Section 4: Trip Two

Casper to Riverton on the Poison Spider- Gas Hills Road

 

Open Google Map at GPS Coordinates:

 
Beginning: 42.850338, -106.418231
     Ending: 43.006120, -108.378136
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This trip begins by going west on the Poison Spider Road (N-201) on the west side of Casper. You can access this road by turning off W-220 at mile #111 and taking the Robertson Road (N-305) north for two miles. You can also turn off US-20 at mile #6.5 and take the Zero Road (N-202) southwest for one mile. You then turn south on the Robertson Road for one mile to the Poison Spider Road.

As you travel west on the Poison Spider Road, you pass by N-204 and N-205 going north to the Zero Road. Two miles further west, the pavement ends at a small junction. Here N-206 also goes north to the Zero Road and US-20 (mile #13).

Continue west on N-201 and the road passes by an interpretive site at Emigrant Gap (two miles). About two miles further is another junction. Here you can take N-306 south and join N-308 going to Bessemer Bend and W-220 (mile #105). Also at the junction, you can take the Zero Road (N-202) northeast to Casper. (Ok, you could have just taken the Zero Road from west Casper to this point but then you would have missed out on about three miles of dirt.)

Turn west on the pavement past the Poison Spider School and after two miles you come to the next junction. Here the Ryan Hill Road (N-319) turns south. This route goes past Oil Mountain and hits W-220 (mile #73) west of Alcova (see page 75). At this junction you can see the western end of Casper Mountain and Coal Mountain to the southeast. To the south is Bessemer Mountain and the peaks on the horizon to the southwest are the Pedro Mountains.

Stay on N-201 and the road goes by Oil Mountain (off to the south) and then travels through an area of broken table rock. The road crosses Poison Spider Creek and three miles further, you come to another junction where the pavement ends, eighteen miles west of Casper. Here the Powder River Road (N-210) turns northwest around Pine Mountain to US-20 at either Natrona at mile #30 or Powder River at mile #38.

As you continue west on N-201, the road follows along the creek and passes several small lakes and a hogback ridge. You then begin to follow a ridge (off to the south) and head toward the Rattlesnake Range. Thirteen miles from the end of the pavement is a small junction. Here N-320 turns south and ends at Horse Heaven.

Stay to the west and the road travels along Poison Spider Creek for about twelve miles and crosses Stinking Water Creek and Middle Fork Casper Creek. Along here you have a terrific view of Snider Basin below Garfield Peak to the south. To the north you can see the Bighorn Mountains and to the northwest is Lysite Mountain. After a couple of miles, N-211 turns north to Powder River and US-20 (23 miles).

Stay on the Poison Spider Road and after four miles you cross Fales Creek below Fales Rocks (off to the north). The road then crosses Stone Cabin Creek (four more miles) and passes between a series of hogbacks on the north and the Rattlesnake Range on the south. The road swings northwest a bit to a junction where N-201 ends. Here you can take the Dry Creek Road (N-212) north along the South Fork Powder River to Waltman and US-20 at mile #51 (see page 68).

Turn west on the Gas Hills Road (N-212) and after three miles you cross Deer Creek and leave the Rattlesnake Range. To the far west are the Wind River Mountains. One mile after crossing Deer Creek is another junction. Here you can take the Dry Creek Road (N-321) south to W-220 at mile #67 (see page 68).

Stay on the Gas Hills Road and it enters a mining area for the next ten miles. After winding around through the mining area, you join W-136 (mile #44) at a junction. Here you can take the Ore Road, west and then south, through Muskrat Basin. That road then climbs over the Beaver Divide and passes through the Granite Mountains to Jeffery City (see page 69).

Turn northwest on W-136 and go past Sarcophagus Butte. After about six miles (at mile #38), you come to another junction. Here the Castle Garden Road turns north to Moneta and US-20 at mile #78 (see page 69 for this great little trip).

Continuing on W-136, you cross Muskrat Creek at mile #37 and at mile #35 you cross Mahoney Draw. Here you can see the Beaver Divide off to the south. At mile #29, you cross Horseshoe Creek and the road swings west across Conant Creek (mile #23).

After traveling west for 12 miles, you enter the Wind River Indian Reservation. To the north you can see where the Wind River Canyon cuts through the Owl Creek and Bridger Mountains. To the far east are the Gas Hills and to the south is the Beaver Divide. At mile #1 you pass by W-135 going south through Sand Draw to US-287. You then cross the Little Wind River and the road joins W-789 south of Riverton.

My good friends from the Taucher Ranch, Molly, Bret, Amy, and little Betsy got together for this photo to say, "Please remember that kids are found on dirt roads too!"