The Loop Road is a 30-mile epic winter fat bike ride in the Lander, Wyoming area from South Pass to Sinks Canyon.The road is closed in the winter but groomed by the U.S. Forest Service. It’s a beautiful ride with views of high peaks in the Wind River Mountains. The ride is best done starting from the Louis Lake parking lot on South Pass/Hwy 28 back to Sinks Canyon. Or you can ride all the way back into Lander for a well-deserved burger and fries.
We had friends drop us off at the Louis Lake parking lot on South Pass and rode to Lander. Our friends insisted on waiting 45 minutes to see if the ride would be a go. If conditions were crummy we would turn around and get a ride back to town.
The wind was a banshee and conditions were not ideal. But as leader of the pack the decision was my call. I was way too stoked to ride in the car back to Lander and luckily the dudes were game.
The route is 32 miles. You will run into a few snow machines and possibly a sled dog team or two. Be prepared for any and all snow conditions!
Overcast and windy when we left the parking lot on South Pass, but not too cold. Three-fourths of the WYO Back of the Pack Racing (BPR) Crew were on this little adventure. Pictured here: Fatbike Girl and Studd Pyles. (Photo by Kurt Wilson).
Warming hut maintained by the snowmobile crowd (thanks!!)
Do these tires make my butt look big?
The downhill to Louis Lake.
Studd in the WIND River Mountains.
Taking a break in the road. Every few pedal strokes we’d run into a snowdrift. Two friends were just ahead of us but their tracks were covered in minutes.
I bonked coming up the last, long and painful hill to the highest point of the ride at Blue Ridge. Luckily my partner had pizza stashed in his frame bag. After downing 3 pieces I started to come to. I thought for sure I’d have to lay down and wait till someone found me in the spring. Our friends up ahead of us left us this snow bike angel.
Fat bike girl and Studd.
Putting on layers at Blue Ridge. A few years ago I did a ride from Lander to Blue Ridge solo and then pushed my bike up the last stretch to the base of the blue ridge fire lookout tower. It’s 89.23% downhill from Blue Ridge to Lander. I made up that figure.
Big-ass drift and gale force winds (60+ mph) at Burnt Gulch.
Studd Pyles in the front breaking trail and me trying to keep my wheels on the ground.
Snow fence, open road and blue skies.
Good whiskey, good friends and almost home. Jumping off point from the Loop Road to the snowmobile trail that makes a shortcut to the bottom of Sinks Canyon. Fossil Hill on left. Riders on this fine day were: Durt Kurt, Studd Pyles, Fat Bike Girl and Duke Silver (behind the camera).
Swinging bridge in Sinks Canyon State Park.
On pavement – we decided to ride all the way into town.
Check out Sinks Canyon State Park’s Loop Road Map for details on the route. Also, Sinks Canyon State Park has yurts available, which would make for a fun winter fat bike weekend. BYOB or rent a bike from the great folks at the Lander Bike Mill.
Sinks Canyon State Park yurt.
S’mores anyone? Enjoy a fire after your ride.
Book a yurt, pack your bags, and load your bike.
Happy Trails Fatbikers!