Morrison Jeep Trail

Cody, Wyoming (Park County)

Last Updated: 09/05/2021
5 / 5 ( 4 reviews )
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Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Open
Typically Open: 07/16 - 03/31
Length: 22.32 miles
Highest Elevation: 10203 feet
Duration: About 7 hours
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: North
Nearest Town: Cody
Nearest Town w/ Services: Cody
Official Road Name: 120
Management Agency: Shoshone National Forest
District: Wapiti Ranger

Highlights

Highlight: Morrison Jeep Trail
The Morrison Trail is an iconic trail that should be on your bucket list… if you can stomach very narrow shelf roads. This trail is for advanced drivers only. Once you start the climb up the switchbacks, there is nowhere to turn back if you decide it is too much for you. All of the switchbacks are multiple point turns for anything but very small wheelbase rigs. You will be off camber while climbing tight switchbacks while your suspension is flexed. There is no room for error, no winch points if you get into trouble and you can literally hear the edges of the cliff crumbling away as you drive in some areas. The trail is most famous for the 28 switchbacks(or so depending on what you count). The panoramic views at the top are well worth the intense few hours it may take to climb up the side of the cliff. You begin along the Clarks Fork River and climb to the top of the Beartooth Plateau gaining 2,000ft of elevation in two miles. The Clarks Fork Canyon where you begin is the canyon that Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce Indians traveled through in 1877 to escape the pursuing Army. The scenic byway to the south of the canyon is named after Chief Joseph and has a few interpretive signs along the drive.

Video

Route Information

Technical Rating

( DIFFICULT - SEVERE )

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Waypoints

1. South Trailhead (0 mi)
Begin on the Morrison trail on the south side of the road. There is a large area to park tow vehicles in this area.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Cody

From Cody, take the Belfry Highway/Wyoming Highway 120 north for 30 miles. Turn left/northwest onto Road 1Ab/Wyoming Highway 292. Continue on Road 1Ab/Wyoming 292/Canyon Road for 3.5 miles and keep left at the fork to continue on Road 1Ab/Wyoming 292/Canyon Road. Follow it another 7.7 miles until it ends at a large interpretive sign on the left. This is the south trailhead and is a great place for trailer parking, airing down. From Bellfry, Montana, travel south on MT-72 N which turns into Belfry Highway/Wyoming Highway 120 at the Wyoming Border. Follow this for 18.7 miles. Turn right/northwest onto Road 1Ab/Wyoming Highway 292. Continue on Road 1Ab/Wyoming 292/Canyon Road for 3.5 miles and keep left at the fork to continue on Road 1Ab/Wyoming 292/Canyon Road. Follow it another 7.7 miles until it ends at a large interpretive sign on the left. This is the south trailhead and is a great place for trailer parking, airing down. You will likely lose cell service after turning onto Road 1Ab, so it may be easier to assemble groups prior to that.

Camping

Dispersed
Designated

Trail Reviews (4)

Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Awesome day for sure. We left Cody at 7:15am, drove the full trail, went down the Beartooth Highway to the Chief Joseph Highway and was back in Cody by 3:15pm. I used exactly half a tank of gas in a 2018 JL. Trail was fairly quiet, I could see a few vehicles show up at the bottom of the switchbacks while looking down from the top.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
Wow! This is an amazing trail! The switchbacks are certainly a bit of a challenge and extremely steep. Just focus on the road ahead rather than the edge. I made it up without using my lockers with no problem. Toyota's atrac system was really made for this trail. Being locked makes steering difficult, and these switchbacks are all about steering. Remember that there is A LOT MORE to this trail than the switchbacks!! A lot more. By the end of the trail in Montana at the Beartooth highway, the switchbacks were a distant memory, it almost felt like I had done them on a different day on a different trail.
Author: Official Crew
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
definitely an awesome trail. as mentioned NO fullsize and NO newbies. definitely recommend at least a rear locker, but a front locker will also help with wheel spin on the loose toddler head sized rocks that will keep you struggling on the switchbacks. we had two very experienced people in two very well set up land cruisers running the trail and the switchbacks took almost two hours due to one of the landcruisers being close to fullsize (full in width, not in length). he said he would not take a 200 series up it again but was glad he did. the rock on the switchbacks appears to be gone as neither of us remember it. a couple of the switchbacks show runoff ruts being created that resulted in a very impressive (and dangerous) wheel stand in the 200. but don't think that once you're over the switchbacks you're done. you'll still climb a couple thousand more feet in elevation before going into tight trees with off camber turns and pigslop holes. you'll be paying attention the entire time which will wear you out by the end of the day and plan on a full day. we took about 7,5 hours from start to finish and with the exception of a 45 minute lunch break, we were pretty much non stop.
Author:
Status: Open
Offroaded on:
Rating:
On a trip to the Bear Tooth mountains with my wife, daughter and 2 nephews we decided to hit up the Morrison Jeep trail. This was the first time I had done this trail and it's probably one of my favorites. It was July so there was no snow and the weather was great. After passing through the gate at the beginning of the trail you will find a 2 track that follows the Clark Fork river. Its pretty easy going just a lot of little rocks. We stopped along the Clark Fork river to cool off and have some lunch. Beautiful place to stop and enjoy the views. Bring a fishing pole if you like to fish. Continue along the 2 track until you get to the base of the mountain. The trail doesn't waste anytime and you almost immediately start climbing up the side of the mountain. The trail starts at about 4,500 ft and climbs to a little over 10,00 in no time and demands your full attention. There is somewhere around 27 switchbacks and they range anywhere from easy to multi-point off camber turns. In some places rocks have fallen on the trail so it can make it more challenging. Continue your way up the switchbacks and enjoy the views. Once you are at the top of the switch backs you will go through a raised cattle guard. Don't worry this is not the end of the trail. Following the trail is very easy as this is still used by ranchers in the area. Please make sure to leave the trail in better shape than you found it. The rest of the trail is pretty straight forward with a few small technical areas that includes medium boulders, creek crossings and mud holes depending on weather. The trail ends at a parking lot with a vault toilet and access to the Bear Tooth highway. Stop by the Top of the World gas station for gas and snacks. They let us use the showers to rinse off all the dirt :). We completed this trail in my 2011 JKUR Wrangler with a 2.5 lift and 35" tires. If you are planning on doing this trail be prepared for weather changes and bring enough food and water. It took us right around 6.5 hours for the actual trail, we spent about another hour or so playing in the river. Keep in mind that Cody is probably the last place to gas up before hitting the trail, Clark does not have a gas station so bring extra gas. We brought 5 gals and used it all. Enjoy!

Questions & Answers (6)

Q: We were looking to do this trail with a couple can am x3. looks like this is a one way trail. With us needing to hit the black top to get back to the trailer. Is their fuel at the end of this trail and do you know how long it takes from the end of the trail to circle back on blacktop to the head of the trail?
–James (08/12/2020)
–Ige Gustavson (08/12/2020)
Q: If I park at the south trailhead with my truck and trailer,do the trail and need to return to my truck is possible or is the trail only one way? Thanks
–Alan hilmes (07/26/2019)
–Todd (07/26/2019)
Q: What is the upper section like? I would love to do the entire trail but it sounds like dbl cab long bed tacomas like mine, are a no go for the switchbacks. Are there other challenging but not death defying trails near there, the topography looks amazing!
–Steve Sparks (03/13/2019)
–Brandon Marlow (03/14/2019)
Q: Planning on doing this in my Power Wagon spring 19.......any tips?
–Daniel White (11/20/2018)
–Brandon Marlow (11/21/2018)
Q: When does this trial close, specifically?
–Gregory (11/05/2018)
–Brandon Marlow (11/21/2018)
Q: What's this trail like during the winter? Un4x4able?
–Trenton (02/28/2018)
–Brandon Marlow (03/01/2018)

Writer Information

Todd

Founder

Todd is an avid wheeler who loves to explore new trails whenever and wherever he can. They say necessity is the mother of all invention and that holds true for Todd. His want and desire to find passable trails and new nooks and crannies of the Great American West to explore were his reasons behind starting Trailsoffroad.com. On any given weekend you can find Todd on some obscure 4x4 trail or using his legs to hike to an alpine lake.
For individual use only, not to be shared.