DescriptionIn northwestern Wyoming, the Shoshone National Forest was established by presidential proclamation in 1891 as the nation's first forest reserve. It occupies nearly 2.5 million acres. Its boundaries extend south from Montana and include parts of the Beartooth, Absaroka and Wind River mountains. The forest includes the state's highest mountain, Gannett Peak.
Forest watersheds and glacial runoff feed several rivers of the Missouri River Basin and serve as a major water source for many communities and ranches within or near the forest.
Scenic drives include Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway (US 14/16/20) through the North Fork of the Shoshone River canyon en route to the east entrance of Yellowstone National Park; the Wyoming Centennial Scenic Byway over Togwotee Pass on US 287/26 between Dubois and Moran Junction; the Beartooth Scenic Highway (US 212) over the Beartooth Plateau; and the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway (SR 296) from its junction with SR 120 to the junction of US 212. SRs 296, 291 and 131 also travel past spectacular mountain scenery.
Backcountry hiking, trail riding, fishing and primitive camping are available in the Fitzpatrick Wilderness, which has two of Wyoming's highest peaks and some of the nation's largest glaciers; the Popo Agie Wilderness, dotted by more than 200 lakes; the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, containing many lakes and granite peaks; and the North Absaroka Wilderness, scored by steep canyons. Cross-country skiing also is available.
Information and maps (a fee is charged) can be obtained by writing the Forest Supervisor, 808 Meadow Ln., Cody, WY 82414-4516. Phone (307) 527-6241.