Encampment River Canyon
Guide

Introduction

Featuring deep canyons, high rocky ridges, and lots of remnants of previous mining activities such as prospect pits, old cabins, and tunnels, Encampment River Canyon is both a natural wonder and beautiful spot for history lessons and camping. This seven square mile Bureau of Land Management Wilderness Study Area (WSA), which lies two miles south of Encampment, Wyoming, has to be your next holiday and camping destination.

The first thing that will welcome you here is the picturesque vegetation within the forested slopes, riparian areas, and grassland settings. Good recreational opportunities are provided in various forms. You could decide to angle for diverse trout species; hunt mule deer; ride your horse through the wilderness and non-wilderness areas; view and take photographs of the wildlife that roam the area; and also decide to go hiking and backpacking. Rockhounding, mountaineering, and bicycling are some other popular things to do in the vicinity of this BLM park.

If you’re up to it, you’ll definitely enjoy a trip to Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests where scenic driving, winter activities, and more water recreation are offered.

A BLM campground here offers developed camping opportunities for guests with tents and RVs/trailers.

RV Rentals in Encampment River Canyon

Transportation

Driving

Encampment River Canyon Wilderness Study Area is located two miles south of Encampment in Carbon County, Wyoming. You’ll be able to access this Bureau of Land Management property in your vehicles by following Finley Hill Road, off Wyoming 70 (Mac Farlane Avenue), south from Encampment to Odd Fellows Camp Road. The campground in the WSA lies beside this camp road, by the shore of Encampment River.

Both Finley Hill Road and Odd Fellows Camp Road can be easily navigated by cars and other vehicles, even though they are not paved. However, the wild lands around the WSA require good navigational skills and the use of high clearance four-wheel drive vehicles. It’s advisable to get information about the weather and road conditions before from the BLM Rawlins Field Office before you head out.

Parking

A parking area is provided at the campground in Encampment River Canyon for RVs, trailers, and other vehicles, so you should not have any issues with parking when you arrive. Vehicles are not allowed within the wilderness area in the park, though.

Public Transportation

There are no direct public transportation services to this BLM park in Wyoming. However, you’ll be able to get camping and travel equipment within Carbon County and Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests.

Campgrounds and parking in Encampment River Canyon

Campsites in Encampment River Canyon

First-come first-served

Encampment River Campground

Encampment River Campground is a BLM campground that offers developed camping opportunities to guests exploring the Encampment River Canyon. Sited near the river, this campground is the perfect base camp for floating on the river, fishing in the river, and hiking the river trail. Typically open from June to mid-November, this campground is available on a first-come, first-served basis to guests.

Tent and RV camping options are provided here. The campground is decorated by vegetation such as willows, juniper, cottonwoods, sagebrush, and wild rose, providing the perfect setting for refreshing getaways.

There are eight sites in this camp, each of which is equipped with a picnic table, fire ring/grill, sandy tent pad, and parking space. You’ll find a vault toilet and day-use parking lot too. Bring your firewood and potable water with you.

Feel free to engage in hiking, picnicking, mountain biking, fishing, and many other fun activities here. The maximum vehicle length that can be accommodated is 25 feet.

Pets are welcome here.

Battle Creek Campground

Battle Creek is a Forest Service Campground located west of Encampment River Canyon within Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests. This campground offers tent and RV/trailer camping options within its campsites and is open from June to October. Guests of all ages are welcome to enjoy their vacation here.

Within its area, campers can enjoy a host of activities such as fishing, picnicking, hiking and backpacking, wildlife viewing, and horseback riding. You’ll be able to make use of picnic tables and grills here too. Come along with your drinking water.

There are four campsites here, all dispersed under cottonwood trees along the west fork of Battle Creek. The maximum stay in the campground is 21 days, and you’ll be required to pack out what you pack in.

RVs and trailers that are longer than 16 feet cannot be accommodated in this campground.

Seasonal activities in Encampment River Canyon

In-Season

Rock Climbing

Nice rock climbing and mountaineering opportunities are available at and around Encampment River Canyon. If you are here with your boots and climbing gear, feel free to explore nearby peaks such as Wood Mountain, Green Mountain, and Red Mountain. All the mountains are part of the Sierra Madre Range, a subsection of the Rocky Mountains. Sierra Madre Range is managed by a District of the National Forest Service.

Atop these mountains, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of the river canyon and other fascinating landscapes in the area.

Fishing

Fishing is an activity enjoyed by those that are willing to go the whole hog at Encampment River Canyon. Encampment River is open all year to angling opportunities and guests can catch fish species such as brown trout, rainbow trout, and wild cutthroat trout here.

Directly accessing the lower sections of the valley where the river flows is quite difficult because it flows through private property. It’s easier to gain access to the river from the upper and lower ends of a hiking trail in Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest that runs along the length of the canyon.

Encampment River Trail

Encampment River Trail is a very popular hiking trail in this BLM park. This trail, which runs the length of the narrow and rugged river canyon, is one of the major attractions that this park offers visitors and campers. Whether you’re seeking an easy stroll or a more strenuous hike, this trail has you covered.

Guests will find that the lower five miles of the trail are quite easy to explore, unlike the remaining 10 upper miles that pass through terrain that makes it increasingly difficult and challenging. You’ll move past ruins of mining operation and old cabins as you use this trail.

Feel free to have your pets with you on this trail, but keep them leashed.

Off-Season

Cycling

If you have your bike attached to your vehicle, or even decide to cycle to Encampment River Canyon, you will have plenty of space to ride around the park within the areas that are not designated as wilderness. Moreover, if you’re prepared for it, you can ride up the mountains that surround the river canyon.

Within Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests, more biking opportunities are available, as trails and roads are open to riders to explore the Forest areas. Get ready to enjoy the beautiful scenery as you explore the remote and winding roads and trails here.

Water Activities

Besides the opportunities available on Encampment River for guests, a number of water recreation activities are open to interested enthusiasts who don’t mind the trip to the rivers and water bodies in Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest.

You’ll be able to enjoy motorized and non-motorized boating adventures on North Platte River and many other streams in the Forest. Remember you need to abide by Wyoming Game and Fish Department regulations. Waterskiing, rafting, kayaking, floating and swimming opportunities are also open to guests who fancy the sports.

Winter Sports

Winter is a good time to visit Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest because with the gradual arrival of snow in the forest comes plenty of exciting recreational activities. So many sites and areas within the forest offer opportunities for snowmobiling, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.

If your interest is skiing and snowboarding, you will find lots of developed and undeveloped backcountry areas where you can do what you love. Nothing stops snowmobilers from enjoying the miles of groomed trails provided here too.

While you enjoy these winter activities, look out for wildlife, because you’ll see lots of it.

Find the perfect campsite.