Mistymoon Trail is a 12.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Manderson, Wyoming that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, fly fishing, and horses and is best used from June until September. Horses are also able to use this trail.
This 6 mile trail begins on the East side of West Ten Sleep Lake and follows the West Ten Sleep Creek through forest and meadows that lead to Lakes Helen, Marion, and Mistymoon Lake. Most of this trail is moderate in difficulty, and gently leads to higher elevation. The Mistymoon Trailhead (Big Horn National Forrest trail #063) begins at West Ten Sleep Lake and follows Ten Sleep Creek north to Lake Helen, Lake Marion, and finally to Mistymoon Lake.There are wildflowers, Deer, Elk, Marmots among others. Mistymoon lake is an alpine lake that has few trees around it. Upon arriving at Mistymoon Lake, the Mistymoon Trail (#063) intersects with the Solitude Loop Trail (#038). Following trail #038 west from this junction will lead you toward the place where most people begin the summit of Cloud Peak.
Hiking with 35lb pack, I left the West Tensleep Lake overnight parking area at 4pm and, despite my heavy pack, arrived at Mistymoon Lake at 7pm. For those wishing to camp at Mistymoon it is important to note that this is back country and there are no preselected campsites; one must find their own site (in accordance with the Cloud Peak regulations). If you're planning to spend any time at Mistymoon, BRING BUG SPRAY - Mistymoon Lake is legendary for its bugs. Also, beware of afternoon and evening thunderstorms. I encountered a decent lightning storm during my last hour of hiking. When I do it again, I will leave much earlier in the day in hopes of avoiding such storms. Overall, the trail was in great condition. As noted below, beware of the creek that you will need to ford at approximately 1 mile into the hike. Water levels have been extra high this year due to the record snowfall in the Big Horns, so my experience with knee deep, swiftly rushing water may not be the norm, but be sure to take care with your footing in such conditions. I found that the added weight of my pack made the first few steps into the water a bit treacherous.
Mistymoon trail begins on the East side of West Tensleep Lake. The trail for the most part follows the creek. There are 2 creek crossings. The first one is maybe a 1/2 mile from the trail head and is the widest crossing. There were small trees laid across it when we were there. That's a good place to top off your water bottles. After the creek crossing you will find the sign that says that you are on Mistymoon trail. Shortly after that you will ascend through trees and be away from the creek for about 2 miles. When you reach Lake Helen the South side of the lake is a popular and beautiful place to stop and take a break. Mistymoon trail continues on past Lake Marion and finally to Mistymoon Lake and if you continue on it will join the Lake Solitude trail. This is an amazing Wilderness area. Wildflowers were abundant late July. Loved the hike and stayed at Mistymoon lake overnight. Be prepared for lightning storms as they come in late afternoon/evening. @backpackerneil
It was a great hike through some beautiful country. There were ample places to pitch a tent at Mistymoon lake. It definitely would have been doable in one day, but I was glad to stop for the night.
It's a Long hike from West Tensleep lake, took us about 5-6hrs. The first lake you get to is Lake Helen, it's big and it's beautiful with lots of places to camp for the night. Lake Marion is next, smaller but still beautiful and not as tent friendly on the hiking side. Then finally Mistymoon lake, almost no trees around it surrounded by granite with lots of space around it to camp, nowhere sheltered though. From there you can choose any number of trails for day hikes or you can continue on along Solitude deeper into the mountain range by heading for Gunboat lake. I'm not sure where Solitude Trail takes you the other way other than to Solitude lakes but since I've never gone that route I don't know it. Mistymoon is also a good place to place to stop on the way to climb Cloud Peak or Bomber Mtn, just to name a few. It's one of my favorite hikes. It can be done in a Long day but I prefer to at least stay one night. It's a bit of a challenging hike in, so if you are just going for the day pack light and bring your water filter/pump for refills on water once you make it to the lakes!! Happy Hiking!!