Intermountain Region Viewing Area

LOCATION and PHOTOS

View of 11,363 foot Wyoming Peak, highest peak in the Wyoming Range, from Middle Piney Lake.
View of 11,363 foot Wyoming Peak, highest peak in the Wyoming Range, from Middle Piney Lake. Photo by Teresa Prendusi.

willows, paintbrush, and green bog-orchids along the banks of a swift-running mountain stream in the Wyoming Range.
Willows, paintbrush, and green bog-orchids along the banks of a swift-running mountain stream in the Wyoming Range. Photo by Teresa Prendusi.

large golden-yellow blooms of Owl's claws.
Large golden-yellow blooms of Owl's claws (Hymenoxys hoopesii). Photo by Teresa Prendusi.

skyrocket flower.
Skyrocket (Ipomopsis aggregata). Photo by Teresa Prendusi.

Middle Piney Lake

Forest: Bridger-Teton National Forest

District: Big Piney Ranger District

Description: Nestled in the southwestern corner of Wyoming you’ll find the Wyoming Range – one of the hidden gems of the Bridger-Teton National Forest. The range is over 80 miles long with stunning scenery and many peaks rising over 10,000 feet. It is one of the West’s least known areas and a great place to escape from the crowds. The area offers great hiking, camping, fishing, and other recreational opportunities and is noted for its meadows filled with flowers and abundance of wildlife. Visitors may see mule deer, elk, bear, beaver, and moose. There are two campgrounds near Middle Piney Lake: Sacajawea campground with basic amenities such as running water and an on-site host; and the primitive Middle Piney Lake campground, just a few miles up the road and next to the Lake.

Viewing Information: The landscape outside the town of Big Piney begins with a series of rolling open sagebrush slopes and pockets of aspen trees and continues through broad willow-filled riparian areas, all the way up to forested mountains with high rugged peaks surrounding Middle Piney Lake. The road offers beautiful scenic views and wildflowers galore. During springtime, visitors can enjoy mountain landscapes covered in a riot of native wildflowers such as wild geranium, lupine, columbine, scarlet gilia, paintbrush, balsamroot, green gentian, and several varieties of penstemons. The best time to visit this area is in the spring (generally July-Aug) shortly after the snow melts, when the early wildflowers are visible in large abundance.

Safety First: This natural area has no restrictions or structures to separate visitors from wildlife or weather. Caution must be exercised when hiking, walking, or even driving through forested lands. These campgrounds are in bear country. Both black and grizzly bears inhabit the Wyoming mountain range and campers are encouraged to practice appropriate food-storage and camping techniques. The area is also used during the hunting season, so visitors must be aware of their surroundings at all times. This road does not get plowed in the winter and can retain moisture into late spring.

Directions: Turn West on road WY 350 off Hwy 189 in the town of Pig Piney. This road is paved for 11 miles. It then turns into a well-maintained gravel road for the next 9 miles to the Bridger-Teton forest boundary. Continue for another 6 miles to Middle Piney Lake. The last mile or so of the road is somewhat steep and rough and is not recommended for low clearance vehicles or RV’s. The last portion of the road is usually not free of snow until early July. It’s wise to pick up a map of the area at the Ranger District office in Big Piney so that you won’t be confused by other dirt roads found in the area.

Ownership and Management: U.S. Forest Service, Bridger-Teton National Forest, Big Piney Ranger District.

Closest Town: Big Piney, Wyoming.