Upper Layout Creek Trail is a 1.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Cowley, Wyoming that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length1.8 miElevation gain882 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingrunningForestViewsWildflowersWildlife
Description
Waypoints (0)

Erastus T. Ewing came to Bighorn Canyon looking for gold. Finding none he decided to try his hand at ranching. He knew that to make it in this arid land he would need water. In 1897, he filed to appropriate 200 inches of water per year from Layout Creek for irrigation, mining, and milling. In passing years, other inhabitants built holding ponds and added more ditch systems From the park road, immediately beyond the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range boundary, a historic site marker directs you to the Ewing/Snell Ranch. The Upper Layout Creek trail begins in the parking area to the right of the corrals. You may begin hiking here or drive to the end of the gravel road. The road ends in a small parking area big enough for two cars and the trail begins, following trail markers down to Layout Creek. The trail winds up Layout Creek Canyon past the waterfall to Layout Creek Springs. This lush secluded canyon offers a striking contrast to the surrounding arid plateau and emphasizes the importance of water to the land.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (22)
Photos (25)
Recordings (11)
Completed (35)
View user's profile page
Thomas Culver
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 9, 2021
Hiking

Some light snow cover, but overall great trail + road conditions for this time of year. Great view and decent falls on the way up.

View user's profile page
Kimberly Goergen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 9, 2020
Hiking
View Kimberly's Recording
View user's profile page
Kaylee Vandjelovic
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 6, 2020
Hiking

Nice little hike that leaves the crowds behind. We visited when the falls were still partly frozen, which was neat to see.

View user's profile page
Travis May
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 26, 2020
Hiking

An enjoyable trail. The distance and elevation are incorrect. It is more like 1 mile one way and significantly more evaluation gain than 183 feet. The falls were not that exciting, but overall the views were nice. The short dirt road from the ranch to the two car parking lot at the trail head was narrow but not bad. You could easily do it in two wheel drive, but do need a vehicle with a little more clearance.

View user's profile page
Ruth Fowler
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 15, 2019
Hiking

You definitely need a 4 wheel drive, truck, or atv just to get this trail. Following the map directions, you end up going down a semi questionable dirt road and through actual creek beds. Needless to say my little Chevy Cobalt couldn't do this trip. Got 8 miles from the trailhead and had to turn around.

View user's profile page
Michelle Byal
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 16, 2019
Hiking

Challenging hike but well worth it! About 2 miles to the lower falls and another half mile to the upper falls. 5ish miles round trip. Very little shade cover so it gets warm, and the elevation gain is tough. Beautiful landscape and the upper falls are gorgeous!

View Michelle's Recording
View user's profile page
Mary Bisgrove
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 11, 2019
Hiking

Longer than what the trail says, it was 2.3 miles round trip and took about an hour. We did stop at both waterfalls and take pictures.

View Mary's Recording
View user's profile page
David Cozzens
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 4, 2019

Great hike, wonderful views, good workout...worth the time and effort!.

View user's profile page
Sarah Strong
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 12, 2018

Beware, this is a challenging hike up to the falls, add 1000 feet to the elevation, some loose gravel switchbacks that ran close to edges that plunged. 1.5 hours, couldn’t make it down dirt slide to falls, even with hiking poles. That said, it was beautiful and we passed bighorn sheep who turned and stared, unafraid. Bear and sheep scat. It was 111 degrees back at the car, bring water. Wished we’d been mentally prepared for the challenge, hence 4 stars. Parts looked a bit like a Sierra Nevada climb. The National Park service map seems to have dropped a digit on the altitude, this is steep.

View user's profile page
David Cozzens
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 13, 2018
Hiking

Wonderful hike. Steep but no scrambling. Amazing cascade waterfall at the top. Incredible views throughout!

View user's profile page
Steve LaFrentz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 14, 2018

I did this hike in June of 2016. The trail length posted here is incorrect...it is 6 miles round trip from the trailhead to the sign marked "end of trail" and back. Trailhead is at the Snell Ranch and travels up along a dirt road for the first mile before forking left to a fast-running creek which you must cross.The trail then becomes a well marked gravel trail that ascends up the Pryor Mts between two very imposing rock walls on either side with many switchbacks. Near the top is a green oasis and a waterfall. Bighorn Canyon rangers rate this trail as difficult, but highly recommended. Views looking down from the top are very imposing. I hiked this on a Saturday afternoon and had the trail to myself.

View user's profile page
Steve Kinney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 5, 2018

I have hiked this trail a few times. There are some steep places, but no dangerous passages. The view is outstanding as it progressively increases in altitude. The headwaters area is fantastic, with many plants not common in our area.

View user's profile page
Lee Gannon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 20, 2017
Hiking

Steep climb up to a beautiful waterfall, it's an shaded oasis after the sunny dry hike. the hike went pretty fast and was very worth it.

View user's profile page
Jennifer Prentiss
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 3, 2017
Hiking

Great trail with fabulous water falls but not fabulous for hot summer days as there is limited shade along this steep climb.

View user's profile page
Peter Gannon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 7, 2017

step climb but so worth it

View user's profile page
Ben Goodlad
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 23, 2017
Hiking

A great hike that is very different from the other hikes in Bighorn Canyon NRA. It follows the layout creek up into the Pryor Mountains.

View user's profile page
Jeff Hartman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 12, 2017
Hiking

Pretty crazy time of year, but the day held up (February). There actually wasn't that much snow on the trail until you take the curve around the giant boulder near the end. The frozen springs were pretty amazing (see pictures). Such a great hike anytime of the year

View user's profile page
Jeff Hartman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 3, 2015
Hiking
First to Review

First hiked this trail back in May of 2015. At the time he was 4, so we called it a day at the "Saddle" Falls just shy of Layout Springs. We did hike in from the Ewing-Snell lot, so I was quite proud of him.

View user's profile page
Hannah Sitler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 15, 2019
Hiking
View Hannah's Recording
View user's profile page
Yee chuan Ang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 27, 2019
Hiking
View Yee chuan's Recording
View user's profile page
Jeff Hartman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 5, 2019
Hiking
View Jeff's Recording
View user's profile page
Steve Purcell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 28, 2018
Hiking
View Steve's Recording