Little Half Moon Trail

Difficulty
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Moderate
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
3.5-5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
11.7 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
599 m
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Directions to Trailhead
Little Half Moon Trail

The Little Half Moon Trail is one of the Wind River Range’s best-kept secrets. This lovely path explores a sequestered corner of the Bridger Wilderness, warranting a tranquil and unspoiled adventure! Ideal for intermediate hikers and families with older children, this route is worth adding to your hiking to-do list.

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Route Description

Those seeking a quiet, primitive expedition in the Wind River Mountain Range will enjoy the Little Half Moon Hike. Though this route does not circumnavigate the Little Half Moon Lake or summit Half Moon Mountain, it boasts incredible views of the two without the exhaustion those other routes demand. While the exposed terrain offers incredible panoramas, it also warrants extreme conditions—check the forecast and check the weather prior to your departure. Be sure to wear SPF, and don’t forget bug spray; the Wyoming mosquitos are relentless! Note that though unlikely, we encourage hikers to bring along a can of bear spray in the unlikely event of an encounter. *If you cannot access the Fayette Lake Trailhead, depart from the trailhead off Little Half Moon Road.

Boasting the perfect occasion for self-reflection and relaxation, the Little Half Moon Hike has the perfect ratio of seclusion and scenery. Reconnect with nature and enjoy the epic wildlife viewing and birding opportunities. Wander through sagebrush communities, wildflowers, and dense pine woodlands all in one moderate adventure. We can’t forget to mention the epic views of the Wind River Mountains, Little Half Moon Lake, Layette Lake, and Half Moon Lake! Presenting photogenic scenery, you’ll want to make sure your camera is charged before heading out! While picturesque year-round, both spring and autumn offer vibrant scenery—be it blossoming wildflowers or the autumn foliage.

Embark on your journey along the Little Half Moon Hike from the Fayette Lake Trailhead. Take the time from here to revel in the scene of Half Moon Mountain rising from the landscape in the west. When you are ready, begin your hike, heading north through a swathe of meadows bound by two bounding ridges. Soon after your departure, you will reach an intersection; if you please, turn left here and take a quick detour to the shoreline of Little Half Moon Lake. If not, turn right and begin your ascent up the ridge along the Half Moon Trail.

Beyond this point will consistently climb, gently zigzagging through the mixed-pine woodlands initially. Mind your footing on rocks and roots that may obstruct the path here. Heading east up the vertiginous section of terrain, the route will eventually reach an intersection, veer left here, and the Half Moon Trail will reroute northwardly, escaping the tree canopy into the sagebrush meadowlands. At this point, views of the Wind River Mountains will begin to unfold before your eyes. Marvel in the granite mountainscape and notice Little Half Moon Lake, Half Moon Lake, and Layette Lake below.

Tracing the forest line, the meadow-cloaked trail sees plenty of sun, so retreat beneath the canopy when you need an escape. As you progress further along the trail, you will begin to curve eastwardly again, signaling you are nearing your turnaround point. You will ultimately reach the trail’s end at the intersection with Timico Trail. From here, you will be granted breathtaking views of the Winds and the Continental Divide commanding the eastern skyline, including Fremont Peak and Windy Peak. Admire the beauty and grandeur of the distant granite mountains, then head back down the route you came, back to the trailhead.

Trail Highlights

Half Moon Mountain

Half Moon Mountain is a small mountain in the Wind River Mountain Range that sits at an elevation of 8,700 ft. Looming above Half Moon Lake in the south and Little Half Moon Lake in the east, this isolated peak is rarely trafficked.

Insider Hints

  • When the access road to Layette Lake Trailhead is inaccessible, take the Little Half Moon Road which will add a few steps to your adventure
  • Wear bug spray, the mosquitos are relentless
  • The terrain is almost entirely exposed, so wear SPF
  • Charge your camera, the views of Little Half Moon Lake and Moon Lake are picture-perfect
  • The road to the trailhead is a bit rough, vehicles with high ground clearance are recommended
  • Bring a can of bear spray, just in case

Getting There

The Little Half Moon Trail departs from the Fayette Lake Trailhead off Fall Creek Road.

Route Details

  • Backcountry Campground

    Backcountry Camping

  • When to do

    April-October

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Low

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Elevation Graph

Weather

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