Eastern side of Big Horn Mountains on US-14 Sheridan, Wyoming
We just navigated that section of US-14 in the middle of the picture. Before that we were out on I-90 which is out in the plains. The view takes your breath away.
Another switchback, this time with a view of Wyoming's eastern prairie. In case you are interested we are in a section of 5% to 7% grades on US-14 as we climb the eastern face of the Big Horn Mountains west of Sheridan, Wyoming.
The dark streak you see running diagonally across this picture is a classic hogback. If you are not familiar with the term hogback let me try and explain. Around 500-million years ago the land was warmer, and seas covered all of Wyoming including were we are now high in the Big Horn Mountains. Animal life lived in the sea -- none lived on the land. Then around 75-million years ago, the earth's crust began to grind together. The earth buckled, heaved, and the Big Horn Mountains rose around 9,000'.
As the mountain building process pushed everything skyward the sedimentary layers of rock that were formed in horizontal sheets were pushed skyward until they broke over faults. Some of those sedimentary rocks were much harder than others. With sedimentary layers now at sharp angles erosion worked its magic washing away the softer rock leaving behind this hogback or ridge of hard sedimentary rock.
We see these hogbacks up and down the eastern slope of the Rockies in Canada and along I-25 & the Big Horn Mountains here in Wyoming. Another beautiful exposure can be seen west of Big Horn, Wyoming at the end of Little Goose Canyon Road on land owned by Little Goose Ranch. A few miles west of Loveland, Colorado off Big Thompson Canyon Road, is an exceptional hogback called Devil's Backbone. In Canon City, Colorado near Royal Gorge there is a scenic drive called Skyline Drive that is a one-way drive along that hogback. Do not miss that scenic drive and experience when you visit Canon City and or Royal Gorge. Another great "hogback" is located a few miles southwest of Denver in a place called Dinosaur Ridge in Morrison, Colorado. Dinosaur Ridge is indeed a spectacular hogback that beautifully exposes dinosaur-bearing rock. Both bones and tracks of a variety of animals from the Age of Dinosaurs are visible. This is a great (must do) place for both adults and children. There is a Dinosaur Ridge Discovery Center on site that really helps both children and adults understand what they have seen and are about to see.
Another beautiful hogback can be seen northwest of Cheyenne, Wyoming from Horse Creek Road SR-211 between Horse Creek and Farthing.
We are out sight seeing on US-14 heading east out of Ranchester, Wyoming which is around 14-miles north of Sheridan We are climbing up into the Big Horn Mountains toward Burgess Junction where US-14 and US-14a divide. US-14 goes over Granite Pass and down Shell Canyon to Greybull, Wyoming. US-14a goes over Bald Mountain and down what the local call "Oh, My God Hill" into Lovell, Wyoming. There is good reason the locals call 14a the "Oh, My God Hill" -- it is 10-miles of 10% grade followed by 4-miles of 8% grade. That should clearly explain the moniker.
However, the pictures in this travel log are from the portion of US-14 between Rochester/Sheridan and US-90 west to Burgess Junction as US-climbs the eastern slope of the Big Horn Mountains. This section of US-14 consists of 11-miles of 5% to 6% grades and 30 to 40-mph curves. Then a little over 2-miles of grades that change from 6% to 2% then back to 6%. This is followed by 13-miles of 5% to 7% grades and many 25-30-mph curves.
US-14 is a good two lane road with some stretches of 3-lanes.
I stay off US-14 between US-90 and Greybull and or Lovell (across the Big Horn Mountains) with our motorhome. Folks with the experience and right equipment do take their RV's over the Big Horn Mountains on US-14. Others try and pay the price. You have been warned.
Earlier today we took an awesome scenic drive through Tongue River Canyon near Daton, Wyoming. I think that is Daton, Wyoming in the top center of this picture but I am not sure.
Until next time remember how good life is.
We hope you liked this page. If you do you might be interested in some of our other Travel Adventures:
We would love to hear from you......just put "info" in the place of "FAKE" in this address: FAKE@travellogs.us
Until next time remember how good life is.