Curt Gowdy State Park, Hiking, Microadventures, United States, Waterfalls, Wyoming

Wyoming Explored: Curt Gowdy State Park Hidden Falls – Winter Version

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!).

Trail junctions are marked at Curt Gowdy State Park with maps, and occasionally there’s arrows pointing the way to the falls.

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.

The well traveled trail was grippy with no deep snow
Just me taking photos of random stuff!

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.

We’ve arrived, just gotta climb those boulders!
But first, microspikes!
Hello, Hidden Falls, are you there?!
There goes that Heidi, always chasing waterfalls…… I walked back, cautiously testing ice thickness, as Julie stayed back (she didn’t have spikes).
Where’s the waterfall?!?!? Finally Hidden Falls is living up to its name, as it’s usually right there!
We found some great super clear icicles

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).

An iced over Granite Reservoir with an “ice volcano”
Julie found a great rock!
This ice is so cool!
Air bubbles trapped in the ice
More bubbles!

To learn more:

https://wyoparks.wyo.gov/index.php/activities-amenities-curt-gowdy/hiking-curt-gowdy

https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/wyoming/crow-creek-trail-to-hidden-falls

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.

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