What You Need To Know About the Snow Survey Cabin

Last weekend we headed to the Snowies to celebrate our oldest kiddo’s 5th birthday.

We’re all about birthday adventures at our house and our kids are all about trying to stay in every single Forest Service cabin that exists.

The Snow Survey Cabin

So naturally we had to check out the Snow Survey Cabin on the back side of Medicine Bow Peak.

We’d heard great things about this cabin, especially in the winter since it has propane heat and lights.

But since we didn’t get up there last winter July seemed like a decent enough time to go, even though we booked our stay in recreation.gov several months ago to make sure we got it for the big birthday weekend.

Here’s a little synopsis of our stay and details about the fascinating history of the cabin.

 

A few things you need to know if you head there.

  • The outhouse is pristine, the most non-stinky outhouse ever!
  • The cabin is super clean and organized, a completely different experience than the Little Brooklyn Lake Guard Station which seemed cluttered and dirty after staying at the Snow Survey Cabin.  I don’t think any cabin in the woods is entirely mouse-free but there was no evidence of mice inside the Snow Survey Cabin.
  • The cabin is stocked with dishes, pans, and basic necessities. But don’t forget an axe to split firewood if you want to use the outdoor firepit, matches, toilet paper, and sheets for the beds.
  • The cabin has lights and heat, it’s almost too luxurious!
  • There isn’t any drinking water or a pump at the cabin, You could boil water from the creek or just bring your own water jug from home.
  • Make sure you reserve this place months in advance, it fills up quickly year round. When we called to get the code for the door we were also super impressed with how kind and friendly the Brush Creek/Hayden Ranger District office was so thank you for that.

More details and booking information can be found right here.

(p.s. We don’t get paid to review Forest Service cabins or anything really so do know that all of these thoughts are our own)

Have you stayed at the Snow Survey Cabin? What did you think?

What You Need To Know About Medicine Bow Peak

So, maybe you’ve lived in Laramie your entire life and climbed to the top of Medicine Bow Peak dozens of times.

Or, perhaps you’re new to town and looking to learn more about this iconic peak.

Regardless we thought we’d talk about one of our favorite places (ever!) on the blog today, ‘The Peak.’

The best place to start if you’re looking to summit this peak is on our trail page, where you can learn more about the trek to the top and print off a FREE downloadable trail guide. We also have an entire map card dedicated to this peak our Trail Deck and an app and it’s mentioned in our e-book as well. So tons of resources right at your fingertips.

Please don’t be like the group we found last summer, lost and trying to navigate their way to the top with a bad map, that’s not fun for anyone!

WELCOME (3)

Now, I’m assuming you’re here because you already have your reasons for wanting to climb the peak but just in case you need some convincing here are 5 reasons why you should add this to your summer bucket list.

When you’re charging up or down the peak if you know exactly where to look chances are you can view some wreckage from United Airlines Flight 409, which crashed smack dab into the mountain during a storm in 1955. It’s a sad, but true tale.

But there have also been amazing things to happen on the peak, like an old fire lookout and the scandal that took place to construct it, or the first woman to ever “man” the lookout tower. You can read both of those stories here.

And last, but certainly not least. If you’re a parent the thought of climbing the peak with your children (especially babies and toddlers) might seem daunting. But I’m here to hook you up with a High 5 and tell you to go for it. I’ve climbed this mountain pregnant, with a baby, toddler, preschooler and I’m not that awesome. You can climb this mountain with kids of all ages. These tips will help.

Have questions about how to climb the peak? We’re always here to help. Hook us up with a note or send us a quick comment and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Top 10 Things You Need To Know About the Little Brooklyn Lake Guard Station

The Little Brooklyn Guard Station.

This iconic cabin in the Snowy Range is a place that you need to experience. I stayed at this cabin twice this winter and here are a few things that might help you plan a weekend there.

