Powder River Pass Road Eastern Summit s(u)
only has one official summit.
But there is a point on the eastern approach,
which is separated by more than a 500ft drop
(~580ft) from the pass. As geography would
have it, an interesting dirt road can be used
to approach this point directly. But even
without the dirt road approach, I am counting
this one as a separate summit. See also the
Powder River Pass profile.
EAST downtown Buffalo
2.(mile21.4,8380ft)TOP: Powder River
Pass Rd eastern summit s(u)
3.(mile25.9,7900ft)profile turns left
onto Crazy Woman Canyon Rd
4.(mile39.3,5060ft)START-END SOUTH: jct:
Crazy Woman Rd - Old Wy87/Wy196
From North. The town
Buffalo has a historic old row of houses
surrounding downtown. A number of sculptures
depict the pursuit and attack themes of the wild
west, for the benefit of violence starved
tourists, wandering about the restaurants with
their cameras. There is, for example a statue of
a wolf or dog about to jump onto a weary looking
sheep. Across the street, in front of the bank,
a horseman shoots the cattle of another, while
the horse of the first party looks on with a
deeply profound stare. Finally, after making the
turn east towards Powder River Pass, a
Wyatt Earp mustache type comes storming out of
an official looking building with guns blazing,
one in each hand - just a statue of course.
Riding out of Buffalo an abandoned bike path
parallels the road for the first several miles.
It's still rideable with a mountain bike, but
the excellent spacious shoulder without rumble
strips is probably a better choice for a road
bike. Both sides of the Powder Pass roads have
labels, pointing out the many geologic
formations (formations in the sence of layers, I
want to say all, but don't know this for a fact)
that are encountered next to the road. The first
one on this side is the Wasatch Conglomerate, a
very new stream deposit (Eocene 38-55 million
years) that is like the icing on the cake.
Next comes the star of the west side of Powder
River Pass. The Bighorn Dolomite is one of the
major cliff forming rocks of Tensleep Canyon.
But here on the east side, comparatively there
is hardly a trace, and hence no canyon. But
instead there are nice far views of the crest of
the Bighorns, which form quite an escarpment
when seen from this angle. The best view of them
on this entire profile is from the first point
followed by a small drop.
Lingering at this view point, on the other side
of the road, an sign advertises a unique runaway
truck ramp with some sort of elastic strings. A
photograph of a runaway truck survivor shows him
making a kneefall, next to his restrained truck,
with praying hands directed skywards. -Quite an
theatrically produced advertisement.
From here on the road envelopes itself more and
more in trees. It crosses a granite dike. But to
verify that this is really granite would require
some time off the bike, and the road then gets
rather quickly into precambrian granite gneiss.
One more overlook, the Loaf Mountain Overlook
takes the tourist a few feet above the road to
show off the Bighorn escarpment. The
summit is reached on the shallow climb after the
overlook, immediately before the FR148 turnoff.
There is no view or sign here.
From South. (described
downwards) But US14 does descend from
here, rolling across pleasing high meadows. The
profile turns left onto, what the sign labels as
CR33 Crazy Woman Canyon Road. The De Lorme
Gazeteer labes this road as yet another part of
Hazelton Road. The upper part of the steep
descend is like many other forested mountain
canyons. But approaching the middle to bottom,
the road crosses a formation that has eroded by
braking apart into huge boulders, that now form
a few natural bridges (of a sort) across Crazy
Woman Creek. The road tries to squeeze by on the
Crazy Woman Canyon road exits the mountains
with a small climb that give a fitting
perspective on the flatirons that make up this
particular front range. To the east the treeless
prairie presents itself in waves of lumpy
badlands, like an ocean with waves. The profile
goes all the way down to pavement on Wy196.
Dayride with this point as highest summit
PARTIALLY PAVED / UNPAVED
( < Powder
River Pass | Cutler Hill
Powder River Pass Road , Tisdale
Divide : near jct FR148 - US14 >
US14 west > down CR33 Crazy Woman Creek Road
> Wy196 north > Tisdale Divide >
several miles around Buffalo > US14 west >
Powder River Pass Rd eastern summit s(u) >
back to starting point: 56.8miles with 5100ft of
climbing in 5:12hrs (Garmin etrex30 m5:15.8.5).