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Little Bear Gulch 28 Routes Topo

Little Bear Gulch 28 Routes Topo Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 8,370'
Location: 42.4667, -105.8194 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Mike Snyder, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Dennis Horning on Aug 10, 2011
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BETA PHOTO: Little Bear Gulch Names and Ratings for Numbered R...

Summer Sport Routes with cool temps: Routes displayed in Photos/Topo Format.  

28 Sport Routes for Summer Time. The Format: A route list with climbing path on photos.

Little Bear Gulch is located in the west flank of the North Laramie Range about 30 air miles SW of Douglas, WY. The climbing season is Summer time only and is cool (see NOAA gridpoint forecast). The September weekends are not suited for climbing here as the Wyoming Archery Hunting Season for Elk opens Sept 1 and there are many hunters using the Wagon Hound Ranch "Foot Only" access to the public lands that are east of La Prele Creek. Based on a geologic map the rock is syenite, a close relative of granite but richer in alkalies than granite and this type of rock occurs as intrusions in this region. Most of the climbing is near dead vertical and although the photos give a notion of a crack climbing area the majority of moves are face climbing. A Gunks climber and guidebook author for that area commented that the rock here was just like the Gunks rock. Whether this comparison is accurate or not you can expect some thought provoking highly technical moves without the tel-tale beta of chalk but yet the protection of bolts near the cruxes.

In the main area, Bear Scat Rock, routes are at the most 90 feet high and the area has 23 routes. I do not yet have a photo of the newest route put up #23. Pika Pinnacle has three - 5 Star face routes that overhang ever so slighly and are 70 feet long. Cub Rock has two easy but steep face routes that beginners might find easy to hold onto with the big jugs.

The area is entirely sport climbing and bolted but I suppose some of these routes could be led on trad gear with long runners, little (tiny) gear and longer runouts. No bolts were placed in the cracks and as such they do not interfere with trad gear placement.

Safety: Safety Trumps Leaving No Trace in this Area. You will find hangers on bolts.

Camping: There are some four possible camping locations nearby to the parking lot of the Little Bear Gulch trail head.

1. The Campbell Creek Campground is 1.55 mile upstream on the Cold Springs Rd 24. $5 per vehicle pullout. A heavily forested shady campground with a persistent smell of burnt wood and sometimes all spots are sold out in summer.

2. Backpack to sec 22 and camp near or on Bear Scat Rock. There is a brook, Little Bear Gulch Creek adjacent to this rock.

3. Drive 1.5 miles north downstream on Cold Springs Rd 24 to the SE of the SE of section 10 and camp south of the Oriole Mine. Section 10 is adjacent and north of section 15 which is completely shown on the Map. This 40 acres is now Forest Service. The land is a tree bare bench west of and above La Prele Creek next to Rd 24. See Map--the white region just east of the numbers 7535.

4. Sec 16 and Sec 10 are now state owned. Drive about .5 mile downstream north to the Twin Peaks trail head parking lot and backpack in a short distance west towards Twin Peaks. Some state lands are qualified by being WY State Trust Land. The rules at these lands are such that you can be on it any time during the entire day but you cannot camp. Can you sleep standing up?

NOAA Grid Point forecast for Little Bear Gulch

Getting There 

The two likely approaches are from Douglas or Medicine Bow, WY. At Douglas take Exit 140 and proceed southward on a frontage road along the east side of I-25 until it passes under I-25. From this multiple junction intersection on the SW side of Douglas where I-25 bridges cross a frontage road take state highway 94 south (Esterbrook Rd) ( this way avoids the circuitous turns of taking Rd 91 from here) south 0.9 mile to Converse County Rd 9 (aka Chalk Buttes Rd) turning right and traveling west for 4 miles and then making a left on highway 91 (Cold Springs Rd). After 25 miles of pavement (from Douglas) take a turn off to the right and continue on Cold Springs Rd Converse County 24 (gravel)and go for about 13 miles. Drive to the Campbell Creek Campground (Forest Service) and then drive back on Rd 24 some 1.55 miles to an ad hoc turnout road? on the right (east) side of La Prele canyon GPS 42.47630 N, -105.82479 W which is just south of Woodchopper Creek.

To get to the trail head from Medicine Bow requires more patience and navigation skills to do the 35 miles of gravel through Shirley Basin. Take State 487 17.5 miles north of Med Bow turning right on Carbon County Rd. 99, Little Medicine Rd. At 12 miles out take a right at Junction with Carbon County Rd 2 and a right again at 13.8 miles out with Carbon County Rd 97. At 14.8 miles out the Little Medicine Rd gets the Albany County road # of Rd 62. At 16.0 miles out go straight through at the 4 way junction with the Holiday Rd 69. At 21.7 mile and just past the Spinrath Ranch turnoff take a left and avoid going to the rock quarry. At 30 miles the road changes name and number to become the Cold Springs Rd Converse County 24. About four miles further is the Campbell Creek Campground on your right and just 1.55 mile further on the right is the approach trail head parking.

The state of Wyoming has acquired lands along La Prele Creek that now permit public access to Little Bear Creek from its confluence with La Prele Creek. In particular the west half of Sec. 15 and NW 1/4 of the NW quarter of Sec 22 (see map photo) make for a quite reasonable hike to these rocks as opposed the additional effort of getting permission to the cross the Wagon Hound Ranch lands.

The Hike 0.5 miles: Park south of, but yet near to Woodchopper Creek along the Cold Springs Rd on Sec 15. and proceed on foot SE to find the confluence of Little Bear Creek with La Prele Creek. From the south side of Little Bear Creek hike up the slope to Pika Pinnacle. From a saddle just SW of Pika Pinnacle you can see Bear Scat Rock to the SE and a trail to it contours the slope from here beginning northward and curving eastward.

