mountain on C-503, you can see Battle Mountain to the east; southeast is Columbus Peak, and above Chalk Bluffs to the south is Bakers Peak. The road swings east and then north again along Cottonwood Creek. After crossing the creek and passing by Muddy Mountain, the road swings northeast of Browns Hill to a junction on top (eleven miles from Dixon). Here C-501 turns south to Savery. Continue north along the top for one mile to another junction. Here the road to the northeast (C-602) goes to Saratoga or Rawlins (see page 48).

Stay northwest on C-503 and as the road swings north, you can see Flat Top Mountain to the west and behind it on the far horizon are the Haystacks. Three miles from the last junction, C-608 turns northwest to the Horse Butte and Cow Butte Roads (see page 52). Stay on the main gravel road going north to Five Buttes (two miles).

After passing the buttes, the road swings northeast past several 2-track roads and drops down to Ketchum Buttes (five miles). The road drops down a bit more into a small basin below Ketchum Buttes and crosses a couple of small creeks. After about three miles, you pass below Rendle Butte and begin following Little Savery Creek.

After crossing Little Savery, you follow McCarty Creek up the canyon to a junction on top (four miles). Here you can continue northeast on C-503 and go down to Sage Basin and then over to Saratoga or Rawlins.

Turn northwest up the hill on the Miller Hill Road (C-505W, BLM-3328). As you travel along the rim, you can see Sage Basin to the north and the Little Savery Creek drainage to the south. (If you look closely you can see Five Buttes and Muddy Mountain to the south.) After four miles, you turn off the Miller Mountain Road (it continues to the north) and take the Muddy Creek Road (BLM-3306) west.

As you drop down on the Muddy Creek Road, it turns southwest away from the Littlefield Creek drainage. The road then loops to the southeast and back to the northwest to a junction on Muddy Creek. Here you can take the Cow Butte Road (BLM-3308) across Muddy Creek and on over to W-789 at Dad (see page 52).

Stay northwest along Muddy Creek on BLM-3306. At the second creek crossing, Littlefield Creek has joined Muddy Creek, and at the fourth creek crossing (eight miles from the Cow Butte Road), McKinney Creek has joined Muddy Creek. (This is big draw country.)

At this point the Muddy Creek Road is blocked at Sulfur Springs. Turn north on the Bridger Pass Road (BLM-3301). The road leaves Muddy Creek and climbs up above McKinney Creek and then Eagle Creek. You travel between Atlantic Rim and Miller Hill for about seven miles to Bridger Pass.

The road then drops down a bit and you head northeast toward Sheep Mountain. Here Emigrant Creek is on the south and Atlantic Rim is still on the north. Ten miles from Bridger Pass, you hit C-401 about two and a half miles south of the end of W-71. Here you can go south to Savery (see page 48). (Note: People wishing to go the other way on this route, make sure you take the road two and a half miles south of the end of W-71 and not the road two miles south.)

Turn north on W-71 and you pass by Sheep Mountain and climb up to Eight Mile Basin. Here you can see Chokecherry Knob off to the east. As you continue north, the road drops down Five Mile Ridge and you can see Rawlins Peak to the north. The road goes under I-80 and turns east one mile to I-80 (exit #214) in Rawlins.