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Section 6: Trip Nine

The Bitter Creek Road from I-80 south to Powder Wash, Colorado


Open Google Map at GPS Coordinates:

Beginning: 41.644620, -108.576589
     Ending: 40.952441, -108.311419

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 for seven miles to another junction. There you can either go west on S-26 through Cutthroat Draw to W-430 at mile #18, or you can continue south on S-24 and go past the Sand Butte Road (five miles) to W-430 at mile #35 (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 Delaney Rim is off to the east and Sand Butte Rim is around to the west. At this junction the LaClede Road turns east around Delaney Rim and travels over to the Barrel Springs Road between Wamsutter and Baggs (see page 96).

Stay south on S-19 and the road follows Antelope Creek into a small canyon. After passing several old wooden pump houses, you come to a small junction five and a half miles from the LaClede road. Here the old road to Sand Butte turns west. Continue south for another two and a half miles (eight miles south of the LaClede Road) where a better road (BLM-4408) goes over to both Pine Butte and Sand Butte and then on over to W-430 (see page 101).

Continue south for two miles to another junction (10 miles south of the LaClede Road). Here you can take the road (BLM-4409) going northeast and join the LaClede Road north of Manuel Gap and Adobe Town Rim.

Continue south on S-19 and after two miles you pass by a ranch (stay to the southeast here). Two miles further is an unmarked junction. Here the Kinney Rim Road (S-19) turns west and joins W-430 at mile #47 (six miles to Carson Springs and 16 miles more to W-430, see page 100).

Stay south and the road begins traveling through soaphole country. This is a "24-hour area" meaning no travel is advised if there has been any rain in the last 24-hours. Keep to the roads or you stand a good chance of getting stuck.

Four miles from the Kinney Rim Road is a small road going east that drops down over Adobe Town Rim to Sand Creek and beyond. The main road crosses Shell Creek (four more miles) and climbs a small ridge. From here you can see Cow Creek Reservoir to the southwest and Powder Mountain to the southeast. Three miles further, you pass by a small road going northeast to East Fork Point on Skull Creek Rim (10 miles).

As you continue south on the Bitter Creek Road, you pass the Cow Creek Headquarters to another small junction in three miles. Here you can turn east and drop down into the Skull Creek drainage. There you can connect with the Powder Rim or Barrel Springs Roads (4WD, see page 92 and page 94). If you don't drive this road, you'll at least want to grab some picnic stuff and walk out on the point for a bit. The view from there is fantastic.

Continue south from this 2-track and the road swings by the head of Skull Creek. Here you can look north along the rim and see the plateau at East Fork Point. Rising above it in the distance are the Haystacks.

The road then turns southeast for seven miles (passing by Powder Mountain off to the east) to a junction. Here you can go east along Powder Rim to Baggs (see page 94).

Continue south for one mile to the state line and then three miles further on M-62 to a junction with M-4 at Powder Wash, Colorado. From Powder Wash, you can either go west to Hiawatha Camp and W-430 at mile #52 (30 miles), or you can travel east to Colorado-13 at mile #126, four miles south of Baggs (39 miles).