U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
|Worland Field Office|
Trapper Creek WSA
Nearest Town: Shell (5 miles)
BLM Acreage: 7,200 acres
Recommended for Wilderness: 7,200 acres
Access Points & Directions:
The southeastern portion of the WSA can also be accessed via Trapper Creek Road (BLM Road 1114) as it spurs northwest off of Alkali Road. Head northwest on Trapper Creek Road from Alkali Road for approximately 1.4 miles to a two-track. Head north on the two track for just over 1 mile. Four-wheel drive is recommended.
Allowable Uses & Restrictions:
Primitive & Unconfined Recreation:
Within the canyon, man-made intrusions are virtually nonexistent. Intrusions are limited to two-track trails leading from the main boundary roads to the rim of the canyon, and a small water pump and pipeline. The overall influence of these human imprints is so minor that they would not be perceived by the average visitor.
Opportunities for solitude in the WSA are also enhanced by the general absence of use. Livestock use in the canyon has not been allocated and has not occurred in most of the canyon, and recreational use has also been extremely limited. As a result, there are virtually no trails or other remains of previous use to intrude on a perception of solitude. This lack of use reflects the difficultly of access to and through the unit. Travel through the canyon is extremely difficult; there are no trails except those made by game. These game trails may be blocked by fallen timber, cross step talus slopes and involve wading the creek. Access to the canyon is limited to a very few routes by the unbroken cliffs of the canyon walls. Those routes which are possible to negotiate require crossing privately owned land.
Since the major portion of the unit is in the canyon, the presence of outside sights and sounds will not affect much of the use of the unit and will have little or no affect on the use of the canyon portion. However, uses which may occur on the canyon rims could be minimally affected. The area around Trapper Creek is uninhabited. Development in the forms of fences, livestock water reservoirs and vehicle trails exist in the area but are essentially unobtrusive.
The geologic values associated with this WSA are derived from the exposure of features and formations revealing the geologic history of the region as well as from examples of geologic processes at work. In addition, a second geologic value relates to paleontology of the unit.
Another value relating to the geology of the WSA in the lower entrance to Great Expectations Cave (Great X) is located in the WSA. The lower entrance is approximately four miles downstream from the upper entrance. The elevation difference between entrances is 1,403 feet, making Great X the third-deepest cave in the United States. It is expected that intensive exploration of Trapper Creek will yield new discoveries of caves in the canyon. Strong interest in Great X among spelunkers will undoubtedly result in additional discovery of passages.
The Trapper Creek landscape contains high-quality scenic values. These values are based on the dramatic vertical relief of the cliffs, spires, massive rock outcrops of the canyon walls, the rich variety of vegetation, the presence of sinking stream segments turning into clear cascading stream, and the rich color combinations. This exceptionally high scenic quality rating enhances other wilderness values of the unit.
Fully 400-500 elk and 200-300 deer use portions of the Trapper Creek WSA as crucial winter and winter habitat. Elk also calve near the confluence of Jack and Trapper creeks. Golden eagles and prairie falcons use and nest in the Trapper Creek WSA. Three or four bald eagles use the Trapper Creek WSA for winter hunting territory. Several peregrine falcons have been observed in this WSA during the spring and summer periods. Bobcats, mountain lions and black bears frequent lands within the WSA yearlong as well.