Climbing Season

Weather station 13.8 miles from here

Featured Route For Little Bear Gulch 28 Routes Topo
Photos of Little Bear Gulch 28 Routes Topo Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Near Sighted Judgement
BETA PHOTO: Near Sighted Judgement
Rock Climbing Photo: The Decision Tree
BETA PHOTO: The Decision Tree
Rock Climbing Photo: Jones'n for Hibernation
BETA PHOTO: Jones'n for Hibernation
Rock Climbing Photo: The Bear's Den
BETA PHOTO: The Bear's Den
Rock Climbing Photo: the Three Musketeers
BETA PHOTO: the Three Musketeers
Rock Climbing Photo: Muzzle Loader
BETA PHOTO: Muzzle Loader
Rock Climbing Photo: Top View Profile of Bear Scat Rock with route numb...
BETA PHOTO: Top View Profile of Bear Scat Rock with route numb...
Rock Climbing Photo: West Face of Bear Scat Rock
BETA PHOTO: West Face of Bear Scat Rock
Rock Climbing Photo: Topographic Map of the Region around the Little Be...
BETA PHOTO: Topographic Map of the Region around the Little Be...
Rock Climbing Photo: private
Rock Climbing Photo: The routes on Cub Rock near Pika Pinnacle
BETA PHOTO: The routes on Cub Rock near Pika Pinnacle
Rock Climbing Photo: The routes on Pika Pinnacle
BETA PHOTO: The routes on Pika Pinnacle
Rock Climbing Photo: The south face of Bear Scat Rock
The south face of Bear Scat Rock
Rock Climbing Photo: Bare Scat Rock as seen from saddle of the ridge so...
Bare Scat Rock as seen from saddle of the ridge so...
Rock Climbing Photo: West Face of Bear Scat Rock pic 2
BETA PHOTO: West Face of Bear Scat Rock pic 2
Rock Climbing Photo: Rusty Wall pic 2
BETA PHOTO: Rusty Wall pic 2
Rock Climbing Photo: SW Corner of Bear Scat Rock
BETA PHOTO: SW Corner of Bear Scat Rock
Rock Climbing Photo: Mad for Trad
BETA PHOTO: Mad for Trad
Rock Climbing Photo: Roof Area near SW corner
BETA PHOTO: Roof Area near SW corner
Rock Climbing Photo: Jelly Filled
BETA PHOTO: Jelly Filled
Rock Climbing Photo: Under the Roof
BETA PHOTO: Under the Roof
Rock Climbing Photo: Verio
Rock Climbing Photo: Perplexor
BETA PHOTO: Perplexor
Rock Climbing Photo: Zack's Project
BETA PHOTO: Zack's Project

Show All 31 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Little Bear Gulch 28 Routes Topo Add Comment
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By Tzilla Rapdrilla
Aug 11, 2011
I'll be excited to learn more dteails about individual routes in this area, it looks really good and off the beaten path.
By Rodger Raubach
Oct 18, 2011
The exit from I-25 is Exit 140. Initially follow the signs for Wyo 94 and signs "to Esterbrook." The road to turn off is locally known as "Chalk Buttes Road."
By Malcolm Daly
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 19, 2012
It's sad to say but there is a 1,000 acre fire in this area as of this writing and it may be getting torched as I write this.
By J. Hickok
Jun 23, 2012
I just returned home from working this fire (Russells Camp Fire - about 4000 acres). To the best of my knowledge, the fire had not, and still has not burned into the Little Bear area. However, I can not say this with 100% confidence, but I am pretty sure. When I left on 6/21 the fire was fairly contained and a little fire spread was continuing in the opposite direction.
By Jeremy Miller
From: Cheyenne Wy
Jan 16, 2013
A buddy and I went here over last Memorial Day weekend. It was fairly cold, like in the 30's and 40's and normal wind conditions for Southeast Wyoming. We camped near the base of Bear Scat rock and had routes to climb until we were spent. It was a great trip with good routes and no other people around. Finding the rock took some time as there was no fully established trail developed, just florescent tags around the trees marking the projected trail near the rock.

The routes can use some traffic, as I pulled off some holds. Mostly good rock with well placed bolts; they have a feel of ground up bolting. We used the topos and routes list posted along with the pictures.

I dont know if this place got burnt up this last summer, just thankful I got to witness before.
By Jim Lawyer
Aug 15, 2016
Bear Scat Rock is a five-star location, and there is no fire damage anywhere on the approach or cliff that we could see (Aug 2016).

"Muzzle Loader" was especially good. "Woody's Hard One" also good, although the bushes were a pain. There is some loose rock, and the area has a newish feeling. No surprise. All routes bolt protected.

The approach map shown in the guidebook is wrong (but more correct than the description), and the written directions in the guidebook are off by more than a mile. We did this:

From the Campbell Creek Campground, drive 0.5 mile north to where the road crosses a bridge. There is a private dirt road that forks off to the right (13T 431678 4701563) just before the bridge, blocked by a red gate about 200' up. Park discretely across the bridge and hike back to the road. Follow the dirt road past the gate, then another minute or so past the right turn. Drop down left, cross the stream and hike up steep, open slopes to an obvious crag. From the right side of this crag, go straight right to a drainage, then follow cairns up the left side of this to the height of land. Drop down the other side and follow a good path to Bear Scat Rock (13T 432612 4701931). It should take about an hour.

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