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There Really Is a Waterway from the Atlantic to the Pacific (but It’s Sort of Underwhelming)

Apr 21, 2014 By Joey

While it’s not quite the Northwest Passage early explorers were looking for, the United States actually does have a continuous line of water dividing the country. There is a tiny Wyoming creek that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans…

Parting Waters 1

Tucked high in the mountains of the Teton Wilderness Area in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest, the Parting of the Waters is a hydrological oddity. Straddling the appropriately-named Two Ocean Pass on the Continental Divide, North Two Ocean Creek flows south along the divide before splitting into Atlantic Creek to the east and Pacific Creek to the west…

Parting Waters 4

Anyone up for a hike to the Parting of the Waters can actually visit the site and walk across it, or throw sticks in the stream and guess whose stick will float to which ocean…

Parting Waters 2

Parting Waters 3

Via: RedditM. Mark MillerDan & Anna’s Adventures

Interestingly, the Parting of the Waters isn’t the only place where this unusual occurrence exists. A nearby example is Yellowstone National Park’s Isa Lake, which sits on the Continental Divide and is believed to be the world’s only natural lake to drain backwards into two different oceans.


  1. John says:

    Misleading…it end up in the Gulf of Mexico. Okay you are talking Oceans and the Gulf belongs to the Atlantic but remember the Panama Canal so is it really the Atlantic or is it waters from the Pacific? Why the big deal the fact is this river goes from Washington State to the mississippi and that is an interesting point.

    1. Ken says:

      Really??? for one thing the Panama canal is NOT a natural waterway and it is NO WHERE NEAR the Gulf of Mexico, AND the river DOES NOT go from Washington to the Mississippi, It’s headwaters are in WYOMING, or did your science teacher NOT teach you that water DOES NOT flow up hill?

  2. Jud says:

    Water does not flow up hill but it does flow from South to North in several locations through the US as well as other places on the globe. They Yellowstone River flows North into the Missouri and the Missouri flows into the Mississippi and into the Gulf and not the Atlantic. I think the main point is that it branches and flows east and west of the divide.

  3. MountainWatch says:

    Don’t go there or try to go there. You have to go through private property to access and landowner is absolutely NOT fond of traffic. If he feels you’re a threat, he has the right to shoot at ya. He commonly shoots warning shots which gives you 5-10 mins to leave. If you’re not gone then there’s trouble, sometime he won’t do the warning shots at all and come right out to ya with gun in hand.

      1. Tom says:

        Has to be more than one trail to the same spot right, may be farther but that’s just more fun.

  4. Brian Nelson says:

    No, MountainWatch, he doesn’t have the right to shoot at you. Nowhere in Wyoming statute does it specify a landowner can shoot at you for any reason, other thanin defense of serious bodily injury or death. Besides, if it’s a bonafide USFS trail, evenif crossing private porperty, there would be access esaements in place.

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