Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
23.00 mi (37.01 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Cloud Peak is a stunning 13,167-foot peak in the Cloud Peak Wilderness region of Wyoming's Big Horn Mountains. This wilderness was officially drafted in 1984 during the Wyoming Wilderness Act. One access to the mountain is by the West Tensleep Trailhead. Parking at the trailhead is free, but backcountry permits must be signed, and these can be found in boxes at each trailhead. 

From the trailhead, trail #063 takes you around West Tensleep Lake all the way to Mistymoon Lake. The hike can be split into two days due to the challenging terrain and elevation, so spectacular campsites can be found among Lake Helen, Lake Marion, and Mistymoon. If you are lucky you can spot elk and deer nosing through the wildflowers on the surrounding hills, and the multitude of groundhogs will surely stop their playing to watch you curiously as you hike past them.

Travel west on trail #038 around Lake Mistymoon, and after 1.2 miles you will find a primitive herd path that is not mapped. This is the trail to the summit, and it leads into the valley where Paint Rock Creek cascades down to a waterfall. Once you are in the valley and cross the creek on the left side of the waterfall, follow the trail up to the base of the mountain. Summiting the mountain is a 3-mile trek with 3,000 feet of elevation gain following a faint path, and it can be difficult to find rock cairns. Most of the time the trail you will have to find the easiest path as you scramble over boulders up the mountain. Snow can be found on the mountain until late June and early July, and this can hinder hikers. Setting off early in the day while the snow is still firm or waiting until it melts can be a much safer option as a narrow ridge before the summit can be tricky to navigate if snow still covers the rock.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Sometimes

Pros

Great views. Wildflowers. No Crowds.

Cons

Trail is hard to follow. Rough road to the trailhead.

Trailhead Elevation

9,075.00 ft (2,766.06 m)

Net Elevation Gain

4,000.00 ft (1,219.20 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Waterfalls
Big Game Watching
Wildlife
Big vistas
Wildflowers
Big Game Watching

Suitable for

Horseback

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

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