GAOA project makes remote badlands more accessible to all

Major improvements to the Bureau of Land Management-administered Gooseberry Badlands Scenic Overlook Trail west of Worland, Wyoming, are complete. The project, funded by the Great American Outdoors Act, improves public access to the colorful desert, cliffs, hoodoos and pedestals of the Gooseberry Badlands.

Three people look out at an expanse of colorful badlands. One is looking through permanent binoculars on a stand.
Permanent binoculars were added to the scenic overlook area.

“This project has resulted in a safer, more sustainable trail that will be easier to maintain in the future,” said BLM Worland Field Manager Mike Phillips. “I hope people will enjoy a picnic and a walk this spring at Gooseberry to check out all of the improvements.”

Return visitors will first notice the improved parking lot, sheltered picnic areas and permanent binoculars at the scenic overlook. A walk on the trail will reveal more stable trail surfaces that blend with the surrounding environment, rerouted sections of trail that address drainage and erosion concerns, and new benches, bridges and steps.

A flight of wooden steps that blends in with the surrounding landscape leads up and into badlands features.
The finished trail blends with the surrounding environment and addresses previous issues with drainage and erosion.

Another notable result of the project is that the parking lot, upper trail and boardwalk are now accessible to people with disabilities.

“We wanted to make portions of Gooseberry accessible without losing that remote, backcountry feeling that the badlands are known for,” said BLM Worland Outdoor Recreation Planner Cullen Hardy. “The Gooseberry Badlands now provide experiences and benefits to all visitors regardless of their physical limitations.”

Check out the Flickr album containing photos of the process, from the initial onsite visit with the contractor to the finished product.

The Great American Outdoors Act, signed into law in 2020, provides major investments to address deferred maintenance needs, increase recreational access to public lands and improve the conservation of our lands and waters.

The Gooseberry Badlands Scenic Overlook Trail lies along Wyoming Highway 431, approximately 15 miles west of U.S. Highway 20, south of Worland.

A person wearing a jacket with a BLM logo examples bags of gravel, comparing the colors with the rock they are laid on.
During an onsite visit with the contractor, Wind River/Bighorn Basin District Manager Matt Marsh compares various gravel samples to the colors of the landscape.


Construction signs and heavy equipment show that there is construction underway at a scenic area in the badlands.
The site remained open during construction, with only temporary closures and reroutes of sections of the trail.


Sarah Beckwith, Public Affairs

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