Following a successful public comment period and with thoughtful consideration by Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites, and Trails, Sinks Canyon State Park will proceed with plans for the Sunnyside Trail.
The Sunnyside trail is designed as an intermediate non-motorized multi-use trail providing crucial access from the Rise up to the US Forest Service parking area. This 2-mile natural surface trail is designed to maintain a 4% (beginner) grade and 36-inch width. It will parallel the highway, providing locals and visitors with safe, accessible travel between existing assets in the park.
The goal is to preserve as much habitat as possible while achieving a natural experience for trail users. This trail has been developed in collaboration with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Wyoming State Parks, and the Lander Cycling Club.
State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails hosted a public comment period for the proposed trail in the fall of 2023, offering several opportunities for the public to learn about the proposed multi-use trail and many ways for comments to be submitted.
State Parks heard from 140 individuals; of those comments 100 were in support of the Trail, and another 34 were in support of the Trail if certain conditions were met. The comments were carefully reviewed and considered by the park management team. The public feedback informed the final decision to proceed with plans for the trail, which will include:
- A construction season that respects the critical mule deer habitat, likely in the summer or late fall of 2024.
- A management strategy that includes a seasonal closure to protect critical mule deer habitat.
- Proper signage that directs travelers to stay on the route, respect wildlife, and execute proper trail etiquette.
- A small reroute to better direct traffic in the parking lot at the Rise so that visitors to the Park headquarters or the Rise itself don’t compete for the parking nearest those features.
- A similar reroute to better direct traffic to the parking lot at the Park entrance at the north end of the canyon which avoids the climber route parking area, better dispersing traffic.
- A commitment to keeping the public informed on trail construction progress, funding streams, conditions, and other opportunities to comment on projects at Sinks Canyon State Park.
Wyoming State Parks values the input of the public and appreciates the community’s engagement in shaping the future of this proposed trail. By working together, we can create a trail that enhances the recreational opportunities in Sinks Canyon State Park while preserving the natural and cultural resources that make this area so special.
Questions on Sinks Canyon State Park and the Sunnyside Trail planning process should be directed to Sinks Canyon State Park Superintendent Jessica Moore at [email protected], or 307-332-3077.