Popo Agie River Disappears in Sinks Canyon State Park - My Yellowstone Park

Popo Agie River Disappears in Sinks Canyon State Park

Author:
Publish date:
Sinks Canyon by Scott Copeland courtesy of Wind River Country

The river flowing into the cave at Sinks Canyon 

There’s a river south of Yellowstone National Park known for a peculiar vanishing act.

En route through Sinks Canyon, the Popo Agie River disappears dramatically into a cavern, leaving visitors to Lander, Wyo., to ask, “Where does it go?”

The river reappears about a quarter of a mile away in what is called “the Rise,” but it’s not an easy trip from what is referred to as “the Sink” to the Rise. It actually takes the water two hours of traveling through tiny underground passages to reach the Rise.

Because the underground limestone passages are extremely small ⎯ some mere cracks ⎯ researchers have not been able to access the passages to learn more. Geologists think glaciers may have created the Sink and the Rise thousands of years ago.

The Rise at Sinks Canyon

Get some trout food from the vending machine and walk to the end of the viewing platform to see the Rise at Sinks Canyon

When the Popo Agie reappears, it continues to the Wind River, eventually meeting the Yellowstone River and then the Missouri before flowing down the Mississippi River and emptying into the Gulf.

Sinks Canyon Visitor Center

After viewing the Sinks and the Rise, stop at the new visitor center and learn about the magic.

Just three hours from Yellowstone, visit Sinks Canyon State Park and see the Popo Agie as it disappears and then reappears. But don’t leave the park without doing some more exploring. The gorgeous canyon offers world-class rock climbing, hiking and fishing.

Related

Teepee sunset at Wind River Hotel & Casino

Native Excursions at Wind River Hotel & Casino

Have a Native experience. From seeing Native American dances to rolling the dice, there are a number of things to do at the Wind River Hotel & Casino.

Buffalo Bill State Park Reservoir

Visit a Wyoming State Park near Yellowstone

While in the Yellowstone region, visit any of the numerous state parks including the Buffalo Bill Dam and Reservoir, Sinks Canyon, and Hot Springs.

Horseback trail ride from a dude ranch in Wind River Country

Golden Opportunity in Wind River Country

Escape the crowds and discover Old West experiences such as pow wows and a pioneer Gold Rush town.

Wild horse at Wild Horse Island. Photo courtesy of Montana State Parks

Montana State Parks between Yellowstone and Glacier National Park

See a Native American bison jump, ancient rock drawings, and wild horses on your road trip between two of America's most popular national parks.

Beaded baby moccasins. Photo courtesy of Wind River Native Gifts

Wind River Native Gifts on the Wind River Indian Reservation

Unique and authentic gifts created on the Wind River Indian Reservation. Buy crafts, beading and fine silversmithing.

Rebecca Walsh, Owner of Basecamp outdoor store in Laramie, Wyo.

Locals in Laramie

On your way to or from Rocky Mountain National Park or Yellowstone, stop in the Laramie area to stretch your legs. Three enterprising locals share tips on where to go in Laramie and what to do.

Lander, Wyoming Sculpture. Photo by Gloria Wadzinski

Lander, WY - An Old West Town

On your way to Yellowstone, be sure to visit Lander, Wyoming. Enjoy the spectacular views of the Wind River Mountains while hiking alone or with an outfitter, or strolling our historic Main Street.

Powell farm irrigation

Tour a Farm East of Yellowstone in Powell

Find out more about how your food is grown in the small town of Powell, Wyo.

Star Bakery in Virginia City, a ghost town in Montana

10 True Montana Gems between Yellowstone and Glacier National Park

You'll find everything from spirits and sapphires to ghost towns and river canyons. Here are our top picks for places to stop in southwest Montana.