Discover the

Cook Lake Recreation Area

Cook Lake, located near Sundance provides numerous recreational opportunities including fishing, swimming, camping, mountain biking, ATVing, and hiking.

Please note that Cook Lake is currently closed due to construction!

Camping & Picnicing Sites at Cook Lake

The Cook Lake Recreation Area has 32 camp sites and 33 picnic sites.

The Cook Lake Recreation Area has sites able to accommodate tents, trailers, and RVs. The campground is equipped with picnic tables, campfire rings, vault toilets, and drinking water; however, electrical hook-ups are not available. 

Situated in a heavily forested area adjacent to Cook Lake, this campground is a peaceful setting for guests seeking recreation and relaxation in the Black Hills National Forest in Wyoming. Some sites in the campground are widely spaced have views overlooking the lake.

Reservations can be made by calling Toll Free 1-877-444-6777 (International 518-885-3639 or TDD 877-833-6777). Or you can reserve a spot online.

Fishing & Boating at Cook Lake

The lake supports populations of rainbow and brown trout, a variety of sunfish, and catfish. There is also an accessible pier and picnic area as well as walk in access to the lake for small boats (non motorized).

cook lake recreation area

Hiking and Biking Trails at Cook Lake

Cook Lake Trail - This easy 1.5 mile loop trail with some stairs and a stepping-stone crossing of Beaver Creek. The trail circles the lake, and there are many opportunities to see various types of ducks and geese along with osprey, blue heron, and bald eagles.

Cliff Swallow Trail - A moderately difficult 3.7 mile loop trail.  Cliff swallows nest in the limestone bluffs above Beaver Creek. Look for gourd-shaped mud nests in the rock out-croppings below the ridge. Other wildlife commonly seen along the trail include white-tailed deer, elk, and turkey. Along Beaver Creek, watch for blue herons, beaver, and water dippers. High above, turkey vultures are often seen riding the thermal drafts.

Download Cook Lake Trail Map

A hike to Warren Peak Lookout Tower makes a scenic day trip for visitors to the Cook Lake Recreation Area.

Wildlife at Cook Lake

Wildlife in the area abounds. Bighorn sheep navigate mountainous terrain, while elk, deer and pronghorn gather in forests and prairies. Bald eagles, hawks, osprey, peregrine falcon, and hundreds of other bird species can be found in the forest, especially along streams, lakes and rivers. Mountain lions, although rarely seen, also call this area home.

Directions to Cook Lake

Interstate I-90 to exit 199 (Aladdin). North on Rt 111 for 4 miles, left on Farrall Road (Rt 843) for 10 miles to Cook Lake. OR From Sundance, WY, take US 14 west or exit 185 off Interstate 90 to US 14 west, for 1.4 miles to Cook Lake Recreation Area sign at Forest Route 838. Turn right onto FR 838 and go 12.9 miles to FR 843. Turn right and go 5.4 miles to another Cook Lake Recreation Area sign on FR 842. 

Fire Safety

The State of Wyoming allows open fires only if they are contained and not left unattended. Be sure that your fire is completely extinguished before leaving. Check with the local Forest Service Office for fire restrictions.

More Information

For more information on the recreational opportunities available at Cook Lake visit the local office of the U.S. Forest Service in Sundance or visit their website.

USDA Forest Service: Cook Lake Website