Seminoe to Alcova Back Country Byway
The Seminoe to Alcova Back Country Byway above Seminoe Reservoir
The Seminoe to Alcova National Backcountry Byway starts just outside of Sinclair and runs north for 73 miles to Wyoming Highway 220 at Alcova. Allow 2.5 hours to drive this road and you'll want to at least have high-clearance under your seat, in some seasons you'll need 4WD. This is mostly a paved road for much of the trip but there is a gravel and improved dirt road for about 1/3rd of the journey. Just the slightest bit of rain can make this section of the road into a nightmare. This is the section north of Seminoe State Park and running steeply up and over the Seminoe Mountains to Miracle Mile (a seven-mile-long section of the North Platte that is rated as a blue-ribbon trout fishery). The road is very steep and heavily washboarded. It is not recommended for use by RV's or by truck-trailer combos.
The big sand dunes out here are part of the larger Killpecker dunefield that stretches from western Wyoming into Nebraska.
There are developed campsites at the Dugway Recreation Area, Seminoe State Park and near Alcova and Pathfinder Reservoirs (near Pathfinder National Wildlife Refuge). There are no services along the road but you should be able to find just about anything you'll need at either Sinclair or Alcova.
Gold was discovered in the Seminoe Mountains in 1868, but the 3 miners who found the strike didn't live to work it. In 1871, the Seminoe Mining District was founded and a small gold rush was on. The first road into the area was for a stage line running passengers and freight between the mines and the Union Pacific railhead at Rawlins. There were at least 1,000 miners in the area by 1872 but that many rowdy white folks attracted a bunch of rowdy Native Americans and by 1874, most of the miners had given up and run away to somewhere else. Other mining booms came and went as miners found silver in the Ferris Mountains, coal near the Dugways, jade in the Seminoes, soda in the nearby soda lakes. Then later it was copper and iron near Rawlins, then oil and gas, and now coalbed methane. In the mountains though, you might still come across some active hardrock mining claims.
Another view of Seminoe Lake, from the south
The Seminoe Mountains
Rock formations in the Seminoe Mountains
An extension of the Killpecker Sand Dunes
Seminoe to Alcova Back Country Byway area map