The Popo Agie Falls hike in Sinks Canyon State Park (just outside of Lander, Wyoming) is proof you don’t have to be in the more famous mountain ranges to enjoy great hiking and beautiful scenery.
First, let’s get the pronunciation right: Popo Agie is a Crow Indian word that’s pronounced: “Puh – Po Shuh.” Yep, nothing like it looks like! But that’s what they say over at the Sinks Canyon State Park website.
What We Loved about the Popo Agie Falls Hike
I’m going to preface this by saying more accurately, “What I loved about the Popo Agie Falls hike…” This was our first family trip to the mountains and our kids hadn’t quite discovered the wonders of hiking yet. Now they’re all over it, so I’m sure if they were to do this today as adults they’d agree with this!
3 MILES ROUND-TRIP IS A NICE DISTANCE. Especially if this isn’t going to be your only activity of the day. Kids can handle 3 miles, making it a good family hike (as long as you bring snacks and water—something we neglected…and learned from!).
A SUPER INTRODUCTION TO MOUNTAIN HIKING. If you’re from a non-mountain state like we are, the Popo Agie Falls hike is a great one to start with. The elevation isn’t super high (up to 7,800 feet) and the climb isn’t super steep (660-foot elevation gain over 1.5 miles).
If you’re headed out to the bigger mountains, this hike will get you primed for higher elevations and rougher terrain.
GORGEOUS WILDFLOWERS. We hiked this trail at the end of June, which is prime wildflower season. Many of the photos of flowers in the post 14 Favorite Rocky Mountain Wildflowers are from this hike.
IMPRESSIVE WATERFALLS. The year we went—2011—they had had twice as month snow over the winter as normal. So there was SO much water coming over the falls. Later in the summer and in normal years people “ride” these falls, as seen from some of the photos elsewhere on the web.
Popo Agie Falls is about 60 feet from top to bottom, that you can enjoy from a bench if you want a break before heading back up the trail the way you came.
What Else is There to Do Around Here?
SCENIC DRIVE. Don’t miss The Loop Road! Unfortunately, we couldn’t drive it all because, as mentioned, they had had so much snow that year the road wasn’t fully plowed out yet—in late June! We were able to drive part of it, though, starting on the side opposite Sinks Canyon and got to an alpine lake for some trout fishing.
As long as you’re on this drive, take some time to visit…
SOUTH PASS CITY. On our 2017 trip to Wyoming we camped at Atlantic City Campground (we recommend it!) and spent a couple hours in South Pass City, a restored historic mining town. We really enjoyed this! This tiny little town has some major historic significance, like the home of the first woman judge in the US.
How to Get There
Lander is right on Highway 287 in west-central Wyoming. Sinks Canyon State Park is just 8 miles southwest of the city, at the southeast edge of Bridger-Teton National Forest.
We’ve stopped in the area twice now, both times either on our way to or from Grand Teton National Park. Lander is a nice-size town with lots to do, including, of course, rodeo.
On our first trip we camped here for two nights at Twin Pines RV Park. It’s right on the highway, but has very friendly staff and campground hosts, hot and clean showers, and is just a few miles from downtown Lander.
You’ll also like:
- Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
- Atlantic City Campground, Wyoming
- The Best Wyoming Mountain Range You’ve Never Heard Of
Sharon is the founder and publisher of Active Outdoor Women. She loves getting outside in beautiful places to hike, paddle, camp, snowshoe, ski, ride—and encouraging others to come along! Besides maintaining AOW and her other website, Twin Cities Outdoors, Sharon writes and designs websites, newsletters, blogs, emails, books and other marketing tools for clients.