Huston Park Wilderness
Meadows fill with wildflowers in season
Huston Park Wilderness is comprised of some 30,588 acres in Medicine Bow National Forest. The wilderness is named for Al Huston, an outdoorsman who came to Wyoming in 1857 when he was 17. By the time he was in his early 30s he had established himself as a rancher, prospector and premium big game hunting guide. His main money-making business was guiding English nobility to elk, bear, deer and pronghorns, and making sure they made their shot. Mountain man Jim Baker called him "The one crack game shot of the world, excepting none."
Huston Wilderness straddles the Continental Divide and about 14.5 miles of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail are on the property. The route is marked with rock cairns, CDT signs and tree blazes, sort of (the blazes are mostly from the days when the trail was used as a stock trail and since the area got wilderness designation, the blazes have been disappearing in the "woodwork"). There are several side trails off that main trail but they suffer from a lack of development and don't have very well marked trailheads. The trails also tend to be pretty clear through the trees but once you emerge in one of the many meadows, the path disappears in the grass. Don't go looking for Baby Lake, either: it was dynamited in the 1960s and is now an underwhelming bog.
Huston Park Wilderness contains numerous alpine bogs, open parks and brushy meadows. Most of the area is forested with stands of spruce, fir, lodgepole pine and aspen. Most of the streams are too small to make for good fishing but the streams that are large enough tend to carry good populations of rainbow, brook and brown trout. For those who look, these woods also have plenty of elk, mule deer, black bear, bobcat and mountain lion. The elk population is large enough that most humans who venture into these woods do so during the fall hunting season. Nowhere on the property will you find yourself above timberline.
Map courtesy of National Geographic Topo!