Ever wonder what a 27 tight switchback trail would be like? In Park County, Wyoming there is such a trail called the Morrison Jeep Trail. I will say that this trail takes 100% concentration and commitment for each of the turns. It’s not for sissies or novice drivers. Although if you have good driving and listening skills as a novice you could certainly do it with some good spotters. Its also not for timid or people in poor health conditions, the altitude and terrain can test the best of people. This trail will test your courage and skill to the max, with landslides, vertigo and altitude sickness. If living on the edge of high shelf roads, one above another, is your thing then this trail has what you are looking for!
We started our trip from Cody, Wyoming. Cody is the last real town before the trail and is a great place for a good night sleep and picking up any last minute or forgotten supplies.
The Morrison Jeep Trail is located in the Shoshone National Forest, 22 miles long across the Beartooth Plateau, in one of the most remote places of the state. With breathtaking views the trail starts around 4500 ft and tops close to around just a little over 10,000 ft. at the top of Beartooth mountain.
You can expect 27 tight switchbacks with no by-passes, its a single track, very rocky, slippery, loose and dangerous road up the mountain gaining a lot of elevation all at once up steep grades. The turns are very narrow and steep, so you better have nerves of steel!
After you get through the beginning switchbacks, you can take a deep breath. You will be celebrating! You are quickly rewarded with amazing views! With the switchbacks out of the way, the remaining trail, while not easy, will definitly tire you out…it reminds me of some of the Rubicon trail a bit. The remote area of the rest of the trail is fantastic with all types of landscapes as well as predator types of animals. Bringing bear spray is a must! After all this is Grizzly country! Moose, bears, bobcats and goats Oh-My! Pictures definitely don’t do this gorgeous place justice, but please stay on the trail.
The Morrison Jeep trail is for high clearance 4×4 vehicles and closes typically during the months October through June due to snow. I strongly recommend keeping a winch, anchor and snatch blocks handy, especially for longer vehicles. The trail is the result of a path originally made by Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce Indians for escaping the pursuing U.S. Army in 1877.
If you feel brave, bring your friends for the most epic of adventures!