Peak 4932 is one of the four summits in the Badland Hills, which are located in northwestern Wyoming in Badger Basin. Its placement at the far northeast corner of the hills makes the view looking north into the flat part of the basin and over to Polecat Bench probably the best to be had from any of these peaks. The Beartooths are a spectacular sight in the west, and Heart Mountain and the rest of the Badland Hills to the south make up the rest of a wonderful summit panorama.
This mountain showcases some of the best badlands formations in this area, with steep hills and valleys that show a beautiful range of earth color that ranges from red to white with every shade in between. The route to the summit features a fun ridge scramble that has great views down into some of these areas.
Getting ThereTo reach Peak 4932 from Cody, Wyoming, head towards Powell on Highway 14A for about 13 miles and turn left on Highway 294. From Powell, go towards Cody for about 8.5 miles and turn right. Drive on 294 for 8.4 miles and turn left on Little Sand Coulee Road, which is the unmarked dirt road that crosses over a cattle guard through the fence. This road is in pretty good shape with just a couple of rough spots where water drainage has damaged the road, but there is no need for 4WD. Park on the side of the road after about 2.5 miles and head west towards the mountain, which is the first peak that you will see on the right.
The east side of this mountain features a fascinating assortment of strips of hillside that are interspersed with small canyons; most of these "land fingers" have steep sections that are not well suited for scrambling due to the hard ground on them. As you approach the east side, stay to the left and you will see a ridge near the end that is much easier than the others. There is a faint path on top of this ridge most of the up until you are directly under the summit. From here, turn right and continue along the base of the summit block until it gets less steep and then scramble up the last 60 or so feet on loose dirt and rocks. The summit plateau is large and flat, and the highpoint is off to the left.
Peak 4932 is a Class 2 scramble of about 1.5 miles one-way from the car with about 500 feet of elevation gain, 400 of which is gained over the last half mile.
Red TapeThere are no fees to hike in Badger Basin. This area is mostly BLM land with a few very small parcels of Wyoming state land scattered throughout. Fences generally separate these areas and run along the highways; cattle graze this land from time to time, so the fences and cattle guards help keep the animals off of the road. Since it is pretty much all federal and state land, hiking is allowed throughout the entire area. Judging by some deep animal tracks and some pretty torn up places on the 4WD roads that branch off of the main dirt roads, this area gets pretty treacherous when it is wet, so exercise caution. It would probably be best to avoid this area during hunting season, so check with the Cody BLM office about dates.
This is prime rattlesnake country with very little in the way of established trails, so every step taken while walking around the basin takes you close to another clump of sage brush that could hide a snake. For this reason, the winter months may be the best time to hike this area, as the snakes will stay in or very close to their dens during the cold season; if you do hike here in the summer, always keep listening and watching!
CampingStandard BLM regulations for camping apply throughout the basin. There is very little water here, so plan accordingly. For more information, visit the BLM camping rules page at:
External LinksInformation on the Badland Hills Quadrangle:
What to do in case of a Rattlesnake bite: