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Black Mountain Lookout

  5.0 ( 2 ) Favorite


3.9 mile 6.2 kilometer out and back
77% Runnable


Ascent: 1,024' 312 m
Descent: -1,024' -312 m
High: 9,383' 2,860 m
Low: 8,358' 2,548 m


Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 29% (16°)


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Trail shared by Jeffrey Shanor

Black Mountain Lookout is a historic landmark with plenty of scenic 360 degree views along the way.

Jeffrey Shanor

Features Birding · Commonly Backpacked · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife


Black Mountain Lookout not only offers astonishing 360 degree views of the Bighorns, but it also gives you a sense of history along the way. The beginning of the run welcomes you with a thick lodgepole forest, wildflowers, and small streams. At the summit, you'll find an old fire lookout used by forest rangers in the early part of the 20th Century. Today, this tiny cabin perched on top of the 9,400' peak serves as a comfortable resting place after your run.

Need to Know

Most of the trail is a 50" ATV trail but eventually turns into singletrack.

Runner Notes

Many small boulders to climb up and loose rocks. Be careful!


There are a few ways to do this run. You can start right from Forest Road #16 and take the long way, or, use an ATV/UTV and go as far up the road as you can to shorten the run significantly if you're on a time crunch. 90% of the route is running through a thick forest, but once you reach the summit the views are astonishing. The old fire lookout cabin has a deck that you can wonder around and sits at 9,400 feet. One of the tallest peaks on the east face of the Bighorn Mountains with views of Cloud Peak, Black Tooth, and Steamboat Rock.

Black Mountain is one of the tallest peaks north of the Cloud Peak Wilderness making it stand out significantly from the highway. To the south, you'll observe the peaks of Black Tooth, Mt. Woolsey, and Cloud Peak, all of which stand over 13,000 feet. Looking west, you'll find several lakes, Granite Pass, and the Bighorn high country. North of Black Mountain sits Tongue River Canyon, Steamboat Point, and the Bighorn Scenic Byway. Eastward, you can see for hundreds of miles (if it's not fire season) towards the City of Sheridan and the rest of the Wyoming lowlands.

Flora & Fauna

Spruce and lodgepole.

History & Background

Used to be an old fire lookout during the 20th Century.

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  5.0 from 2 votes


  5.0 from 2 votes
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21 Views Last Month
718 Since Mar 6, 2019



Looking Northeast towards Steamboat Rock from the Summit of Black Mountain.
Mar 6, 2019 near Sheridan, WY
Looking Northeast towards Steamboat Rock from the Summit of Black Mountain. The old lookout still remains today providing hiders with a convenient place to rest at the end of the hike.
Mar 6, 2019 near Sheridan, WY
Looking South towards Granite Pass, Lookout Mountain, and a smokey Cloud Peak Wilderness.
Mar 6, 2019 near Sheridan, WY


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