One of the more popular hikes in southeastern Wyoming, the ~4 mile hike to Hidden Falls in Curt Gowdy State Park is great all year around. However, in the summer (even more so since COVID19 hit) it is CROWDED. I much prefer solitude, so Hidden Falls in the winter months are my go-to for waterfall chasing close to my house.
Earlier this month my friend, Julie, and I set out to Hidden Falls. It was stupidly windy, but I knew being down in the creek basin would keep us sheltered. Julie had never hiked in Wyoming before, so excitement was high as we parked near the causeway of Granite Reservoir and set out on Crow Creek Trail (but not without my camelback literally exploding before we began!).
I was shocked at how little snow there was, and there was a hefty chunk of bare dirt (and what was snow covered was very compacted by foot traffic). It definitely was not seeming like January.
I’ve been to Hidden Falls four times previously, but this trip was the first time the waterfall was literally not there! I strapped on my microspikes and carefully made my way closer to where the waterfall usually is, which you could hear, but not see. I loved running around on the ice with my spikes,. and that made up for the disappointment of there being no waterfall at the moment.
On the way out, we decided to go check out the frozen Granite Reservoir, which was iced over very thickly. I wish I had my ice skates as we admired the air bubbles and goofed off and pondered the “ice volcanoes” (I finally determined they were probably iced over holes from ice fishermen).
To learn more:
Curt Gowdy State Park does require a day use fee year around, which you can pay at the visitor’s center, entrance booth (which isn’t always open), or a self service kiosk near the entrance booth. The hike is definitely not appropriate for strollers as there are rocky areas to maneuver through, and a couple of small scrambles. The trails are multi-use, so mountain biking is also a possibility.