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The Red Zone: Wyoming’s Red Desert

As conservationists and energy developers fight over Wyoming's Red Desert, one thing is certain: There's no time like the present to hike through its unreal geography.

Plan It

When to Go
Late spring and early fall. Summers are scorching and winters are arctic. In any season, even moderate rain will make dirt roads impassible.

Gear
With rock-hard playa, a freestanding tent is a must (imagine putting stakes into concrete). Cache water in seven-gallon containers like the Reliance Aqua-Tainer ($17, relianceproducts.com).

 

 

Map by International Mapping Associates.

Maps and Books

Match Wild Wyoming, by Erik Molvar ($20; falcon.com), with the following USGS quads: Upper Powder Spring, Monument Valley, Manuel Gap, Kinney Spring, and Cow Creek Reservoir.

Protect It
Learn more about the Adobe Town citizens’ proposed wilderness through the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance (voiceforthewild.org).

The Way
Drive west on I-80 from Rawlins to Bitter Creek Rd. (Exit 142). Drive south on Bitter Creek (CR 19), following signs to the Eversole Ranch, about 27 miles from I-80. Continue through the ranch, take the left fork in the road, and go 1.8 miles to a junction. Go straight on an unmarked BLM road for 20 miles to the starting point of the hike.

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