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Sunday, November 15, 2020

Cloud Peak 500 Logistics - Miles 356 to 434

The Cloud Peak 500 is a 500 mile remote road loop in and around the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. This post is part of a series that describes some of each day's logistics involved when we rode the route on bicycles loaded for a 7-8 day self-supported tour in early August 2020. It also includes a screen shot and link to a digital map on, which I created after the trip to show our ride for each separate day. Finally, it adds a photo gallery. This post covers Miles 356-434 of the route, which was Paul's Day 7. Go to Miles 0-52 for Logistics for Day 1, go to Miles 52-104 for Logistics for Day 2, go to Miles 104-151 for Logistics for Day 3, go to Miles 151-201 for Logistics for Day 4, go to Miles 201-251 for Logistics for Day 5, go to Miles 251-299 for Logistics for my Day 6 and go to Miles 299-356 for Logistics for my Day 7.

Right from the start, this day's climb gains over 3,600 feet in the first 22 miles and that's only half of the climbing over its 77 miles. Expect soft roads, virtually no shade, no development, and no water for at least 40 miles. Once again, however, the final descent eventually pays off, here down Crazy Woman Canyon.

Cloud Peak 500 - Paul Day 7

Paul starts his Day 7 from the town of Kaycee at an elevation of about 4,600 feet. The first 12 miles climb steadily on Mayoworth Road (191) through dry prairie sloping up the arid mountainside. Mayoworth comprises a couple of homes and has no commercial establishments. Enjoy the glimpses of green vegetation at this intersection before grinding up another long, hot, dry, soft climb.

From Mayoworth, the route turns onto Slip Road (67), which starts innocently enough by continuing to climb steadily for about 4 miles. At about mile 16, however, Slip Road tosses aside the facade to show its true character. The next 6 miles climb over 2,500 feet.

Yes. That's right. Over 2,500 feet of elevation gain in 6 miles. Not surprisingly, it takes 18 switchbacks to do that. And this soft road offers no shade, no water and no shelter. Virtually no traffic.

After that effort, one receives the shortest of respites before climbing again. At about 30 miles, Slip Road merges into Hazelton Road (3), which continues to roll upwards. Eventually, Paul stopped at a road sign that noted 36 miles down to Kaycee. He rode 7 hours that day to reach that sign. Not until after about 40 miles is the climbing pretty much over. No water anywhere. That's a long, hot, hard day.

The route rolls along Hazelton Road. At about mile 49, shortly before reaching U.S. Highway 16, the route turns off Hazelton Road and follows a serpentine path through a patchwork of roads and trails. Follow your GPS or detailed cue sheets. The following is a general description only. As I discerned, the route turns off Hazelton Road downhill onto Billy Creek Road (USFS 466) for about a mile, turns onto USFS 622 for about another mile, meanders for about another mile to turn onto USFS 473 for about 2 miles, turns onto USFS 33 to finally enter Crazy Woman Canyon.

Crazy Woman Canyon (33) is the road highlight of the day, dropping about 2,600 feet over 10 miles of crazy cool canyon. The road surface is hard and fast, but the road carries traffic and is very narrow, often single lane. Check speeds regularly.

At about 67 miles, the route turns north onto Klondike Road (132) for a prairie rolling 10 miles into the town of Buffalo. Full services available here, including motels and restaurants.

Paul Brasby Photo Album

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