Saturday, September 21, 2013

Exploring the Northern Bighorn Mountains Part 4 – Shell Reservoir and Surrounding Area

This past Friday/Saturday on kind of a spur of the moment trip I head off to Shell Reservoir and Adelaide Lake area on the west side of the Bighorn mountains. I had originally hoped to bike the 11 loop around the lakes but due to some issues with my right shoulder it didn’t happen.
The route towards Shell Reservoir on FS271.

On the trail heading towards Shell Reservoir as seen in the background.

View from my camp spot.

I had thought that there would’ve been more people out camping or hunters out scouting but besides the few vehicles I past a couple of miles back I was the only one out here along the lake. There were actually some other folks camping towards the end of FS271 that I found but they were still miles away from where I was.

It was nice to have some peace and quite while out camping.

Saturday morning started off to a cold start : mid-September in Wyoming at around 9000 ft.

After a quick breakfast I set out to explore the area.

Shell Reservoir

Adelaide Lake – if you look in the background you can see the manmade dam and how low the water level looking at the marks on the dam.

Had to take some shots with the moon in the background.

Heading down FS271.

The junction with FS280 and lesser used portion of the trail.


When I came to this spot on the trail I decided to park my vehicle and scout out on foot to see how the trail ahead was.

I could’ve made back though this section but it would’ve been a little tight in one location.

The meadow and water crossing past the rocky section of the trail and nearing the end of FS280

The water crossing which I wasn’t going to attempt with just me being out there.

The bottom of the water crossing.

After seeing the water crossing I decided that it would be best to back track back to the junction of FS271 and FS321 to run the remainder of FS280.

At the junction of F321 and FS280.

I ended opting out of running the remainder of FS280 since I knew where it went and decided to head out on FS321 to see where it ended. According to the Wyoming Backroads book this is supposed to be the highest point on the loop near 10,000 ft in elevation.

You can see Adelaide Lake in the background.

 FS 321 eventually dead ends at a cliff and a hunters cabin.

Despite the cold morning and not being able to run in its entirety it was still a great day. I maybe ran into 3 or 4 people the whole time I was out here and I wouldn’t hit any crowds till I neared the campgrounds closer to the highway.