Converse County Park -- Box Elder Cyn Climbing
|GPS:||42.746, -105.795 Google Map · Climbing Map|
|Shared By:||Dennis Horning on Feb 18, 2014|
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DescriptionConverse County Park is the very rugged canyon region of land surrounding Box Elder creek where it cuts through the first rise of the west flank of the Laramie Range uplift just south of Glenrock, WY. About half way down the canyon potion that is within Converse County Park the granite rock plunges and is visible no more, but the canyon's bottom surface below here is strewn with limestone boulders/sediments that afford many deep pools along the stream. But there are no more narrows having wall to wall water. About 2 miles downstream from the last granite outcrop the uplifted sedimentary terrain dives and here the creek water is captured for immediate irrigation use in the adjacent North Platte River alluvial beds--private land.
This bulletin has more on the Precambrian geology here:
Precambrian geochronology and geology of the Boxelder Canyon area, northern Laramie Range, Wyoming
Geological Society of America Bulletin, May, 1976, v. 87, no. 5, p. 809-817,
and this bulletin is available $25 on line reading or free reading from UW geology library. The same author Ronald C. Johnson has an 82page book of the same title as the bulletin.
Here is another take on the landform origins:
There has been some talk & planning in the air to get this county park into the State Park Group but I see it has not happened as of late. If it would the ATV use would not be permitted and there would be a few formal structure added while some trails would be closed. And maybe no camping permitted. Presently you can camp anywhere and you will notice many ad hoc camping sites' fireplace rocks. For more see:
Streamside land just downstream of the bridge immediately north of the park is private land Details
Even thought the land just below the bridge which is just north of the park is private, access to the the north end of the steep canyon parkland can be gained by following a side canyon east from the highway near the north boundary of the park.
A visit to Converse County Park
This almost unknown rugged terrain is just 6 miles south of Glenrock WY. For the all paved road access to the park take Glenrock exit of I-25 and at about 1.5 miles east of Glenrock on highway 20/87, turn south on County Rd 90, Box Elder Rd and drive about 6 miles south. After a steep climb you will see a pullout on the left at the crest of the rd. ATV'ing,Hiking, fishing, kayaking, ice climbing, rock climbing, base jumping and canyoneering await.
The Google aerial picture of this region makes for some difficult terrain to interpret in that the canyon is so steep that our minds invert the topography to make what is the bottom of the canyon appear as a ridge. Fortunately, the map in this region of the creek is labeled "Box Elder Creek." You will note some pinch-togethers of the canyon and these regions likely have at the creek bottom wall to wall water, as there are several in these zones.
The spring stream flow is often too high to safely cross Box Elder Creek in the narrows unroped before July 15. There are many rapids with fast flowing water and some rock laced water falls. You may want a dry suit top when canyoneering as the water is not very warm. See stream gauge flow readings:
The measuring station is some 10 miles upstream from the bridge and reads lower than the added water convergence it would get if it were at bridge just north of the park. The gauge can be reading 0.03 cfs and in the canyon bottom you may be dealing with 5-10 cfs.
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Prime Climbing Season