Hiking Project Logo

Cloud Peak Out-and-Back


Well-marked trail follows a gradual climb to Misty Moon Lake and an off-trail ascent of Cloud Peak.

Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key





Out and Back

13,157' 4,010 m


9,101' 2,774 m


5,135' 1,565 m


5,135' 1,565 m



Avg Grade (5°)


Max Grade (24°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife · Commonly Backpacked

Family Friendly This is an easy hike that has lots of water and is mostly in the shade.

The Forest Service requires that you pack out your solid human waste from the Cloud Peak Wilderness.


This great out-and-back hike travels from the shores of West Ten Sleep Lake to climb steady grades through hills blanketed in dense trees to reach the boulder-strewn summit of Cloud Peak. While the climb to the base of Cloud Peak is long, multiple lakes along the route provide chances to cool your hot feet and even go for a swim.

Need to Know

Watch out for cow moose with calves at their side – they're incredibly protective of their young.

Bring along some type of lightweight day pack for use on the ascent of Cloud Peak. You won't want to carry all your gear, for one because it's heavy, but also because being top-heavy with a large bag can make the boulder-scrambling even harder.

Along the route, enjoy plenty of water–just remember to bring some form of filtration/purification.


Starting from the trailhead, follow the Misty Moon Trail #063 north as it climbs moderate grades on the flanks above Tensleep Creek. Not long after starting, the trail enters the Cloud Peak Wilderness to continue climbing through a valley that continually broadens and narrows in rhythm.

After making your way up nearly a thousand feet in elevation from the trailhead, the Misty Moon Trail #063 rewards you with the serene shores of Lake Helen, Marion Lake, and Misty Moon Lake in quick succession. Near Misty Moon Lake, the route leaves the Misty Moon Trail #063 to join the Solitude Loop Trail #038 for a short northwesterly excursion to the start of the Cloud Peak Route.

On the Cloud Peak Route, this hike navigates a small valley before gaining a ridgeline and fighting through large boulders in a scrambling effort to reach the summit. Before tackling this long journey, it is advised that you stash your heavy backpacks in favor of lighter-weight day packs. Just be sure to bring any food and toiletries with you as to prevent the wildlife from getting into it.

Upon completing 3000 ft of climbing on your summit bid, enjoy phenomenal 360-degree views of the surrounding Cloud Peaks Wilderness and broader Bighorn National Forest.

When you're ready to make your journey back, simply return the way you came, grab your stashed belongings from before, and return the way you came.

Flora & Fauna

Lots of common Wyoming wildflowers abound on this trail.


Shared By:

Brian Sheets

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 12 votes


  4.8 from 12 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Recommended Route Rankings


in Wyoming


248 Views Last Month
11,118 Since Aug 4, 2017



Sunrise at Mistymoon Lake
Aug 4, 2017 near Buffalo, WY
Beautiful glacier-fed lake. View from top.
Aug 4, 2017 near Buffalo, WY
August 2016 - At the Summit of Cloud Peak
Nov 25, 2019 near Buffalo, WY
August 2016 - At the Summit of Cloud Peak, looking North
Nov 25, 2019 near Buffalo, WY
Knife edge ridge on ascent of Cloud Peak. (Summer 2017)
Nov 7, 2017 near Buffalo, WY
Just north of Mistymoon Lake on the route to Cloud Peak. (July 2017)
Nov 7, 2017 near Buffalo, WY


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Unknown See History
Add Your Check-In


Aug 21, 2020
Blake Prouty
Stayed overnight at Mistymoon lake. Incredible journey. Left at 6 a.m. from camp for the summit and returned to the WTS trailhead by 8 p.m. 23.8mi
Aug 6, 2020
Sean Harper
Jul 9, 2020
Matt Kohn
Aug 25, 2019
Jul 19, 2019
Forrest Rothleutner
Still quite a few snow patches, runoff can get a bit crazy. 22.5mi — 18h 00m
Sep 3, 2018
Jay Bird
Great trail up to Misty Moon. Plenty of water and no bugs (sept.) Rigorous climb to the summit with lots of boulders. Excellent views from the top. 23.8mi
Sep 23, 2017
Brett Jouwstra