Trapper Canyon lies on the west slope of the Bighorn Mountains, about five miles southeast of Shell, Wyoming. Although surrounded by private land on three sides, the BLM has an easement across private property on Trapper Creek Road (BLM Road 1114), located along the south boundary of the WSA. Access is from Shell southeast on Trapper Creek Road, staying straight - making no turns, to the southeast boundary.
The southeastern portion of the WSA can also be accessed via Trapper Creek Road (BLM Road 1114) as it spurs northwest off of Alkali Road. Head northwest on Trapper Creek Road from Alkali Road for approximately 1.4 miles to a two-track. Head north on the two track for just over 1 mile. Four-wheel drive is recommended.
Primitive & Unconfined Recreation:
The Trapper Creek unit provides outstanding opportunities for primitive and unconfined recreation. The types of activities that could be engaged in and the setting of the WSA are essentially similar to those traditionally associated with a “typical” wilderness setting and experience. The setting of the canyon, its outstanding scenic values, the ecological diversity, geologic features and wealth of wildlife would provide an excellent resource base for a variety of activities. These activities could include hiking, spelunking, mountain climbing, hunting, fishing and supplemental activities such as photography, nature study and wildlife observation.
The Trapper Creek WSA encompasses 7,200 acres of BLM-administered public land with no private or state inholdings. Trapper Creek is one of the most spectacular canyons on the west slope of the Bighorns. It is characterized by the dramatic vertical relief of the cliffs, spires and massive rock outcrops of the canyon walls, the presence of a clear cascading stream and the rich color combinations. It contains important habitat for rare and endangered species such as bald eagles and peregrine falcons and is crucial winter range for elk and deer. The lower entrance to Great Expectations Cave (Great X) is located in the WSA. The elevation difference between the lower and upper entrances is 1,403 feet, making Great X the third-deepest cave in the United States.