Hiking the
Continental Divide Trail
Carbon County, Wyoming Travel & COVID-19
RV Travel Responsibly
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Gateway Communities
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Rawlins

Rawlins sits at the southeastern edge of the Great Divide Basin, a unique expanse of high desert where the Continental Divide splits in two. While it may appear desolate, the Basin is in fact an extraordinary desert ecosystem teeming with wildlife and diverse flora, and is home to wild horses, sand dunes, archeological relics, and the world’s largest herd of desert elk. The area has supported humans for at least 12,000 years, and by the time European settlers arrived 200 years ago, nomadic Plains tribes like the Ute, Crow, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Lakota, and, most predominantly, the Shoshone traversed the area.

Rawlins’ beginnings, like those of many western towns, are closely tied to the railroad. While surveying for the transcontinental railroad’s route with a Union Pacific Railroad survey crew in 1867, Army General John Rawlins became thirsty. A spring was found nearby. Gen. Rawlins thought the water from the spring was particularly refreshing, and said, “If anything is ever named after me, I hope it will be a spring of water.” A small community, initially known as Rawlins’ Spring, arose around the railroad and eventually became known as Rawlins.

The Continental Divide Trail passes right through Rawlins. Visitors will discover a unique, friendly city that’s home to a nationally-recognized downtown, where rich and colorful Old West history intersects with a modern, multicultural community.

More information on hiking the CDT around Rawlins can be found on the link below to the CDTC website.

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Riverside-Encampment

The small towns of Encampment and Riverside, Wyoming, rest at the base of the Sierra Madre Mountains, and are the gateway to the Medicine Bow National Forest. Near Encampment and Riverside, approximately 45 miles of the CDNST pass through relatively undisturbed areas of the forest, climbing above 10,000 ft., and offering some of the best views in southern Wyoming.

Encampment was first named “Grand Encampment” in 1838 by fur trappers for their mountain trading fair (or Rendezvous) which occurred by the river. Copper was later discovered in the Sierra Madres, and both towns boomed at the turn of the century. Riverside, formerly known as “Doggett,” was established as the ranching headquarters of the area in 1897, and became a town in 1902.

With their small town charm, friendliness, and beautiful views, Encampment and Riverside also offer amenities, including restaurants, overnight camping, showers, rental cabins, a post office, water, snacks, and sporting goods. While you are relaxing in the area, be sure to visit the Grand Encampment Museum, the “GEM” of Southern Wyoming.

More information on hiking the CDT around Encampment and Riverside can be found on the link below to the CDTC website.

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Safe RV Travel Tips
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"One of the largest conservation efforts in the history of the United States"
The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT) is much more than just a line on a map: it is a living museum of the American West, a place to reconnect with nature, and a unifying force bringing people of all walks of life together.
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Featured CDT Hikes
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Bridger Peak via the CDT
Rawlins
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Directions from Carbon County Visitors Council (508 W Cedar St.):
1. Head east on W Cedar St toward 5th St
2. Continue onto I-80BL
3. Use the left lane to take the ramp onto I-80 E
4. Stay on I-80 E for about 19 miles
5. Take exit 235 for US-30 E/US-287 S/WY-130 toward Walcott/Saratoga
6. Turn right onto WY-130 E
7. Stay on WY-130 for about 30 miles
8. Continue straight, the road changes to WY-230 E
9. Stay on WY-230 E for about 10 miles
10. Continue straight onto WY-70 W
11. Turn right onto 6th St.
12. Turn left onto WY-70 W/Mac Farlane Ave
13. Drive for about 12 miles, the parking area will be on your right

Parts of this route may be closed in the winter

Description: This hike takes you to the summit of Bridger Peak, the highest peak on the Wyoming side of the Sierra Madre range, featuring expansive views of this remote wilderness area. From the parking lot, follow a 4-wheel drive road (FR 412) marked with Continental Divide signs. The CDT splits off from the road at various points, and hikers can opt to follow either the road or the official CDT route until the summit, where there are remains of an old fire lookout and a ramshackle radio facility to explore with caution. Return via the CDT or opt to loop back to the CDT via a spur to FR 412.

Length: 9 miles total Type: Lollipop Difficulty: Moderate

More information can be found on the CDTC website in the link below!

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Red Mountain via the CDT
Riverside-Encampment
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Directions from Encampment:
1. Follow WY-70 W for 12 miles
2. You will reach a CDT parking lot on the left side of the highway

Description: Named for the beautiful red granite that comprises its rounded summit, Red Mountain is one of the tallest mountains in the Sierra Madre Range. However, it is not often traversed and makes for a great short day hike for hikers seeking solitude, interesting geology, and great views. From the CDT parking lot on WY-70, begin southbound on the CDT. The summit of Red Mountain is less than a mile off-trail from the CDT and can be reached via an unmarked scramble on the gently sloping north face of the mountain. Return by then scrambling back to down to rejoin the CDT, and hiking northbound to the parking lot. Be sure to bring your topographic map, compass, and sense of adventure.

Length: 3 miles total Type: Out and back Difficulty: Moderate

More information can be found on the CDTC website in the link below!

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Continental Divide Trail (CDT) Gateway Town Map for Rawlins, Wyoming
Rawlins, Wyoming is a Continental Divide Gateway Community! Find where Rawlins connects with the Continental Divide Trail using the map below. Happy hiking!
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Pledge to Adventure Responsibly.
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We’re all longing for space to be wild and free. Wyoming offers that safe haven for visitors. But it comes with a responsibility. We encourage all who visit to join us in caring for the health of our natural spaces, the wildness of the outdoors and the well-being of ourselves and our neighbors.

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Travel Safe Resources
Visit Carbon County, Wyoming
Travel responsibly

Carbon County is a great place to rejuvenate your spirit! As you plan your visit view these helpful resources to help you plan a safe visit. Please stop the spread of coronavirus & travel responsibly.

Hiking in Carbon County Wyoming.

There is plenty of hiking in and around Carbon County, Wyoming and the Medicine Bow Peak area has some of the best! Grab your gear and head out on one of the hiking trails for some exciting western adventure. Hiking is one of the best ways to spot wildlife too!

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