Sinks Canyon State Park – Wyoming

Some friends and I were in Lander WY with an afternoon free before beginning a trip in the Wind River Range so we visited Sinks Canyon State Park.  The main feature here is a large canyon where the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie River disappears (sinks) into a cavern and then reappears (rises) about 1/4 mile away.

The water goes into fissures that are too small for humans to enter so exactly what happens underground is apparently still a mystery.  This sort of thing happens all over the Ozarks but typically on a smaller scale.

The Sink: Looking toward the side of the canyon as the river turns toward the cavern.

The Sink: Looking toward the side of the canyon as the river turns toward the cavern.

The Sink: Looking into the cavern.

The Sink: Looking into the cavern.

Down the canyon, the water comes up (left side in picture) in a pool teaming with the Fattest Trout Ever Seen.  There is a vending machine nearby where food pellets can be purchased and thrown into the water to cause a shark-like feeding frenzy.  Several Magpie wait to snatch any pellets landing on the sand.  Fishing is not allowed here but I wouldn’t be surprised if people try to sneak in at night to get some trophies.

The Rise

The Rise

We then drove further up the canyon to Bruce’s trail head and hiked about 1.5 miles up the river to the Popo Agie Falls.  It was great to get the legs moving after 2 days of driving and probably helped get us acclimated to the elevation as well.  The picture shows only the lower third of the falls.  The trail continues upstream, and the next day we would be intersecting it at the Sheep Bridge about 4 miles above the falls but that’s a story for the next post.

Part of Popo Agie Falls

Part of Popo Agie Falls

While in Lander we also visited NOLS – the National Outdoor Leadership School – a heck of a neat place.  Will and Kevin patiently answered our many questions about NOLS and the Wind River Range.  I may have to start saving money for that Brooks Range backpacking trip.

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About Michael R

I enjoy hiking, landscaping with native plants, nature photography, dark chocolate, fine dining, good movies, and old jazz.
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