Hole-in-the-Wall

Location:

Southwest of Kaycee, at the southern end of the Big Horn Mountains, of Johnson county in central Wyoming. Based at a log bunkhouse built 1890 and in the field camping at the Hole-in-the-Wall proper…

History:

Hole-in-the-Wall is a remote hideout (actually a narrow notch in the great Red Wall) located in the Big Horn Mountains. The site was used in the late 19th century by the Hole in the Wall Gang, a group of cattle rustlers and other outlaws which included Kid Curry, Black Jack Ketchum and Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch. Cassidy, the Sundance Kid and other desperados met at a log cabin which has been preserved at the Old Trail Town museum in Cody, Wyoming. The cabin was built in 1883 by Alexander Ghent.

The area was remote, secluded and easily defended because of its narrow passes and was impossible for lawmen to approach without alerting the outlaws. From the late 1860s to around 1910 the pass was used frequently. Eventually it faded into history, with gangs using it less frequently. Outlaws used to lay up during the harsh winters and it had a livery stable, a corral, livestock and supplies with each gang contributing their share. Nearby is the site of Blue Creek Ranch, a 40 acre spread originally owned by Butch Cassidy up until 1892. 

Ride:

explore old campsites, see cabin foundations used by the Wild Bunch and Hole-in-the-Wall Gang and old Fort Houck, a way station for the stage between Barnum and Arminto, Wyoming.  The high walls and caves of nearby Buffalo Creek Canyon still contain names and dates of soldiers stationed at the fort, plus numerous Indian petroglyphs. A Sioux Indian trail crosses the ranch and was part of the Army wagon road. There is evidence of Indian campsites with teepee rings still intact. Ride part of the old Sioux Trail towards the Big Horns using the Arminto Stock Trail. A stage line from Arminto to Kaycee traveled down the valley through the wall and another over the mountain to Tensleep. Today there is no public access road through to the south or over the mountain and a dead end to the north.

The Outlaw Cave is in Powder River Canyon about half way up the mountain to the south. Nestled between the Red Wall and the foot of the Big Horn Mountains, this area is historic and private, away from the hordes. The Dull Knife Battleground lies at the north end and other sites of the infamous Johnson County War are very close. Flat open range runs into rolling hills, canyons and into high plains country proper. Elevations rise from 5,200 – 8,200 feet. Remote, unchanged it is a stunning refuge.  Trailing through the rugged trackless mountains it is easy to appreciate why it was an ideal hidaway. Natural barriers like the 50 mile long Red Wall which is 350 feet high, make passage difficult in many places. Keep your eyes peeled for whitetail and mule deer, antelope, coyote and marvel at the virtually unchanged land base. 

Details:

Accommodation: bunkhouse & tents; Duration: 7 days/6nights; Group size: 4 – 12; Departures: June- September; Cost: £ POA