Seeking an adrenaline rush or an adventurous day's escape? Look no further than Sheep Mountain Trail. Known for its challenging terrain and majestic views, this 22-mile Out & Back trail offers the best and worst of both worlds—a grueling ascent coupled with awe-inspiring views of Laramie Basin and Lake Hattie.
To access this trail, head west on US HWY 130 from Laramie for 24 miles. Turn south on SH 11 towards Albany, continue for six miles, and make a left onto Rd 311, also known as Fox Creek Road. The primary trailhead is at Forbes Game and Fish Trailhead (Trail 386), which remains closed from December 31 to June 30 for elk overwintering and calving. An alternative trailhead exists another 1.5 miles down the road near Fence Creek.
Described by seasoned cyclists as "a biatch of a climb," this trail presents an early and consistent challenge. The first stretch of singletrack is scarred from past fires, making the trail tricky due to lack of vegetation and increased erosion. Despite the odds, it's a mountain biker's rite of passage, testing skills and stamina like few other trails.
The ascent might be exhausting, but what awaits at the top is a doubletrack with unparalleled views of both the Centennial and Laramie Valleys. While some argue that these vistas are rivaled by other singletrack rides in the area, the isolation and sense of accomplishment amplify the experience.
After the summit, brace yourself for a riveting downhill experience. The descent offers some of the most joyful moments on this trail—a fitting reward for the strenuous climb.
Sheep Mountain Trail is not for the faint-hearted. It is about hard work, adventure, and in some ways, a test of your mountain biking mettle. The trail has its flaws—unforgiving climbs, some eroded sections, and an absence of the smooth singletrack many crave. Yet, when you gaze upon Laramie Basin and Lake Hattie from the peak, all those challenges seem inconsequential. It is a ride of contrasts—difficult yet rewarding, exhausting yet exhilarating. A must-try for any serious mountain biker looking to conquer Wyoming's rugged terrains.