West of Cheyenne and south of Saratoga in the Medicine Bow National Forest, the 16 mile Encampment River Trail follows the namesake river through a narrow canyon. The route is open to hiking. It passes through a rugged gorge with bighorn sheep, mule dee and bald eagles.
The southern trailhead is just north of Encampment at the Encampment River Campground. The first five miles heading north are through arid river canyon on BLM land. At the five mile point, the trail enters the Encampment River Wilderness in the Medicine Bow National Forest (mountain bikes are not allowed into the wilderness area). The first few miles of trail are through dry sage canyon. The latter miles are through more dense pine forest which has been infested with the pine bettle which have caused damage.
To reach the Encampment River Campground trailhead from the town of Encampment, head west on SR70 for 1 mile. Turn left heading south on CR353 for 1.5 miles (staying to the left at the 1 mile point). The campground is well marked on the left and the trailhead is just on the south side of the campground.
Overall, Encampment River Trail is the 4th most popular hiking trail of all 18 hikes in Wyoming.