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Tongue River Professional Review and Guide
"Located 9 miles west of Ranchester, in the northeastern Big Horn Mountains. A rugged day hike or - more practically - a 2- or 3-day journey into several different, impressive mountain settings."
--Bill Hunger, Hiking Wyoming (Falcon Guides).
Trails.Com does not include all the trails that I ran from Tongue River Canyon west for 50 some miles, so I'll have to improvise. The course I ran is the alternate course of the Big Horn Run in June 2008 (http://www.bighorntrailrun.com/contingency.html). It has FANTASTIC views throughout and offers a variety that will appeal to all trail users. My favorite was atop the peaks near Riley Point and Upper Sheep. It was the mountain-top scene right out of Sound of Music! These trails are a must-do for anyone wanting a low elevation adventure. I will agree with the previous poster that some sections were too muddy to tolerate due to the high ATV use in the area, especially around cow camp. Have fun and run hard!
The Bighorn Mountains are a great region to hike in either on the way to Yellowstone or in lieu of Yellowstone all together. That said this is not one of my favorite trails in the region. Much of the trail is a reminder of how overgrazing and general abuse of public lands is a detriment to us all. Although the area is beautiful the trail is much abused and crossed repeatedly by ATVs and cattle trails. The trail is often confusing and difficult to follow as a result. There are several stream crossings along the way but most have some sort of a "bridge" to accomodate the hiker. There is a small cave along the way but it is of limited interest due to graffiti and rubish within it. On a positive note there is some decent fishing along the way and the trail is an excellent workout with some very steep hill climbs. In summary I would recommend seeking out one of the trailheads leading to the Cloud Peak Wilderness area for a more pristine adventure in the Bighorns.
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