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Boulder Off the Beaten Path

Wyoming’s been pretty good over the years at keeping their lesser-known mountains, and the gems within them, under wraps. Millions flock to Yellowstone and Grand Teton, while a handful of fortunate adventurists escape into the true wilds and wildernesses hidden deep within the least populated state. Not only are there some great trails within these lesser-explored mountains, but also there are some awesome boulder fields within them. When you hear “great bouldering” and “awesome boulder field,” doubtless, images of Joshua Tree National Park and Lake Tahoe emerge in your mind, but would you think of the Bighorn Mountains of north central Wyoming?

Probably not.

You’re certainly not alone. In fact even the more easily accessed boulder fields in this small mountain range appear completely untouched and just waiting for someone to try their skills on their granite routes.

The particular field that I speak of is a section closely along the edges of Red Grade Road, which is a mountain access route on the northwest side of the Bighorn Mountains that travels west from the town of Bighorn. Though this field isn’t the most easily accessed site, you will definitely know when you’ve arrived since the rocks surround the road, and almost call out to the passer-by.

There are plenty of pull-offs to use for parking. And with the small amount of traffic that travels this path, parking should be the least of your worries.

An added perk to this boulder field is it’s close proximity to the Cloud Peak Wilderness, where you will find numerous trails leading into some of the last untouched wilds of the west. You could spend days in this area exploring trails and honing your climbing skills on unmarked routes.

This is your chance and opportunity to be a bouldering trailblazer and answer the long unheard call of these pristine rocks.


From Bighorn travel west on Bighorn Road, which eventually turns into a dirt road and travels up the mountain. For this route four-wheel drive is recommended but not absolutely required. Once on the dirt portion just follow it up the mountain, toward Park Reservoir, it will lead directly through the boulder field and beyond into beautiful scenes not found anywhere else.


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