“A colorful river trail surrounded by tall limestone cliffs.
— Russell Hobart
Lots of dogs come back from this trail with rattlesnake bites. Keep an eye out.
Birding — Cave — River/Creek — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
There are a few loose ankle-twisters, but mostly it is a good, even trail. It is used as part of the Big Horn Trail Run
Most folks do this trail as a short in/out, going no more then the quarter mile to the bridge at the Tongue River Cave Trail and then turning back. This short section is definitely worth it, but there's more to offer for the more committed.
From the parking lot, you start out surrounded by huge limestone walls. The first two and a half miles of the trail runs along the river. Once you see the canyon in the distance, the river will cut south, and you'll stay higher in the open field in order to avoid the canyon.
After another mile, you'll cross Horse Creek (don't cross the river if the water is too high). From here you'll power uphill through some patchy forest and then cruise on some relatively flat terrain. At around eight miles, you'll cross the north branch of the Tongue River and then enter the forest. The forest opens up into a large open field. The next dirt road you meet, turn left and ignore all the turn-offs until you arrive out at Highway 14.
Bighorn sheep, elk, rattlesnakes, pretty little birds by the river, etc.