Located on the Bighorn National Forest about 35 miles from
Lovell, Wyoming, the lightly used 17-mile Bucking Mule Falls Trail is a
challenging hike with big views. You and your pup will definitely get a workout
as this trail has an average grade of 20 percent. If you’re not sure what that
means – it’s pretty doggone steep! While you and your pup will be panting, the
vistas will be worth it.
Many hikers and their pooches opt to trek only to the
overlook at the trail’s namesake falls. Just 4.7 miles round-trip, this stretch has a lot of bang for its buck. There are beautiful swaths of wildflowers
like lupine and arrowleaf balsamroot, shady stands of trees, high mountain
prairies with grass and sage, and lots of wildlife! Deer, elk and moose are
commonly seen on the Bucking Mule Falls trail, so it’s a good idea to follow
the rules and keep Fido leashed. While traffic is usually sparse on this trail,
it is open to mountain bikers and equestrians, in addition to hikers.
At the overlook, you and your dog will get a spectacular
view of the trail’s namesake falls as it dives more than 600 feet into the Bucking
Mule Canyon. Rocky outcroppings provide a jagged contrast to the lush conifers
that blanket the canyon rim. It’s a breathtaking resting point for you and your
Another trail highlight includes a quaint bridge crossing
over the cool, clear waters of Teepee Creek. Although it looks refreshing, it’s
not safe for humans to drink if it’s not filtered properly. Pack more water
than you think you will need for you and Fido – you’ll likely drink it all.
Substantial snacks, sunscreen, a jacket, hat and sunglasses are also
If you and your pup are looking for an adventure with
breathtaking views, the Bucking Mule Falls trail is the hike for you!
There are long stretches of steep trail with no access to water that can be especially brutal on hot days – extra water, sunscreen and clothing layers are essential. Even though the single-track trail is dirt, parts of it can still get quite hot during the summer, so plan the timing of your visit with your pup’s bare paws in mind. A map is also recommended.