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Section 9: Trip One

The South Fork Shoshone River drive and return road from Cody

 

Open Google Map at GPS Coordinates:

 
Beginning: 44.498998, -109.101084
     Ending: 44.127747, -109.633649
 

This trip begins by turning off US-14 on the west side of Cody and taking W-291 up the hill to the south. Here you can see Heart Mountain to the north, the McCullough Peaks to the east, and to the west is Shoshone Canyon (between Cedar Mountain on the south side and Rattlesnake Mountain on the north side). The road turns southwest around Cedar Mountain and toward Carter Mountain.

After four miles, you pass by a road (P-6UU) going to Diamond Basin and you begin traveling across Irma Flats. Two miles further, Bartlett Lane (P6SU) turns off to the state park. Continue southwest and you begin following the South Fork Shoshone River through the valley.

At mile #9 W-291 ends and you begin traveling on P-6WX. You pass by the Lower South Fork Road (P-6QS) and Buffalo Bill Reservoir. Here Sheep Mountain is to the west. To the southwest is Wapiti Ridge and to the south is Carter Mountain. About five miles further, you pass by the other end of the Lower South Fork Road. Here the road begins traveling between Carter Mountain and Wapiti Ridge and you go by Castle Rock. (Nice drive.)

Two miles after passing Castle Rock, the Carter Mountain Road (NF-474) turns east. Here you can see Ishawooa Mesa to the southwest. As you head toward the mesa, the road crosses several small streams and goes past the Twin Creek and Bobcat/Houlihan trailheads. After 10 miles you begin passing through part of the national forest. Here you can see the confluence of the South Fork Shoshone River with Ishawooa Creek.

The road crosses the river and goes past the Ishawooa Trailhead into the wilderness. Two miles further is the Ishawooa Mesa Trailhead and you pass by the Hunter Creek Road (P-YXD) going to another trailhead across the river. Here the pavement ends and the road now begins traveling between Boulder Ridge and Ishawooa Mesa. Also at this junction is the Ishawooa Mesa Trailhead.

Four miles from the Hunter Creek Road is another trailhead and the Deer Creek Campground. In this area you begin passing spruce, fir, cedar, and limber pine. Two miles further you pass by Hawkeye and one mile further is the end of the road and a trailhead at Cabin Creek.

The confluence of Ishawooa Creek and the South Fork Shoshone River is "plain pretty".