Section 6: Trip Eight

The Fort LaClede Road going east from Bitter Creek to Wamsutter

 

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Beginning: 41.644568, -108.576597
     Ending: 41.661180, -107.968051
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This trip begins by turning off I-80 at exit #142. You turn south on S-19 for seven miles to the first junction at Bitter Creek. Along this stretch you can see Black Butte to the west, Table Rock to the southeast, and to the south is Pine Butte and Sand Butte. At this junction, you can take the Patrick Draw Road (S-24) northeast back to I-80 at exit #146.

Continue south across the railroad track to the next junction. Here you can take the Patrick Draw Road (S-24) southwest to W-430 or the Sand Butte Road (see page 101).

Continue south on the Bitter Creek Road (S-19) and you pass by Table Rock (off to the east). Ten miles from Bitter Creek you cross Antelope Creek in Long Draw to a junction. Here you can see Delaney Rim along to the east and Sand Butte Rim to the west. At this junction you can continue south along Antelope Creek on the Bitter Creek Road (S-19) and hit the Sand Butte, Kinney Rim, or the Powder Wash Roads (see page 98).

Turn east on the Fort LaClede Road (BLM-4409) and the road travels along Antelope Creek past the edge of Delaney Rim. After a couple of miles the road swings southeast and begins following Bitter Creek again. After five miles, you come to the LaClede Stage Station ruins. This is a great place to picnic and knock around.

One mile south of the LaClede ruins is a small junction. Here you can see The Haystacks to the southeast. At this junction you can take the road south to Manuel Gap on BLM-4411 (nine miles) and Adobe Town Rim. Also along this road, you can loop back over to the Bitter Creek Road on BLM-4409.

Continue east on BLM-4410/4411 for one mile to Fort LaClede at the Bitter Creek crossing. If you didn't stop at the stage station you'll just about have to at the fort. This is a great spot.

After leaving the ruins, the road meanders off to the east and you come to another small junction. (Note odometer reading: five miles from the fort.) Here you can turn northeast on the "Dugway Road" (BLM-4410) and go over Delaney Rim to I-80 at Table Rock. That road becomes a two-track as it swings north after a couple of miles. Six miles further it drops over the edge of Delaney Rim. (Nice!) That road then joins S-55 about eight miles from Delaney Rim and about three miles from I-80 at exit #152.

Turn southeast on the main road (BLM-4411), across the Laney Wash culvert, and then east along the rim. The road then travels through an area of vegetated sand dunes and past the northern edge of the Haystacks. After eight miles, the road swings north away from the Haystacks and you can now see the Man and Boy Buttes off to the north.

The road drops down past some rocky breaks to a junction with an OFR going toward the Man and Boy Buttes. (Note odometer reading: 11 miles from the Dugway Road.) Stay northeast for three more miles to another OFR heading west. Stay east for about 200 yards to a junction on top of the hill. Here the road following along the ridge to the southeast goes past a couple of well units and then drops down to connect with the Barrel Springs Road.

Turn northeast on the road going down the hill. At the bottom is a junction with the Barrel Springs Road. Here you can turn south on the Barrel Springs Road to the Windmill Draw, Eureka, or Standard Roads (see page 92).

Turn north to another junction in 100 yards. Here you can take the Delaney Rim Road (BLM-3313) west and then north up the hill and travel over to Tipton and I-80 at exit #158.

Turn east past some small buttes to another junction in about 200 yards. Here you can take BLM-3323 north along the base of Delaney Rim for about seven miles. That road then turns away from the rim and does a little zig-zag to the top of a hill near the power lines. There the road becomes a 2-track as it drops down a steep hill to Wamsutter.

The best choice is to continue east, away from Delaney Rim, on the Barrel Springs Road. The road swings northeast and passes by several small, temporary lakes. Along here you can see the gray bluffs of the Haystacks rising above Delaney Rim to the southwest. To the south you can see Flat Top Mountain. The road then drops down a bit to the Wamsutter Road, 10 miles from all of the junction options at North Barrel Springs. Here you can go south on S-23 to W-789 at Dad (19 miles). There you can continue south to Baggs or turn north to Wamsutter (see page 92).

Turn north on S-23. After 8 miles, you cross the railroad tracks in Wamsutter and hit I-80 at exit #173.

NOTE: People wishing to take the Fort LaClede Road west from Wamsutter and North Barrel Springs, take I-80 exit #173. Turn east on McCormick Street (S-23) and cross the railroad tracks. Continue south (past the Echo Springs Road) on S-23 for eight miles to the Barrel Springs Road. There you turn southwest for 10 miles to the junctions at North Barrel Springs. There you pass by BLM-3323 going north back to Wamsutter. There you also pass by BLM-3313 going west and then north to Tipton. There you do turn southwest up the hill to the LaClede Road.

Both the LaClede Stage Station and Fort LaClede (shown here) are great places to picnic and knock about.