The beauty of this area is that you can run one mile or 10 miles (if you cover every intertwined trail) depending on how you feel. It is a low commitment, frequently accessed area that will leave you feeling the endorphin high without feeling desolate or all alone in the woods.
What Makes It Great
This is a go-to run when you're short on time or motivation, but need a refreshing dose of the outdoors. To start the run, cross the suspension bridge across the Popo Agie River. From here, you can take any of three options; all trails connect, all are moderate in terrain with beautiful views across the canyon of Sinks Canyon Climbing Area. The left option takes you on a mile loop marked with informational plaques about the geology, wildlife and plants and is a nice way to get warmed up on moderate downhill, before heading up canyon.
Any route will take you in and out of aspen groves, sage meadows and conifer forest. You can choose to stay along the river or venture up the south side of the canyon for a little more challenge. There is a warming hut maintained by the USFS about halfway up the canyon and still a variety of comparable options any direction from there. If you choose to continue all the way up the canyon you will find yourself on a less traveled two track that ends at Bruce's Bridge.
These trails are partly shaded, which is fabulous in the summer and brisk in the shoulder season. During the summer months, it is definitely best to get out earlier in the day or late evening. If you find yourself out in the heat of the day, a quick dip in the river will cool you down promptly.
Folks often cross country ski or snowshoe here in the winter, so the trails are packed enough to run on any time of year. For winter running, spikes (Yaktrax or Kahtoola are great) are encouraged.
Who is Going to Love It
The Sinks Canyon Nature Trails are great for running when you're either short on time or motivation and need a quick endorphin fix in a beautiful location. I would recommend this trail system for anyone just getting into trail running or wanting easier terrain.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
The trail start in Sinks Canyon State Park, near 3079 Sinks Canyon Rd, Lander, WY 82520.