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Wandering Wyoming: The Sinks Canyon Nature Trail

Updated: Nov 8, 2020

It's amazing how spring overtakes Wyoming. It's like a tidal wave starting with one tiny flower on a nature trail before sweeping through the valley bursting in all its green and blossomed finery! The bone-chilling deep of winter all at once gives way to the warm sweet caress of an almost-summer day. The rain enriches the air with earthy goodness that makes you want to stand in it knowing full well you could catch a cold.

It's all that wonderful excitement that draws us from our houses as bears from their caves each spring. A wanderlust fills our souls and sets our feet tapping with a desperate to be used climbing further and further into the majesty around us!

My best friend and I heeded that call into the wilderness just a couple weeks ago. Staying far away from people, since getting away from them is kind of the point anyway, we grabbed our day trip snacks, water bottles, and jackets before hitting the road.

Although it was late in the afternoon we decided to head a few hours from home to The Sinks Canyon State Park. We had hoped to hike Popo Agie Falls but hadn't realized in our spontaneity that the road through that part of the canyon was still closed due to winter. Not easily deterred we pulled into the campground professing to have a Nature Trail.

Signs everywhere informed us the park was still only open for day use, that was ok, we weren't ready for camping yet anyway.

Setting out on the trail, cameras in hand we were struck by the contrast of the walking bridge across the water in the middle of this serene forest. On either side of the valley rising high above us were rocky cliffs clearly cut by this ancient force.

We laughed and joked climbing the trail especially about the unusually clear signage we weren't used to finding in a state or national park.

The trail was fairly easy in most places even featuring a boardwalk through a grove of aspens, but it was easy to see that winter was still holding on in this part of the state as we carefully slipped our way over other parts of the trail.

There was a shorter loop leading right back to the campground, but our wandering spirits weren't quite sated yet so we took the long hike over the ridgeline.

Wow! Was it worth the extra time and climbing! Looking down the canyon you could see the road winding along the river all the way into the mountains just like something out of a movie... or even a different world entirely. The higher we went, the more breathtaking the view became.

We had hiked in quite a bit later in the afternoon, so the light had really begun to fade as we found our way back to the road. There may be a trail leading along the road back to the nature trail campground, but we didn't find it. Fast walking up the road itself, it took maybe 15 min. or a little more to reach where we had parked... The nature trail itself had taken a couple of hours.

In between the Nature Trail coming out and the campground was another great sight. The "sinks" the canyon is known for. They're a cavern in the river where the water source disappears underground and continues along its way unless experiencing a generous spring run-off. Then the river will overflow the cavern and spill on along its ancient course above ground.

Making it back to the car just before night fell I caught just a glimpse of the moon through the spring bedazzled trees. We drove home in darkness but were wholly satisfied with the adventure behind us.

I know we will return just as soon as we can to camp and explore the Sinks Canyon State Park more in-depth.

Have you taken the Sinks Canyon Nature Trail? What is your favorite part of hiking? Do you plan excessively for trips or make spontaneous adventures?

Thank you, fellow adventurers! You can follow the lilmissbearpaw blog page on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @lilmissbearpaw for sneak peeks into upcoming posts and my adventures. This will also be a great place to share your own adventures!

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