Fairfield Hill - Trail Running

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Summary

Fairfield Hill begins with a big climb. It's a grunt but good training and once you get up out of Sinks Canyon the terrain levels out.

Written by

Molly Absolon

Distance

9.0 miles

The main loop is 9 miles, though there are a few options.

Destination Distance From Downtown

8.5 miles

Difficulty

5 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

2 - 4 hours

Seasonality

Year-round if there's no snow

Dog Friendly

Yes

Fees Permits

No

Review

Intro

This route starts with a steep, strenuous climb out of Sinks Canyon that may force you to walk rather than run, but it’s a great workout and certain to get your heart rate up! Once you reach the saddle west of Fairfield Hill, the trail levels out and you can begin to open up your pace.

What Makes It Great

Fairfield Hill is spectacular in the spring when the canyon bursts into bloom with arrowleaf balsamroot and countless other blossoms coloring the hillside. It's also lovely in the fall when the aspens up high turn yellow. And, of course, your views of the canyon are always beautiful.

You have a few options on this route. All start by climbing up a four-wheel drive track that leaves Sinks Canyon Road on the right (north)side of the road about a mile above the Sinks Canyon climbing area parking. If you look, there is a singletrack trail that parallels the four-wheel drive road and makes for much better running/walking. It's on the left of the two-track. A climbers' trail takes off on the right about a quarter of a mile from the parking area. It's marked by a big cairn. Don't go this way unless you want to go up to the cliffs.

After .5 miles of hard climbing, the trail levels out a bit and splits. Bear left and continue up .25 miles to a Y junction with the Pete’s Lake Trail. You can take either fork and make a loop here, or continue north and just run an out-and-back route.

To make the Fairfield Hill-Pete’s Lake Loop (total approximately 9 miles) in a counter-clockwise direction, take a right at the Y and continue climbing to a low pass west of Fairfield Hill. The trail then drops slightly to the headwaters of Squaw Creek, where you’ll come to a four-way junction roughly 3.5 miles northwest of the Y. Take a sharp left turn that heads back to the south. You’ll climb over a ridge and drop into McMahone Park after about 2 miles. Here you will rejoin the Pete’s Lake Trail. Turn left, or southeast, for 2 miles until you return to the Y junction with the Fairfield Hill Road. Descend back to your car.

Options:

Like many trails around Lander, you can easily vary this route. There are lots of two-tracks heading off from the Fairfield Hill road that are fun to explore. One route takes you out above the climbing area. If you look closely, you can find a descent down between the Main Wall of Sinks Canyon and the routes on Fairfield Hill, to make a great loop. 

Who is Going to Love It

If you are looking for a steep workout with some great views, this is for you!

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

All of the trails start by climbing up a four-wheel drive track that leaves Sinks Canyon Road on the right (north)side of the road about a mile above the Sinks Canyon climbing area parking. If you look, there is a singletrack trail that parallels the four-wheel drive road and makes for much better running/walking.

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Location

Fairfield Hill

Lander, WY, 82520
42.737005, -108.83947

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