For much of route 287 to the south east of Lander the scenery lacks the drama of the north west stretch, and in places is even a bit dull, but if you're heading this way you can find a great picnic spot at Split Rock, between Jeffrey City and Muddy Gap.
Split Rock is a large pink butte which formed a prominent landmark for travellers on the Oregon Trail as it could be seen for a full day's journey from the east, and for two days behind as they continued westward. Split Rock was also a station on the famous Pony Express route.
Nowadays it's a peaceful spot, with picnic tables tucked under the trees, well away from the highway. There are beautiful views, and when you've eated you can scramble about on the rock or read about the history of the area on the interpretive signs provided. There's plenty of space to park and rest rooms too.
The scenery around Lander is quite varied and in places dramatic. If you drive north through the Wind River Reservation and beyond towards Dubois on route 287 you'll pass Crowheart Butte, a striking flat topped outcrop. There's a local legend that the Shoshone and Crow chiefs fought a battle on the top of the butte, which Chief Washakie of the Shoshone won - celebrating his victory by eating the Crow chief's heart!
Further along the same route you come to these stunning red badlands. There's a good pullout (right side of the road if you're travelling away from Lander) and it would be hard not to get some good photos here.
sinks canyon state park because of its magnificent scenic beauty and for its eautifl river which dissapears into the side of the mountain at the sinks canyon state park visitor center and reappears 1/2 mile down stream at 'the rise of the sinks' where you can go out on the over look terrace and watch the fish feed but 'no fishing' is allowed
because i was raised in this area and love the people,the scenic beauty and its old west hospitality offered up by its local color and its one place where you can take a week long horse back fishing trip into wyomings beautiful back country and appreciate wyomings 'wild life'
The Popo Agie River running through Sinks Canyon has a very unique and interesting feature to it. It's called Sinks because the river mysteriously "sinks" into the back of a limestone cavern and disappears, then reappears a quarter mile away where it "rises" into a pool before continuing down the river.
The Sinks is an awesome large cave with a big natural pillar inside. Depending on the water level (much higher in the spring) and how adventurous and good of a climber you are, you can go all the way into the back of the cavern.
You can see The Rise from a platform above it. It's a big colorful space and pool of water filled with huge fish and birds flying around.
The Popo Agie (pronounced Po-Po' szha) River flows out of the Wind River mountains into Sinks Canyon, where it abruptly enters (or sinks into) a cavern (shown in photo). A quarter of a mile away, the waters re-emerge in an area appropriately known as The Rise. A most interesting and scenic park to visit if you are in the Lander, Wyoming, area.
Photos copyright frank thompson. Do not copy, download, or reuse in any form (including blogs) without written consent of copyright holder.