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black Cloud Peak Out-and-Back

  4.7 ( 6 ) Favorite

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23.8 mile 38.3 kilometer out and back
82% Runnable


Ascent: 5,135' 1,565 m
Descent: -5,135' -1,565 m
High: 13,157' 4,010 m
Low: 9,101' 2,774 m


Avg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 45% (24°)


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Trail shared by Brian Sheets

Well-marked trail follows a gradual climb to Misty Moon Lake and an off-trail ascent of Cloud Peak.

Brian Sheets

Features Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

The Forest Service requires that you pack out your solid human waste from the Cloud Peak Wilderness.


This great out-and-back run travels from the shores of West Ten Sleep Lake to climb steady grades through hills blanketed in dense trees to reach the boulder-strewn summit of Cloud Peak. While the climb to the base of Cloud Peak is long, multiple lakes along the route provide chances to cool your hot feet and even go for a swim.

Need to Know

Watch out for cow moose with calves at their side – they're incredibly protective of their young.

Bring along some type of lightweight day pack for use on the ascent of Cloud Peak. You won't want to carry all your gear, for one because it's heavy, but also because being top-heavy with a large bag can make the boulder-scrambling even harder.

Along the route, enjoy plenty of water–just remember to bring some form of filtration/purification.

Runner Notes

Most of this route (up until the boulder-scramble section) is runnable.


Starting from the trailhead, follow the Misty Moon Trail #063 north as it climbs moderate grades on the flanks above Tensleep Creek. Not long after starting, the trail enters the Cloud Peak Wilderness to continue climbing through a valley that continually broadens and narrows in rhythm.

After making your way up nearly a thousand feet in elevation from the trailhead, the Misty Moon Trail #063 rewards you with the serene shores of Lake Helen, Marion Lake, and Misty Moon Lake in quick succession. Near Misty Moon Lake, the route leaves the Misty Moon Trail #063 to join the Solitude Loop Trail #038 for a short northwesterly excursion to the start of the Cloud Peak Route.

On the Cloud Peak Route, this run navigates a small valley before gaining a ridgeline and fighting through large boulders in a scrambling effort to reach the summit. Before tackling this long journey, it is advised that you stash your heavy backpacks in favor of lighter-weight day packs. Just be sure to bring any food and toiletries with you as to prevent the wildlife from getting into it.

Upon completing 3000 ft of climbing on your summit bid, enjoy phenomenal 360-degree views of the surrounding Cloud Peaks Wilderness and broader Bighorn National Forest.

When you're ready to make your journey back, simply return the way you came, grab your stashed belongings from before, and return the way you came.

Flora & Fauna

Lots of common Wyoming wildflowers abound on this trail.


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Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 6 votes


  4.7 from 6 votes
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