Cloud Peak Wilderness is some 189,039 acres of majestic alpine scenery running 27 miles along the backbone of the Bighorn Mountains in north central Wyoming. Named for the highest point in the Bighorn Mountains, Cloud Peak (13,167'), the wilderness protects many glacier-carved sharp summits and sheer rock faces rising above U-shaped valleys. This area keeps snow on the ground usually into July, and the snowmelt feeds into several hundred high mountain lakes. Cloud Peak Glacier, the last remaining glacier in the Bighorns, is in a deep cirque on the northeastern side of Cloud Peak itself. Cloud Peak Glacier is retreating at a rate which will see it disappear somewhere between the years 2020 and 2034. Every year, the Cloud Peak Wilderness sees tens of thousands of hikers, horseback riders and backpackers on its' 100+ miles of maintained trails.

Cloud Peak in the Cloud Peak Wilderness of Wyoming
Cloud Peak

Cloud Peak Wilderness has certain additional regulations, above and beyond the usual stuff for wilderness areas:

  • Other than a self-contained chemical stove, fires are not allowed above 9,200' in elevation.
  • Below 9,200', fires must be built on a fire blanket or fire pan and are not allowed to touch the ground.
  • No fires within 300' of any lake, stream or trail.
  • Do not hold or carry any part of a tree (dead or alive) above 9,200'.
  • Camp at least 100' from any lake or stream.
  • If the site is posted as "Closed," don't camp there.
  • All camp structures must be dismantled after use (don't leave any hitching racks or tent frames behind).
  • Keep hitched or hobbled horses at least 100' from any lake or stream. And don't tether or hitch a horse to a live tree, except maybe when you are unloading them.
  • Groups are limited to 10 people and 15 head of recreational stock (2 more people are allowed if someone has their certification in "Leave no trace" ethics and skills on their person). Larger groups must split up and stay at least 1/2 mile apart.
  • Cut no switchbacks.
  • All users must register before entering the wilderness.
Cloud Peak, Cloud Peak Wilderness, Wyoming
Cloud Peak
Black Tooth Mountain, Cloud Peak Wilderness, Wyoming
Black Tooth Mountain (13,005'), from the summit of Cloud Peak
Lake Angeline, Cloud Peak Wilderness
Lake Angeline in the Cloud Peak Wilderness
Cloud Peak Wilderness map
In the heart of Cloud Peak Wilderness
Cloud Peak Wilderness area mapCloud Peak SkywayRed Gulch-Alkali Back Country BywayBighorn Scenic BywayBig Horn National Forest
Cloud Peak Wilderness area map