Leigh Monument Out-and-Back
ElevationAscent: 318' 97 m
Descent: -2,419' -737 m
High: 8,366' 2,550 m
Low: 6,167' 1,880 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 71% (35°)
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“A very strenuous run to the Leigh Monument, offering some spectacular canyon views!”— Jared Sostrom
However, once Forest Road #434, the last 1-1.5 miles are very steep with no established trail. You'll be descending off a few ridges; this is where most of the elevation change occurs. The south side of the ridge is less steep, but is still treacherous. The end of the route is the Leigh Monument. This was erected by local ranchers in memory of Gilbert Leigh who fell from the canyon top and died in the 1880's. (A turnout on Hwy 16 gives some more details of the monument.) The views of Tensleep Canyon from this point are the best I've ever seen! To the northeast, you can see the highway comingdown the canyon. To the southwest, you'll see the fish hatchery and a campground.
Keep in mind, this run is 7 miles one-way. There is no other way out, so a total backtrack is necessary. You must ascend the steep ridges you came down.
Make sure to bring plenty of snacks/lunch. I cannot emphasize enough to bring lots of water! You'll spend most of the day in the high elevation sun. There are no facilities and no other way out. Bring water!
Some plants you'll see are sagebrush, ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine, prairie grass, etc.
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Land Manager: USFS - Bighorn National Forest Office