The Sinks Canyon Trail

This driving tour offers everything from wildlife viewing and scenic vistas to a taste of the rough and tumble Old West.  You’ll visit the Fremont County Pioneer Museum and the Museum of the American West, stop at Sinks Canyon Visitor Center and head up The Loop Road into the Shoshone National Forest and stop at Red Canyon, our own scenic wonder.  You’ll have opportunities for picnicking and fishing along the way.

 

 

FULL DAY DRIVING TOUR, 65 MILES ROUNDTRIP

Lander

The friendly town of Lander, population 7,500, was the first community settled in Wind River Country. At the base of the Wind River Mountains, Lander became the central supply point for Indians, trappers, ranchers and homesteaders in the 1800s and was also a favorite watering hole for notorious outlaws, including Butch Cassidy.

For a taste of history before starting on the Sinks Canyon Trail, visit Lander’s Pioneer Museum at 630 Lincoln Street. The museum has an exceptional collection of Native American and pioneer artifacts and is open six days a week.

Sinks Canyon

The Sinks Canyon Trail is an easily accessible mountain experience. Start by picking up a picnic for the mountains. From downtown Lander, follow the signs to Sinks Canyon Road, where the tour begins. Sinks Canyon and the State Park get their name from the geological wonder known as “The Sinks.” Stop at the Rise, the Sinks and the Visitors Center to learn more about the underground disappearance of the Popo Agie River. For an intimate look at the park, ask for information on interpretive nature walks, camping and picnic areas within the canyon.

Popo Agie falls in the autumn
The lower Popo Agie Falls. Photo: Scott Copeland

From the Visitors Center, continue south on Sinks Canyon Road, keeping an eye out for rock climbers on the cliffs to the right and wildlife everywhere else.

At Bruce’s Bridge parking lot either park and take a magnificent 1.5-mile hike up to the roaring Popo Agie Falls or continue on the unpaved, single-lane Loop Road into the Shoshone National Forest.

The Loop Road

Frye Lake
Skipping rocks at Frye Lake. Photo: Shelli Johnson, YourEpicLife.com

The 26-mile Loop Road is a narrow, winding dirt road that offers wonderful views of the Wind River Mountains as well as picture perfect spots at several lakes for lunch and fishing. Worthen Reservoir, and Frye, Fiddler’s and Louis lakes are all accessible by car.

You’re at the top of the Loop Road at almost 10,000′ when you see a “Blue Ridge” sign. At Louis Lake, motorized boating is allowed, while non-motorized boating is allowed on the other accessible lakes.

Red Canyon

Once you reach Hwy. 28, where the pavement begins again, you’re less than 30 miles from Lander. Turn left and watch for the breathtaking Red Canyon to the left. Pull into the turnout area for a long look at the deep red cliffs that overlook the Red Canyon Ranch, owned by The Nature Conservancy and operated as a working cattle ranch.

Red Canyon. Photo: Jennie Hutchinson
Red Canyon. Photo: Jennie Hutchinson

HALF DAY DRIVING TOUR, 65 MILES ROUNDTRIP

The Sinks Canyon Tour over the Loop Road and back to Lander can be completed in a half day by just driving and sightseeing. The entire loop is roughly 65 miles, but remember that the 26-mile Loop Road is a rough gravel road with a 25 mph speed limit. With only a few stops, the trip can usually be completed in less than three hours.

Quick Driving Tour, 18 Miles Roundtrip

If you prefer a short hike, skip the Loop Road and spend time in Sinks Canyon State Park. (See full day tour for information.)

