FR401 Sage Creek Rd s(u)

This is one of Wyoming's many wide and windy unpaved Continental Divide crossings, also a part of the Great Divide mountain bike touring route. Four roads meet at the top: Sage Creek Rd, Mc Carty Creek Rd and Deep Creek Rd and Hydrology road (and another track which really can't be called a road). Hydrology Road is also rougher than the other three, and hardly used at all. It goes just a little higher and therefore has its own page.

1.(mile00.0,7390ft) START-END SOUTH-1: FR401 reaches a low point while crossing east fork of Savery Creek
2.(mile06.3,7790ft)jct with Jack Creek Rd on right
3.(mile09.0,8100ft)TOP:highest point on FR401, immediately before
4.(mile22.7,7140ft)jct with Miller Hill Rd on left
5.(mile25.9,7130ft)jct with Bridger Pass Rd on left
6.(mile32.3,7210ft)jct with BLM5420 Rim Lake Rd on left
7.(mile39.1,6750ft)START-END NORTH: Rawlins: south side of railroad bridge

Approaches

From South-1.
After reaching a low point, coming down from the Wy70-FR801 Deep Creek summit, Deep Creek Rd starts climbing again and quickly emerges from the forest. The continental divide is now on the right, resembling in shape something like a gigantic roof shingle with many imperfections.

During my ride in 2015 the road was being reworked into a major high speed raceway through the high dessert, complete with banked turns and hard medalled surface. The road rolls along, so that it is difficult to tell without an altimeter, weather overall I am gaining or loosing elevation with each roll and climb repetition.

Approaching the top, the road shifts to the east and presents a few nice vantage points on itself with the sage receding into infinity behind it. The top has far views in all major directions, including down direction Rawlins for the first time. The town itself is still hidden behind a ridge. The top is easy to miss, since there are no signs of any sort. There are sandy tracks, branching off the summit, following along the Continental Divide in each direction for miles. On the north side this is signed as Hydrology Road, while on the south side a rocky track, that is not ridable follows the divide to meet up with Mc Carty Road.

From North. (described downwards) A fast descend leads into a landscape of lips. Linear distant lines of cliffs show off the large proportions of central Wyoming. Several turnoffs to the left invite for more exploration on a bicycle, even though I wonder if anybody has actually ever ridden these roads, immediately adjacent to the Great Divide touring route.

After the descend comes one of my favorite Wyoming camping opportunities, Teton Reservoir, even if the Teton mountains are in an entirely different corner of the state. From here the profile climbs through a shallow gap in the set of cliffs, that still separate me from Rawlins. After many miles of solitude the town finally appears as a small collection of rectangular buildings and parking lots lining I70. On first appearance the core of the town appears picturesque and historic. There is a larger, more modern big box store array of gigantic parking lots two miles to the east.

 

 

 

     the landscape of lips

The profile below shows the South-1 approach from above, with the South-2 approach, described below

1.(mile00.0,7390ft) START-END SOUTH-1: FR401 reaches a low point while crossing east fork of Savery Creek
2.(mile06.3,7790ft)jct with Jack Creek Rd on right
3.(mile09.0,8100ft)TOP:highest point on FR401, immediately before profile turns off onto McCarty Canyon Rd
4.(mile11.7,7670ft)turnoff to Rawlins Reservoir on right
5.(mile14.3,7950ft)intermediate summit on McCarty Canyon Rd
6.(mile18.6,7390ft)jct with Miller Hill Rd on right
7.(mile22.6,7310ft)intermediate low point
8.(mile37.5,7840ft)CR752-501 Brown's Hill s(u)
9.(mile45.8,6510ft)START-END SOUTH-2: Savery North Rd ends on Wy70, and reaches a low point after turning east.
 

From South2-2: Turning right onto Mc Carty Canyon Rd - CR573, immediately north of the summit, a graveled road reaches another low point at the turnoff to Rawlins Reservoir. From here a short climb with less than 300ft elevation gain reaches another high point on Mc Carty Canyon Road.

From here it is still a long ramble back to Savery. The first section leads down a desolate shallow canyon. The rock layers seem to descend with road, so that the scenery changes little even though the bike rolls along over the rocks. Exiting the canyon, the road passes the most distinctive landmark of the ride, the old Mc Carty Ranch. Several intersections follow, that combine a network of extremely isolated roads. The profile heads for hard top as best as it can, by going south. This involves what is technically another summit over CR753-501 Brown's Hill s(u), and the description continues there.

A Dayride with this point as  intermediate summit is on page: Wy70 Battle Lake Pass Rd - FR801 Deep Creek Rd(sh)