Bighorn National Forest, 8/1/17 -
  • 1 Post By jessasfella
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post #1 of 2 Old 08-02-2017, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Bighorn National Forest, 8/1/17

I am up in the Bighorn area (near Sheridan Wyoming) this week for a work event, and the way it works is that I have sessions in the morning and at night, but the days are free. So yesterday I took my Jeep out on some forest roads and spent the day trying to get lost and find some adventures.

I have had Jeeps for a while now (a TJ, a Comanche, a couple of XJs, and this is my third JKU), but I have never wheeled them because 1) I don't really know how, 2) I haven't had time to learn, and 3) I couldn't afford to break them since they are always my daily drivers. But I thought forest roads might be ideal for learning a bit about off-roading and getting my tires dirty, and I was not disappointed.

I started by taking Forest Road 15, which makes a loop through the forest off of 14 and 14A (the main roads through the area). I got on FR15 just east of Burgess Junction, which is where those two roads come together. FR15 itself is a very well maintained gravel road; it might as well be paved. But there are lots and lots of much rougher forest roads off to the side. In particular I took FR178 and FR 168 (Freeze Out Road), which were both very rutted, very rocky, and at times very muddy. There were multiple water crossings, probably topping out at about foot deep--perfect for me and my uncertainty about how far to push the Jeep when I was by myself and inexperienced. And there were lots of mud holes--that's where I got the most nervous, since I don't have a winch if I got stuck. But it never turned into a problem. The terrain ranges between about 7500 and 10000 feet in elevation. There were times when 2WD was fine, and a lot of the time I was in 4WD, especially where there was a lot of mud or rocky terrain. In a couple of instances I had it in 4LO--mostly to control the rate of ascent or descent on really steep hills.

The deal in Wyoming is that you're free to drive on any road that has a number, and they do a good job with signage, so it's always clear where you can and cannot go. There weren't many people out, even in the middle of summer--I saw a few ATVs and a few pickups on FR15 (the main road), but I never saw anybody on any of the side roads, except a deer, some elk, and a lot of domestic sheep and cattle that are grazed up there. I'm sure there are places up there where more experienced Jeepers could get into a little bit more trouble, but this is perfect if you're like me and you want to get a better sense of what your Jeep can do but you don't know a ton about off-roading, and you have to drive it home at the end of the day.

Here's an album of photos from the day.

I'm planning to go back out tomorrow and explore some more, so I might update this post with more photos then.

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post #2 of 2 Old 11-06-2017, 07:35 PM
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Great pictures! That looks like a good place to casually cruise and relax.
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