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Shell Lakes Trail #032

Intermediate/Difficult
 5.0 (2)

A Cloud Peak Wilderness classic trail with high alpine scenery and a plethora of wildlife.


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Map Key

6.0

Miles

9.6

KM

Point to Point

10,282' 3,134 m

High

9,196' 2,803 m

Low

1,295' 395 m

Up

224' 68 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

21%

Max Grade (12°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Birding · Fishing · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Need a very good 4x4 to access trailhead. Multiple creek crossings both on road and trail.

Need to Know

Need a serious four-wheel drive vehicle to get here. Multiple creek crossings both on the road and trail.

Description

First of all, you need a very durable four-wheel drive vehicle to get to the trailhead. The trail is very lightly traveled, but the views never get old throughout the entire hike. You pass by several lakes, the first being Shell Lake which is a gorgeous high alpine lakes with high peaks around it.

After you pass Shell Lake, you'll go by the Lakes of the Rough, which are home to bald eagles that hunt trout in the nearby lakes. The final destination, Emerald Lake, is high above the treeline with an abundance of trout species and of course, stunning scenery.

Despite there being multiple creek crossings, we only had to get our feet wet twice. The rest of them, you can easily hop boulders to get across the water -- but be prepared to get wet!

Flora & Fauna

Mountain Wildflowers, Bald Eagles, Moose, Elk, Deer, Bear, and Pine Forest.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jeffrey Shanor with improvements by Anna Zowada

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 2 votes

#1179

Overall
  5.0 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#46

in Wyoming

#1,179

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758 Since Jul 18, 2019
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Photos

The first lake you arrive at, Shell Lake. One of many until you reach Emerald Lake.
Jul 18, 2019 near Greybull, WY
The summit of Emerald Lake. Well worth the extra miles if you have the time!
Jul 22, 2019 near Buffalo, WY

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Jul 13, 2019
Anna Zowada
Great scenery, trail follows the river, but that also means lots of mosquitos. They are quite bad this year with all the moisture. Creeks to cross. 12mi — 5h 30m