“A powerful trail that visits Split Rock as it travels the canyons along Garden Creek.
— Russell Hobart
Closes a half hour before sunset.
River/Creek — Views — Waterfall — Wildlife
The trails at Rotary Park are braided and a little confusing down near the parking lot as people randomly hike all over the place. From the parking lot, cross the creek on the bridge and head up and away from the wall. As you get close to the road, the trail cuts back for a vigorous uphill climb. Stay away from the cliffs as you head up (lots of braided trails head off toward them) and switchback your way up the hill. After 2/3 of a mile, the trail eases up a little and becomes more defined as it enters the woods.
Continue through the thick woods until you arrive at the tall fin of granite that makes up Split Rock. At this point, the forest is lush, particularly for this part of Wyoming, and you meander above the stream until you eventually cross it by balancing across some logs.
As you go back down hill, you stay higher on the lip of the canyon and the trail becomes drier and more exposed. The views are expansive from the pink granite cliffs until you go lower and the ponderosa pines get denser.
Stay to the right as you go lower to avoid some of the social trails heading down to the falls. Finally, you loop around and get back to the parking lot.
Garden Creek is locally famous as a corridor that black bear, mountain lion, etc. use to come down to the city.