Hotels & Motels

Black Bear Inn

505 W. Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

Branding Iron Inn

401 W. Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

Chinook Winds Motel

640 S. 1st St.
Dubois, WY

Comfort Inn & Suites

2020 N. Federal
Riverton, WY

Desert Inn Motel & RV Park

505 W. 2nd St.
Shoshoni, WY

Frontier Lodge

808 Main St.
Lander, WY

Green Mountain Motel

2271 Hwy 789
Jeffrey City, WY

Hampton Inn & Suites

2500 North Federal Blvd
Riverton, WY

Holiday Inn – Riverton Convention Center

900 E. Sunset Blvd.
Riverton, WY

Holiday Inn Express & Suites

1002 11th St.
Lander, WY

Holiday Lodge

210 McFarlane Dr.
Lander, WY

Inn at Lander

260 Grandview Drive
Lander, WY

Jackpine Motel

120 S. Federal Blvd.
Riverton, WY

Lava Mountain Lodge

3577 US Hwy 26 W.
Dubois, WY

Longhorn Ranch Lodge & RV

5810 E Highway 26
Dubois, WY

Motel 6

302 E. Fremont Ave.
Riverton, WY

Paintbrush Motel

1550 N. Federal Blvd.
Riverton, WY

Rocky Mountain Lodge

1349 W. Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

Rodeway Inn

611 W. Main
Riverton, WY

Rodeway Inn & Suites Pronghorn Lodge

150 E. Main St.
Lander, WY

Roomers Motel

319 N. Federal Blvd.
Riverton, WY

Shoshone Rose Casino & Hotel

5690 US- 287
Lander, WY

Silver Spur Motel

1240 Main St.
Lander, WY

Stagecoach Motor Inn

103 Ramshorn St.
Dubois, WY

Sundowner Station

1616 N. Federal Blvd.
Riverton, WY

Super 8 Motel

1412 Warm Springs Dr.
Dubois, WY

Super 8 Motel

1040 N. Federal Blvd
Riverton, WY

The Mill House

125 Main St.
Lander, WY

Tomahawk Motor Lodge

208 E. Main St.
Riverton, WY

Trail’s End Motel

511 Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

Twin Pines Lodge & Cabins

218 W. Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

Wind River Hotel & Casino

10269 Hwy 789
Riverton, WY

Wind River Motel

519 W. Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

Restaurants

789 Casino Cafe

10369 Hwy 789
Riverton, WY

Arby’s

1140 W. Main
Riverton, WY

Atlantic City Mercantile

100 E. Main
Atlantic City, WY

Bar 10

114 S. Broadway
Riverton, WY

Breadboard

124 E. Washington
Riverton, WY

Breadboard

1350 Main
Lander, WY

Brown Sugar Coffee Roastery

303 E. Main
Riverton, WY

Burger King

2100 N. Federal Blvd.
Riverton, WY

Cee nokuu Cafe, Wind River Casino

10269 Hwy 789
Riverton, WY

China Garden

162 N. 6th Street
Lander, WY

China Panda

302 N. Federal Blvd.
Riverton, WY

Cowboy Cafe

115 E. Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

Cowfish/Lander Brewing Co

148 Main Street
Lander, WY

Coyote Blue Coffee and Deli

300 W. Ramshorn St.
Dubois, WY

Crooked Creek

76 Fir Road
Dubois, WY

Crux Coffee

300 Main St.
Lander, WY

Dairy Land Drive-In

977 Main Street
Lander, WY

Dairy Queen

819 N. Federal Blvd.
Riverton, WY

Daylight Donut & Ice Cream

622 E. Main Street
Riverton, WY

Deka-Guy Hee, Shoshone Rose Casino

5690 Hwy 287
Lander, WY

Domino’s Pizza

1188 W. Main
Riverton, WY

Domino’s Pizza

175 N. 4th
Lander, WY

El Durango

489 S. Federal
Riverton, WY

El Sol De Mexico

453 Main Street
Lander, WY

El Sol De Mexico

711 E. Main
Riverton, WY

English Muffin Bakery & Expresso

132 Main
Hudson, WY

Gannett Grill

126 Main St.
Lander, WY

Kai Espresso

109 Main St.
Hudson, WY

KFC

830 N. Federal
Riverton, WY

KT’s Grab N Grub

204 E. 2nd
Shoshoni, WY

Lander Bake Shop

259 Main St.
Lander, WY

Maverick Cafe

808 Main Street
Lander, WY

McDonald’s

813 N. Federal
Riverton, WY

McDonald’s

235 McFarlane Drive
Lander, WY

Middle Fork

351 Main St
Lander, WY

Miner’s Grubstake

150 Main St.
Atlantic City, WY

Morning Star, Little Wind Casino

800 Blue Sky Hwy 132
Ethete, WY

Nostalgia Bistro

202 E. Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

Oriental Palace

202 S. 3rd St. East
Riverton, WY

Outlaw Cafe

204 E. Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

Oxbow

170 E. Main St.
Lander, WY

Paintbrush Grill, Little Wind C-Store

693 Blue Sky Hwy 132
Ethete, WY

Perrett’s

519 W. Main
Riverton, WY

Phil’s Dog Shak

611 E. Main
Riverton, WY

Pizza Hut

215 N. Federal
Riverton, WY

Pizza Hut

607 E. Main Street
Lander, WY

Pizza Plus

201 E. Washington
Riverton, WY

QT’s Restaurant, Holiday Inn

900 E. Sunset
Riverton, WY

Red Willow Restaurant, Wind River Hotel & Casino

10269 Hwy 789
Riverton, WY

Riverton Country Club

4275 Country Club Road
Riverton, WY

Shoshone Tribal Service & Food Mart

3 N. Fork Road
Ft. Washakie, WY

Smokehouse Burgers & Fries

116 N. 6th
Riverton, WY

Speedway Cafe

815 S. Federal Blvd.
Riverton, WY

Split Rock Bar and Cafe

2297 Hwy 789
Jeffrey City, WY

Spur Steak House & Saloon

1409 W. Main
Riverton, WY

Subway

900 Main
Riverton, WY

Subway

960 Main Street
Lander,

Subway Wal-Mart

1733 N. Federal Blvd.
Riverton, WY

Sundowner Station Restaurant

1616 N. Federal
Riverton, WY

Svilar’s Bar & Steakhouse

173 S. Main St.
Hudson, WY

Taco Bell

1812 N. Federal
Riverton, WY

Taco Johns

623 W. Main
Riverton, WY

Taco Johns

870 W. Main St.
Lander, WY

Taylor Creek Exxon Deli

1426 Warm Springs Dr.
Dubois, WY

Thai Chef

975 Lincoln
Lander, WY

The Buffalo Restaurant, Wind River Hotel & Casino

10269 Hwy 789
Riverton, WY

The Bull & Bistro

1100 W. Main
Riverton, WY

The Cove Restaurant

301 E. Main St
Riverton, WY

The Depot

110 S. 1st
Riverton, WY

The Forge

202 Main
Lander, WY

The Perch Coffee House

132 E. Ramshorn
Dubois, WY

The Summit Restaurant

260 Grandview
Lander, WY

Tony’s Pizza

637 Main St.
Lander, WY

Trailhead Restaurant

203 E. Main
Riverton, WY

Village Cafe & Daylight Donuts

515 W. Ramshorn St.
Dubois, WY

Wendy’s

1800 N. Federal Blvd
Riverton, WY

Wilderness Boundary Restaurant, Lava Mountain Lodge

3577 US Hwy 26
Dubois, WY

Zanmai Sushi & Korean BBQ

140 N. 7th
Lander, WY