This is one of Lander’s most popular mountain biking, hiking, running and horseback riding areas due to its close proximity to town and beautiful terrain. The 2-square mile area is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the state of Wyoming. Its name comes from an old VW bus that got stuck in the sand and abandoned there many years ago.
The landscape around the Bus is characterized by two main ridges that run northwest to southwest. The main road, a four-wheel-drive double track, divides the ridges and heads southwest. Currently there are no signs for the trails.
What Makes It Great
The trail climbs steeply east for about .2 miles to an intersection. Stay left. Climb a series of switchbacks to the northeast for about .7 miles to the East Ridge Road. Turn left on the two-track road and descend .2 miles to a single track on the right just before a fence. This is the Backside Trail.
Wind your way through thick sagebrush and several gullies on the Backside Trail, passing one double track along the way. The trail comes to T with a second double track just before a fence. Climb this to rejoin the East Ridge Road. Turn left, climb 100 yards to a gated fence. Facing the fence, you’ll see a singletrack trail on the right. This is the Cactus Patch Downhill Trail.
Drop for .5 miles over several short ledges and passing through several gullies. Eventually Cactus Patch spits you out into the bottom of a big gully. From here, turn right on the Gully Rim Trail. Climb for .2 miles to an intersection.
Turn southwest or left down the fast, flowy Main Trail to a two-track that turns right and climbs for .5 miles up Eternity Hill to the top of the West Ridge. Descend the West Ridge toward the north for 100 yards or so before making a sharp left turn onto a steep singletrack known as the Drop.
The Drop takes you down to a T-insection with the Slick Rock Trail. Stay right. Follow the sandy, slickrock trail northwest for .4 miles, winding up hills and through gullies. At the next intersection, (a hairpin left immediately after a shallow gully), head west to a big slab of salmon-colored slickrock. Follow slickrock and some sandy trail north until it dumps you out into a slickrock funland with funky blobs and dishes to play around in. Continue northwest along the edge of the slickrock until you begin to descend to the northeast. Look for a sandy singletrack heading northwest or left as the slickrock peters out.
The singletrack takes you downhill to a double track road that turns to the northeast, ride past the rusty old junk car and continue on the sand road 100 yards until you see a singletrack on your left. Pop onto the singletrack and gently climb to a saddle just above the parking area, veer left and follow the trail for another 150 yards of flowing singletrack through the sage. The trail drops you onto the road. Turn right and coast back 100 yards to your car.
This area is usually rideable from April until November. Spring is particularly beautiful as the desert springs to life after the snows melt. In the peak of summer, ride in the early morning or evening to avoid the heat. There’s no water or shade available in the area. Cattle graze at The Bus during part of the year, which can make the riding pretty miserable after a rainstorm.
Who is Going to Love It
Anyone looking for a quick, classic ride with some punchy climbs and sweet singletrack.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Head out of town approximately 5 miles on Baldwin Creek Road. You’ll come to a parking area on the right, just past a brick home. Park, cross the road, and head left on the trail. You’ll crest a small hill and then drop into a wash. Cross the two-track at the bottom of the wash and continue SW on a sandy two-track. After a .5 mile gentle climb, veer left on a singletrack known as G&T.