Located in northeastern Wyoming, the Shoshone National Forest is the first national forest ever created in the United States. Established in 1891, the forest covers over 2.4 million acres of valleys, high ridges, and snow-clad mountains. The forest is named for the Native American Shoshone tribe, one of several tribes that periodically occupied the region. Within the forest are four wilderness areas that provide further protection from human interference. The nearest community — Cody, WY — is a town of under 10,000 inhabitants. Visitors from larger cities like Billings, MT, or Casper, WY, often stop at the Shoshone National Forest to hike the trails, fish, hunt, camp, or view the incredible scenery.
The Popo Agie Falls Trail wanders up the middle fork of the Popo Agie River. It is an in-and-out trail that seeks a magnificent waterfall. For those wanting a more aggressive hike, the pathway continues for miles to the Continental Divide Trail.
Length: 3.3 miles
The Glacier Trail is a grueling approach to Gannett Mountain. The pathway ends at a traditional location for rock climbers to attempt a summit approach. Hikers walk through forests, along grass-rich mountainsides, and over creeks to get to this site. The views of the surrounding countryside are unique, and the lakes are rich with fish.
Length: 25 miles
The Silas Lake Trail is an in-and-out pathway that follows Silas Creek into the mountains to its source at Silas Lake. Along the path, you come across several breathtaking views of mountains and ridgelines. Be aware that the route crosses several creeks without the advantage of bridges, so wear the appropriate footwear.
Length: 6.9 miles
The trail to Bridal Veil Falls takes advantage of old forest service roads. The Morrison Jeep Road serves as a pathway for about a mile before turning north onto a marked trail. The hike is easy until the last portion, which is steep and requires some agility to climb. Those who make the climb get a fantastic view of Bridal Veil Falls from a low point where the trail ends.
Length: 3.9 miles
You can drive most of the climb to Beauty Lake by traveling the road to Beartooth Pass. Once there, you find the trail to Beauty Lake, which takes you around a small lake, across a stream, and through a meadow. Beyond the meadow, you find a river on the right with some lovely waterfalls. The river leads you directly to Beauty Lake, where you find fantastic fishing and outstanding views of the surrounding mountains.
Length: 3.9 miles
The Shoshone National Forest is one of the few places in Wyoming that experiences significant precipitation. The extra water brings a fantastic wildflower show in the spring and early summer months. Over 1,700 varieties of plants call this area home, including sagebrush, grass, pine, and spruce. Because the site was protected from development so early in American history, invasive plants are minimal.
Angling is a favorite activity of visitors in the Shoshone National Forest. The hundreds of small streams and large lakes are packed with rainbow, brook, and brown trout. You will often find yourself competing with the native wildlife for the rich fish harvest that this area provides.
Geocaching is allowed in the Shoshone National Forest in all areas except those sections designated as Wilderness Areas. If you are looking to create a geocache, keep track of your location because placing a geocache in a Wilderness Area is greeted with a hefty fine. Otherwise, feel free to establish a cache or to venture into the forest to search for one of these hidden treasures.
Since the Shoshone National Forest is an isolated entity surrounded by other federally protected areas, the light pollution is minimal. On a clear night, the sky is impressive. Astronomers and students of science love this place. At points, the elevation adds even more clarity to the sky.
Address: 808 Meadow Lane Avenue, Cody, WY 82414
Fee: Entry fee $0
It is easy to venture to the Shoshone National Forest for a vacation in an RV. Roads access several parts of the forest and take you directly to some fine RV campgrounds. RVs provide a comfortable place to rest after a day of hiking and fishing in the woods. When you use an RV, you are free to create those memories that last a lifetime without worrying about setting up camp at the end of the day.