OverviewFrom Battle Pass, the route follows a closed 4wd trail and then the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. We took the Continental Divide trail around to the South Face of Red Mountain and climbed it from there. We didn’t have a topographic map with us, but by looking at the map, the gentle north east ridge of Red Mountain might make the easiest route.
The route then descends the Southwest Face of Red Mountain and follows the indistinct Baby Lake Trail to FR 811.
Getting ThereBattle Pass
The trailhead is easy to find since it is also a trailhead for the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.
The trailhead can be reached from the east or west and is right along WY State Highway 70. Most people will be coming from the east, but we came from the west. Battle Mountain Pass and the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail are located on the south side of the highway 12 miles west of Encampment.
Forest Road 811
Forest Road 811 takes off south from WY State Highway 70 about six miles west of Battle Pass (18 miles from Encampment). Turn south on FR 811 (across from the Lost Creek Campground) and turn left immediately onto FR 811.A and follow the road a short distance to the trailhead.
Route DescriptionThe trail begins at the large parking lot at Battle Pass. From Battle Pass, follow the Continental Divide Trail South. This is along a road, but you are not allowed to take vehicles in. Stay on the marked route and respect private land.
After just over a mile you will reach a very flat saddle and the trail begins to curve around to the Southwest. The most expedient way to climb Red Mountain is to climb the east ridge from here, but not having a topo map, we continued along the Continental Divide Trail to the south face of Red Mountain and made the climb from there. This is an interesting route with lots of pink and red granite. The slope is steep, but easy and there are fine views from the summit.
After climbing the peak, we headed southwest and were lucky enough to hit the trail right at the trail junction of the Baby Lake Trail and the Continental Divide Trail. From there (there was a sign in 2012), turn right (west) and follow the Baby Lake Trail west. At one point the main trail appears to head south at a cairn, but the Baby Lake Trail heads west. The trail is good at first, but fades out to almost nothing. Continue west along the Baby lake Trail, keeping a close eye out for cairns and flagging on trees. Undoubtedly, you will lose the trail several times, especially in the wet meadows. The route usually stays far right (north) of the meadows and look for the trail there. Don’t worry if you lose it several times.
The trail follows Baby Lake Creek, but never does reach the lake itself (plan on taking a map/gps or compass if you want to find the tiny lake. The trail eventually becomes decernable and turns north before crossing Battle Creek. The trail then climbs north and ends at the Baby Lake Trailhead. You will either have to have a car shuttle or catch a ride back to Battle Pass.
The one way distance for this route is nine-miles, though it can be done from each direction as an out and back.