Trail Lake Road,
Whiskey Basin Wildlife Habitat Area &
Whiskey Mountain Bighorn Winter Range
The Whiskey Basin Wildlife Habitat Area was established in 1954 to provide crucial winter range for more than 1,200 Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, the largest herd in the world. Visitors will see sagebrush grasslands, riparian zones, rocky slopes, and forested areas, as well as elk, moose, deer, coyotes, rabbits, many songbirds, and sandhill cranes.
Whiskey Basin was a favorite winter ground for the Sheepeater Clan of the Shoshone Tribe because of the relatively mild winters and the abundance of big game. Petroglyphs carved in the large glacial rocks by the Sheepeaters provide a vivid history of this area.
Trail Lake Road offers access to the two wildlife areas, as well as Moose Pond, Lake Julia, Torrey Lake, Ring Lake, and Trail Lake and, near its end, trailheads that lead into the Fitzpatrick Wilderness Area.
The content of this page was accurate on the date of its posting; it may have changed since that time. We recommend that you contact local authorities for current information. Our pages are only intended as a beginning to your journey.
- At junction with Highway 26/287: 6,842 feet
- At Fitzpatrick Wilderness parking area: 7,583 feet
None; mostly private land.
Turn off Highway 26/287 about 4.5 miles east of the Bighorn Sheep Center in Dubois, at the brown and white sign that mentions the Jakey's Fork Fish Hatchery and the Whiskey Basin Wildlife Habitat Area. Bear to the left just off of the highway.
Map Coordinates (NAD83):
- At junction with Highway 26/287: 43 30.810N; 109 34.103W
- At Fitzpatrick Wilderness parking area: 43 25.458N; 109 34.385W
Regulations and Precautions
- The road traverses private land in the vicinity of Torrey Lake. Please respect the landowner's rights, and don't stop, park, or get out of your vehicle while you are on their property.
- Wild animals experience stress when humans or dogs get too close to them. This is especially true in winter, when food is scarce and the animals must conserve all of their energy just to survive. Stay in or near your vehicle while watching or photographing wildlife.
- Keep dogs inside the vehicle.
- If you're on foot, stay at least 100 yards away from wildlife, avoid direct approaches, and never follow, chase, or feed them.
- Backcountry Considerations
- Backcountry Emergencies
- Encountering Wild Animals
- Pets in the Parks and Backcountry
Archaeological Resources Protection Act Hotline: 800-227-7286.
There is no public camping in this area. Most of the surrounding land is private land or protected public lands.
The only maintained hiking trail that we are of is the Glacier Trail into the Fitzpatrick Wilderness. The trailhead is at the end of Trail Lake Road.