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Section 8: Trip Fifteen

The Louis Lake Road from Lander southwest to Atlantic City


Open Google Map at GPS Coordinates:

Beginning: 42.823825, -108.748879
     Ending: 42.515010, -108.777801

This trip begins by turning off US-287 (Main Street) in Lander and taking W-131 (Fifth Street) southwest out of town. The road travels through a wide red rock canyon and follows along the Middle Popo Agie River. Near mile #6, you enter the Sinks Canyon State Park and pass by the Rise and Sinks (mile #7 and #8). Around mile #9, W-131 ends but the pavement continues past a campground, a picnic area and then across the river past a parking area and into the Shoshone National Forest. (Popo Agie Falls is along the trail one and a half miles to the west.)

After crossing the river, the road climbs a series of switchbacks up the side of Fossil Hill. (If your ears don't pop on this drive they never will!) Near the top you can see the Bighorn Mountains to the far northeast. If you look up the river drainage to the west, you can see the Wind River Mountains above timberline.

One mile from Fossil Hill is Frye Lake. Here you can look due west and see Wind River Peak. To the north a bit is Big Sandy Mountain. South of Wind River Peak is Mount Nystrom and south a bit more is Roaring Fork Mountain. The forest here is composed of spruce, aspen, lodgepole and limber pine.

After leaving the lake, the road climbs up a further and you pass by a road going to Worthen Meadows. The pavement ends about 18 miles from Lander. You then travel through Neff Park on NF-300 where you can see Cony Mountain and Blue Ridge to the south. To the north is Mount Arter. The road then crosses Sawmill Creek and after two miles you can see Meyer Lookout off to the east.

The road climbs up and over Blue Ridge to Fiddlers Lake where you have a better view of Cony Mountain. (A cony or pika is a small rabbit-like critter that prefers to live on rocky mountain slopes.) Three miles south of the lake, you cross the Little Popo Agie River. (Beautiful!) About two miles further, you go around Louis Lake (a great place for middle to late summer swimming) and past the Louis Lake picnic areas, guard station, resort and campground.

The road then climbs up for a bit and then travels southeast along Rock Creek through Grannier Meadows. Four miles after crossing Rock Creek, you cross Slate Creek where you have a good view of Granite, Pabst, and Rennecker Peaks to the west. The road then leaves the creek and drops down to W-28 at mile #46 near Atlantic City. Along this stretch you can see Pacific Butte and Oregon Buttes to the southwest.

Chuck catching breakfast at Louis Lake.