Sheep Mountain is better known as Sleeping Indian because the mountain forms the façade of a headdress and nose. It’s one of the less popular hikes for tourists with most visitors choosing to hike the Grand Tetons. We don’t blame them, of course, but if you’re afforded the opportunity to visit Jackson Hole with some hiking cred already under your belt, go where the locals go and head up Sleeping Indian.
If you’re hiking to the top, you’re in for one of the best expert level hikes near Jackson Hole. Prepare for a potential overnighter, otherwise, you’d have to average over a mile an hour to get up and back before dark.
There are a couple of routes when entering the Gros Ventre Wilderness. There’s a shorter climb from Flat Creek Road (about 6 miles to the summit) from Elk Refuge. To get to the parking lot, go past the turnoff to Curtis Canyon. Be advised you might need a high clearance vehicle. Also, there’s no actual trail system, which means venturing into unmaintained areas with no signage. Follow the cairns and you should be fine, but it’s easy to get confused. The Grizzly Lake Trailhead off Gros Ventre Road is about 8 miles to the summit. If you’re not up for the strenuous climb to the top, this trail can be a short day hike, but you won’t get to experience all of Sleeping Indian.
Blue Miner Lake is about 6.5 miles from the Grizzly Lake Trailhead. It’s a popular spot for backpackers to spend the night before hiking to the top.
On many parts of the trail, you’ll find yourself pushing through beautiful meadows of wildflowers. If you’ve never seen a wild rose, it will stop you in your tracks. The area is best known as the habitat for bighorn sheep. If you let them be, they’ll let you be. Admire from afar and bask in the glory of Jackson Hole’s wildlife.
At the top of the summit, elevation reaches 11,239 feet. You’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the Tetons and tons of photo opportunities.
Are you ready to make your next Jackson Hole adventure an unforgettable experience? Scenic Safaris offers a variety of tours and rentals so you can explore Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park like a local. Contact us today for more information on great hikes and tours in Jackson Hole.