National Recreation Trails Database


Trail Description Continued

The Blackwater NRT is a unique natural and historic experience that begins near and then accesses the site of the Blackwater wildfire fatality site. The Blackwater fire occurred in 1937 and was the site of a wildfire entrapment that trapped 48 men and killed 15 brave firefighters from the Forest Service and Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) and Wyoming Bureau of Public Roads. The trail begins near the Blackwater recreation resort and roadside Firefighter Memorial structure on the North Fork of the Shoshone River. The trail then follows a creek-side location to the site of the fatalities. A unique bronze and rock Memorial depicting the location of the fatalities is the most common destination. The history of the Memorial structures is almost as interesting as the event they memorialize. Designed for Forest Service employees and built by CCC enrollees in tribute to their fallen comrades, the structures are fine examples of stone masonry and design of the CCC era. The upper Memorial is centered on a huge bronze diorama of the terrain and fire tragedy. The five-foot-in-diameter, stone and bronze plaque was packed by livestock to the site - no small feat in itself. The trail continues on to a smaller stone location, marking where some men survived the fire and continues on a steep climb to Clayton Mountain, the site of a Forest Service lookout tower that no longer exists. The vistas from Clayton Mountain are well worth the energy required to climb the last mile of the trail. The vista reveals the huge expanse of the Washakie and North Absaroka Wilderness areas which together total more than a million acres of some of the wildest, untamed country left in the lower 48 states. Fauna that can be encountered along the trail includes mule deer, big horn sheep, elk, a number of bird species and last, but not least, grizzly bear which are commonly seen in the area.


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This website provides access to the National Recreation Trail (NRT) database, a collection of information on the various trails which have been designated as NRT's. These trails are located throughout the United States and U.S. territories. The amount of information may vary from trail to trail. If you need more information than is available on this site, please use the contact(s) listed for that trail. (If no contacts, are listed, you may request help from American Trails at

The on-line database has details on the currently designated National Recreation Trails. The NRT Program online is hosted by American Trails: