Sawmill Lakes (Big Horns)

Where’s the Trail Head?

44° 36.778′ N 107° 17.965′ W

Driving distance from Big Horn, WY is 23.5 miles on a graded dirt road that climbs steeply from an elevation of 4078 ft. to 8450 ft. at the trail head. There are some turnouts along the way that afford fabulous views of the Powder River Basin. During the cold months this road is closed and may not be passable during the lukewarm months.

  1. From Big Horn, WY drive west up Red Grade Road
  2. At 22.3 miles, Red Grade Road changes names to Forest Road 26. Continue to follow it.
  3. At 23.5 miles, there are turnouts to park on either side of the road. Park.
  4. The trail head, located a few feet to the west on the north side of the road, is well marked.

What’s the Trail Like?

The trail is well worn and easy to follow. It heads north through the pine trees along a hog back. The trail has only a minor amount of descent as you drop into the Sawmill Lakes. Although there are a large number of rocks on the trail, it’s easy to pick a path through them limiting the possibility of a fall or sprain.

The trail travels north for 1.1 miles before reaching the lakes. The smaller of the two lakes lies along the west edge of the trail (left side when outbound). The larger lake is a few hundred yards ahead on the opposite side. This trail is an out-and-back trail. It doesn’t form a loop.

As you walk, you won’t encounter scenic outlooks until you reach the lakes. The trees block the views.

This trail is an easy walk.

Hiking boots are advisable as is bug spray. In early August, the mosquitos weren’t bad, but they were biting.


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