Section 3: Trip Seven

Saratoga west to Dad on the Twin Grove - Cow Creek Butte Road

 

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Beginning: 41.454262, -106.825930
     Ending: 41.325991, -107.758653
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This trip begins by turning west off First Street in Saratoga and taking Bridge Avenue out of town. Three miles west of town is a small junction where C-408 turns north across Jack Creek and then along the North Platte River. Here you can see Sheep Rock above the North Platte River to the north and to the northeast is Sheephead Mountain (below Elk Mountain). South of Elk Mountain is Coad Mountain, Pennock Mountain, and Kennaday Peak. To the east are the Snowy Range Mountains. (Nice view.)

The main road follows along above Jack Creek for a bit and then makes a long climb up the slope to small junction. Here you can take C-640 southeast, past Buck and Haines Reservoir, and then loop back to Saratoga. Continue west across Jack Creek to another small junction where the Hydrology Road (BLM-3422) turns north across Little Jack Creek. Continue west for four more miles to the next junction (16 miles from Saratoga). Here NF-452 goes south to the Jack Creek Campground.

Stay on C-500 and you cross Snow Draw, Willow Creek, and Spring Creek. After crossing Spring Creek, the road climbs up to the top at Twin Grove. The road travels along the top for a bit and then drops down to a junction on Fish Creek (21 miles from Saratoga). Here you can go south on C-801 to Savery or to Dixon (see page 48).

Turn north on C-801 and the road follows Fish Creek up to the next junction (three miles). Here you can continue north to Rawlins. Turn west on C-503 and the road goes down a hill (passing by a road going north toward Adams Reservoir) into part of Sage Basin and across South Fork Sage Creek. After about four miles, the road climbs back up to a junction on Miller Hill. Here C-503 turns southwest through McCarty Canyon and on over to Dixon (see page 50).

Turn west up the hill on the Miller Hill Road (BLM-3328, C-505W). The road swings northwest along the top and above Sage Basin on the north and the Little Savery Creek drainage on the south. Along here you get glimpses of Bakers Peak, Battle Mountain, and Columbus Peak to the south. You travel north for a bit and drop down to a junction where the Miller Road continues north.

Take the Muddy Creek Road (BLM-3306) to the northwest. After two miles, the road drops down a bit and turns southwest away from the Littlefield Creek drainage. The road then cuts east and back to the northwest to a junction at Muddy Creek. Here the Muddy Creek Road continues northwest and then swings northeast over Bridger Pass and W-71 (see page 50).

Turn west across Muddy Creek on the Cow Butte Road (BLM-3308). After crossing the creek, the road climbs up through Canary Grove Draw to a small junction. Here the Rendle Road (BLM-3312) goes south toward Rendle Buttes.

Stay on the Cow Butte Road, west and then south, toward Cow Creek Butte. As the road goes out on a long divide between Deep Gulch on the east and Garden Gulch on the west, you can see Battle Mountain to the southeast. The road swings almost all the way around the butte and then heads southwest where you begin a rocky road decent off the butte. There are a few small side roads in this area, so stay on the main road heading southwest toward Flat Top Mountain. About eight miles from Cow Creek Butte, you cross Cow Creek, and two miles further you cross a small creek to a junction. Here the Willow Road (BLM-3305) turns northeast toward the Sand Hills area.

Stay west across Dry Cow Creek and to another junction. Here you can take the Horse Butte Road (BLM-3309, C-608) south to the roads on Browns Hill, or you can travel past Horse Butte to W-789 (mile #43). (People traveling from W-789 to Saratoga need to turn east here, six miles from W-789. Then, one mile east of here is where the Willow Road turns northeast so people traveling to Saratoga need to stay southeast and then east at that junction.)

Turn northwest on C-608 for three miles and the road swings back to the southwest. (Here an unmarked OFR goes northeast, so people traveling from W-789 to Saratoga need to turn southeast at this possible wrong turn, three miles from W-789.) You then travel southwest for about three miles to W-789 (mile #28) at Dad.