Bucking Mule Falls National Recreation Trail is a 15 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Lovell, WY that offers scenic views and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from June until September.
Directions from US Hwy. 14A: From US Hwy. 14A, take Sheep Mountain Road north 3.5 miles to it intersection with Devils Canyon Road. Go west on Devils Canyon Road seven miles to parking lot at the end of the gravel road.
The trail from the Bucking Mule Falls trailhead to the falls overlook is a nice, 2-3 mile out and back hike. This hike can be done by hikers of all ages. Hiking from the falls overlook down into the base of Devil's Canyon will bring you down an extremely steep trail (it drops 2000ft in 2 miles). The river crossing at the canyon bottom is roughly 5 miles from the Bucking Mule Falls trailhead. Hiking from the base of the canyon to Porcupine Creek will net you another 6 miles of slowly rising trail. Saw a lot of bear tracks near the river in the base of Devil's Canyon; saw an enormous black bear about 7 miles into the hike. IF YOU'RE PLANNING ON HIKING THIS PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING: When my dad and I hiked this in mid-July of 2013 there were no signs on the trailhead to warn us about what we were getting ready to encounter. Beginning at mile 6 (1 mile on the other side of the river at the base of Devil's Canyon) the trail literally disappeared under thousands of downed pine trees from a storm in May of '13. The trees were felled in every direction, so the criss-crossing trees make this area nearly impassable. There is no way to get a pack animal through, let alone a four wheeler or any sort of rescue vehicle if needed. It continued this way for almost every inch of the next 5 miles. It was slow, painstaking going, and took us hours because we had never hiked this trail before and we were trying to locate the trail underneath all of the fresh deadfall. Most all of the National Forest trails signs have been broken off and smashed underneath these trees. In some places the trees were stacked 3 and 4 high. We are very experienced hikers, but this situation was dangerous (having to climb over and under massive limbs and trunks) and very demoralizing. Eventually, with nightfall impending, we broke our trail off at mile 11 just after crossing Porcupine Creek and used our compass to navigate straight north to the gravel road that leads back to the Bucking Mule Falls trailhead. The next day I checked the other side of this 15 mile trail (the Jaws trailhead) to see if there was any safety warning posted to let hikers know about the dire situation of the trail, and I was very disappointed when I found none. I HIGHLY ADVISE HIKERS TO CHECK WITH THE FOREST RANGERS IN THIS DISTRICT BEFORE HIKING THIS. IF THE DEBRIS HASN'T BEEN CLEANED OUT, DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS.