With its old cowboy towns, breath-taking vistas and alluring charm, a trip to the Copper Mountain WSA in Fremont County promises a Wild West experience in the Wyoming wilderness. The Cowboy State is the second most sparsely populated state in the US, with miles upon miles of untouched and underdeveloped land.
With an elevation of 2501m, Copper Mountain features a variety of terrains and a diverse array of habitats that provide a home for an abundance of local wildlife. Also known as Bridger’s Mountain, this range is approximately 40 miles long. The WSA consists of 6,858 acres and it is popular with visitors looking to enjoy backcountry recreation and primitive camping in the area. Embark on a nature hike, explore by bike, or fish in one of the many lakes and reservoirs. The Boysen reservoir provides an ideal spot for all manner of water sports and a whole host of recreational activities. This is one of the largest parks in the Wyoming system and the Boysen visitor center is a great spot to learn more about the history and geography of the area.
If you are looking for a break away from the hustle and bustle of modern life, the Copper Mountain Wilderness Study area promises isolation and solitude for your backcountry camping adventure. Managed and maintained by the US Bureau of Land Management, dispersed RV camping is available throughout the site, as well as several campgrounds nearby.
The Green Mountain Wilderness Study Area is a BLM-managed plot of 6,858 acres and it is located around 75 miles west of Denver, 20 miles from Thermopolis and 10 miles from Shoshoni. The town of Shoshoni is named after the Shoshone tribe of Native Americans, and it has a population of 650 people. This is the nearest town to the wilderness area, and if you need to pick up any supplies, it is advised that you stop here on your journey.
Access to the Copper Mountain is limited, with only unnamed/unsigned track roads. Four-wheel drives or high clearance vehicles are required to access some parts of the WSA. If you are planning on driving along Birdseye Pass Rd, this will require some navigational skills and this road is only open in good weather conditions.
The weather can be quite changeable up in the mountains, so as always, we advise checking the forecast and the current driving conditions when you are planning your trip and on the day you are traveling. This area is also quite isolated, and cell-service is minimal. We advise that you let someone know when you are going and that you pack extra drinking water and supplies in case of an emergency.
Depending on where you camp, there should be space to park your vehicle at your campsite. Alternately, there are paved and gravel parking areas throughout the region
This is a remote and secluded area of wilderness and there is no public transportation available.
At Copper Mountain, you can enjoy dispersed primitive camping across the wilderness area. However, you must choose your site carefully to ensure safety. This is a particularly remote area, offering complete solitude and isolation.
While there are no facilities as such, camping offers you the chance to get back to nature. As always with backcountry camping on BLM land, it is imperative you follow the leave no trace principles and always let someone know where you are planning on staying.
Located in the Boysen State Park, this campground offers excellent access to the water. This is primitive camping, with only vault-style restrooms and a dump station. However, each site does sites include a picnic table and fire pit and there is drinking water available.
With the red rocks and majestic mountains providing a dramatic backdrop to your RV camp adventure, this area is truly beautiful and there is a wealth of recreation available nearby.
The Middle Fork of the Powder River Campground is particularly well suited for anglers on the hunt for trout. Sitting alongside one of the best trout streams in the area, this is a remote campground which is managed by the US Bureau of Land Management. The facilities are also quite basic, but there are fire rings, restrooms, and sources of potable water.
Camping here is free and the campground is open from May to September. However, there is a 14-day stay limit.
Wyoming is a vast and beautiful state, and hiking is a great way to experience the wilderness here. Providing the opportunity to explore the region, off-trail hiking is popular in this region, particularly within the area that forms the Boysen State Park.
This is also a great place to visit if you are interested in geocaching, with ample rewards for your high-tech treasure hunt. Check out online clues and geocaching sites for tips and tricks on how to navigate this epic WSA.
This is an area that is rich in mining history and the Copper Mountain WSA is an excellent vacation destination for those with a passion for hunting down rocks and minerals. With a wide range of mineral specimen collecting spots throughout the area, you can discover all manner of rocks and minerals here including pegmatite, tourmaline and quartz amongst others.
It is also a popular choice amongst geologists, with the nearby Big Cedar Ridge Plant Fossil Area being the perfect place to discover fossils from over 72 million years ago. Always remember to stay clear of private land when rockhounding, and be aware of the relevant prospecting laws in the State.
The Copper Mountain Wilderness area is home to a wide array of wildlife, with many species native to the region. Whether it is deer, elk, sheep, grizzly bears, or even the occasional mountain lion, many animals are at home here.
For those interested in fish, the Trout Hatchery and Fish Rearing Station near to the mouth of the Ten Sleep Canyon could be worth a visit. This is operated by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, with millions of eggs hatched there each year. If you are hoping to spot the local wildlife, the best times to head out is early in the morning or late at night.
Hunting is popular in the Copper Mountain WSA, with small and big game species available. Deer and elk hunting are particularly popular in the fall and populations continue to do well here; with the majority of big game species near or above population objectives.
There is also good hunting to be found in the southern Bighorn basin. Trapping is also permitted in some areas, but you should check before you lay your trap. We always advise you contact the ranger’s office for more information regarding hunting in the area and ensure safe practice throughout.
The area surrounding Copper Mountain includes a variety of world-class rivers and creeks as well as crystal clear ice-cold lakes that are filled with fish. Boysen Reservoir is a popular spot amongst local anglers, with the chance to catch walleye perch, crappie, channel catfish, rainbow and brown trout. Fly fishing is also popular, especially in the nearby creeks.
As always, it is essential that you check the local laws and regulations regarding the necessary fishing permits and licenses. Non-Utah residents will require a daily fishing license to fish these waters.
With so many impressive landmarks and spectacular scenery, you will definitely not want to forget your camera on your Copper Mountain adventure. The various summits and sub-summits in the region offer some of the best views in the State; with the opportunity to fill your Instagram with panoramic vistas and breath-taking landscapes.
Head out to explore in the golden hours of dawn and dusk for the chance to spot local wildlife. However, as always, make sure not to approach them and practice safety at all times.