Sweetwater Gap

Pinedale, Wyoming

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1 Review
4 out of 5
A long but quite enjoyable day hike (or a leisurely overnighter) to a high pass that accesses the Popo Agie Wilderness from the south, located approximately 60 miles southeast of Pinedale, in the extreme southeastern corner of the Bridger Wilderness. The area offers wonderful stream fishing, pretty meadow camping and incomparable views. Sweetwater Gap is a fun adventure into the headwater beginnings of that untamed river. After hiking the initial 0.1 mile from the registration sign, be certain to take the right (east) fork at the trail intersection. Like its counterpart to the west, this trail also journeys through the blackened landscape of a recent forest fire. The first 1.3 miles to the Bridger Wilderness boundary is quite a charred-wood experience. Beyond that, green forest dominates the scenery, and so do the gentle pools and still pockets of the rapidly forming Sweetwater River. Several peaceful meadows dress the forest and offer ideal camping and stream fishing spots.
Best Hikes along the Continental Divide

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Hikes along the Continental Divide

by Russ Schneider, editor (Falcon Guides)

A long but quite enjoyable day hike (or a leisurely overnighter) to a high pass that accesses the Popo Agie Wilderness from the south, located approximately 60 miles southeast of Pinedale, in the extreme southeastern corner of the Bridger Wilderness. The area offers wonderful stream fishing, pretty meadow camping and incomparable views.

Sweetwater Gap is a fun adventure into the headwater beginnings of that untamed river. After hiking the initial 0.1 mile from the registration sign, be certain to take the right (east) fork at the trail intersection. Like its counterpart to the west, this trail also journeys through the blackened landscape of a recent forest fire. The first 1.3 miles to the Bridger Wilderness boundary is quite a charred-wood experience. Beyond that, green forest dominates the scenery, and so do the gentle pools and still pockets of the rapidly forming Sweetwater River. Several peaceful meadows dress the forest and offer ideal camping and stream fishing spots.

©  Russ Schneider, editor/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Pinedale
Distance: 14
Elevation Gain: 1,620 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate to Difficult
Local Contacts: Pinedale Ranger District (307) 367-4326
Local Maps: Bridger - Teton National Forest Pinedale Ranger District Bridger Wilderness map; Sweetwater Needles, Sweetwater Gap USGS quads
Driving Directions: Directions to Sweetwater Gap

Recent Trail Reviews

8/21/2005
0

The trail description is fairly accurate. It is a rather leisurely hike with great scenic variety. The Atlantic peaks and Mt. Nystrom tightly bracket the river/creek valley and you really get a lesson in glacially formed alpine geology. There are numerous and beautiful stream crossings/views and many alpine meadows. The trail gets moderately steep the last 2 miles or so as you make the final ascent to the Sweetwater Gap. At the second to last meadow before the pass, there is a breathtaking view of Mt. Nystrom looking west. The peak towers above the meadow and the gigantic cirque architecture is really something else. I saw a cow moose at one of the creek meadows and was able to get some quick photos before she bolted. I was able to get some stream fishing in on the return but only caught some small cuttrhoat of no size. I used a fly with a slip bobber. I began the hike at 8:30a.m., reached the pass/gap at about 12:15, and returned to the trailhead at 5:30. Total distance was about 14 miles or so. I did not encounter anyone else the entire day. This is a good trail if you like solitude.



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May 2018