McCullough Peaks WSA Location: Park County
Nearest Towns: Cody (10 miles) & Powell (6 miles)
BLM Acreage: 23,290 acres
Recommended for Wilderness: 8,020 acres
Access Points & Directions:
To reach the McCullough Peaks WSA from the south, from Cody take U.S. Highway 14/16/20 east toward Greybull for about 5 miles. Turn north (left) onto the McCullough Peaks Road #1212. This well-graded road is marked by a large kiosk, and is directly across the highway from the Cody Archery Range. You will reach the southern border of the McCullough Peaks about 8 miles up Road 1212. Road 1212 follows the southern WSA boundary for about 2 miles before it turns south and travels another 11 miles back to U.S. Highway 14/16/20.
To reach the McCullough Peaks WSA from the northwest, from Cody, take U.S. Highway 14 Alt. northeast toward Powell for about 11.5 miles. Turn south (right) onto County Road 18. Follow County Road 18 for approximately 0.7 miles, then turn east (left) onto County Lane 15. Follow County Lane 15 east for about 1.4 miles, then turn south (right) onto the gravel BLM Road 1211. After traveling south on Road 1211 for about 0.75 miles, your will reach the boundary of the WSA. From there, you can choose to travel roads along either the western or northern boundary of the WSA.
Allowable Uses & Restrictions:
Motorized vehicles are allowed on designated routes within the WSA. No cross-country vehicular travel is allowed.
Primitive & Unconfined Recreation:
A variety of opportunities for primitive and unconfined recreation can be found throughout the area, including hiking, hunting, horseback riding, rock hounding, nature study and photography. Game populations support upland bird and limited deer hunting. The vividly colored and highly eroded ridges and hills have outstanding scenic quality. Opportunities for wild horse viewing are present. The McCullough Peaks area has been known for its paleontological and geologic interest for some time.
The WSA is highly scenic, with rugged terrain containing the characteristic colors of the Willwood geologic formation. Nationally significant paleontological values, including fossils of reptiles, mammals, and birds are common within the area. The McCullough Peak Herd Management Area (HMA) supports approximately 100 wild horses that are regionally known for their distinct colors. The WSA has been identified by the National Park Service as a potential National Natural Landmark.
The McCullough Peaks WSA encompasses 23,290 acres of BLM-administered land, 640 acres of split-estate land, and 640 acres of state-owned land. The WSA consists of the badlands that form the north slope of the McCullough Peaks. The terrain is characterized by sharp ridges and deeply eroded drainages. There are also large expanses of open, gentle terrain. The area is scenic and provides opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation. The panoramic views from the top of McCullough Peaks are outstanding and include not only the study area’s badlands but views of Heart Mountain, the Beartooth Mountains and the Absaroka Range.
The McCullough Peaks WSA retains a substantially natural character. The scale, steepness and complexity of the terrain together with the distant vistas provided by the higher ridges contribute to the areas unique character. Human activity is evidenced by the Deer Creek trail, vehicle trails in the northwest portion of the WSA and in the Roan Wash and the north and west branches of Whistle Creek, and a small number of seismograph trails. Several livestock reservoirs are scattered through the WSA.
The drainage patterns and terrain variation provide natural screening throughout the WSA. This topographic diversity enhances the naturalness of the WSA and provides many interesting views and scenic vistas.
The rugged badland topography of the unit, combined with its size, configuration and natural character, provide opportunities solitude. The five drainages within the WSA branch into a maze of smaller, winding badland canyons, ensuring both dispersal of use and visual screening.