  • Book the cabin early. You can book it up to 6 months in advance, if you’re looking to reserve it for a special day then it might be worth it to get up at midnight to make your reservation. I’m not joking. Currently renting the cabin costs $40.00 per night. I did learn that if you change your reservation recereation.gov you’ll get hooked you up with a big fat fee even if it’s still months in advance. I want to say the fee $50.00 so beware of that little extra fee.
  • The cabin has 1 futon, 1 set of bunk beds, and 3 single beds. Say hello to the “hobbit bed”–fun for kids and that’s about it unless you want to make an epic bunk bed fort, which we did (of course!).
  • The cabin description on recreation.gov isn’t completely up to date. As of a few weeks ago there is no refrigerator or gas heating. Neither of which are a problem. If you go during the winter let nature be your fridge. If you go during the summer pack along a cooler and sufficient ice. The cabin does have a wood burning stove which can reach sauna-like temperatures, you won’t be cold in this cabin once you get that stove fired up.
  • There are mice in this cabin, so keep it clean and pack your food up well, especially at night.
  • Be prepared to ski or snowshoe in from October to the end of May. When we went a few weeks ago, I dropped Al and the kids off near the turn off to the Mountain Meadows Cabins and then parked the car at the Green Rock trailhead and skied up from there to meet them. It worked out great, especially if you’re heading in with kiddos who might be good on skis or snowshoes for just a mile or two.
  • Bring a sled in the winter, a hammock, fishing pole and a good book in the summer. The sledding might be the best part about staying at the cabin. This place has the most scenic sledding ever.
  • This cabin gets a lot of use and abuse, and I doubt that it’s high on the priority list for maintenance and upgrades. But it’s actually pretty clean–or was left clean the two times I’ve stayed there. I pack along sheets to cover the futon and beds, mostly because dogs are allowed in the cabin and I’m allergic to dogs so putting a buffer between me and any residual pet hair is a good thing. I also have a thing for cleanliness…so if you’re a neat freak or an allergy sufferer trust me, bring some sheets.
  • This cabin has a nice supply of cookware, pots, pans, cooking and eating utensilss, plates, mugs etc. So there’s no need to pack that stuff in or drive it in if you head there in the summer. But don’t forget garbage bags, toilet paper, and matches. Fire starter is good to have in the winter too. Previous occupants are supposed to stock the wood pile but you might find yourself stuck with wet or no kindling.
  • This cabin is not a place to go if you’re looking for peace and quiet in the winter. There is a lot of snowmobile traffic on the way to the cabin and around the cabin.  For the most part, we like snowmobilers, they make a nice packed surface to ski on and most of them slow down and are courteous. But snowmobiles are noisy and there is a constant hum of snowmobiles in the area during daylight hours. If you’re looking for solitude and quiet go in May when there’s still enough snow to ski or snowshoe in but not much left for snowmobilers.
  • Bring a hammock! I’m serious. The beams on the cabin’s porch are the perfect distance apart for a lazy nap in a hammock.

WELCOME (2)

Have you stayed at the Little Brooklyn Lake Guard Station? What advice or tips would you give to those who want to stay there?

Toddlers & Seniors Hit the Trail Together

A few months ago the Little Laramie Hikers, a local kid-friendly hiking group that I started a few years ago ran into another local hiking group at Curt Gowdy State Park.

We were at the Visitor’s Center gawking at the mountain lion and wrangling kids in the parking lot when the Seniors on the Go pulled up.

The were fit, energetic and headed out on a much faster and more rigorous hike than us.

I was curious about the group so I started stalking them on facebook. I learned that both of our groups had similar goals and objectives. And we both hit the trails every Friday morning.

-the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow-

When I timidly asked if they’d like to team up for a multigenerational hike they agreed. I promised that they could hike at their own pace but wanted to see what it would be like for our children when they showed up at a trailhead just to be greeted by friendly new faces from fellow hikers decades older than them.

Over the past year I’ve been reading and re-reading the book, How to Raise a Wild Child by Dr. Scott D. Sampson. In the book, Sampson describes the concept of being a “nature mentor”– or a fellow explorer to children.  I’ve sought out ways to try to be a better nature mentor through WY Outside, an organization that I volunteer with and teaching kids from Beitel Elementary School about maps. But the truth is, I want my children to grow up having nature mentors, or someone besides me or Al who can explore alongside them and teach them new things.

A joint hike with the LLH & Seniors on the Go seemed like the perfect opportunity to start building friendships between the children in our group and adults who value time spent in nature just as much as we do. Maybe some nature mentorships will form?

But I had my doubts.

Would anyone from the LLH show up if they knew we’d be hiking with senior citizens?

Would anyone from Seniors on the Go show up knowing that they’d be chased down a trail by preschoolers with sticks and parents with whining babies?

Would Seniors on the Go want to see wildlife? The only wild animals we ever see are 2-year-olds…

-the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow- (1)

But yesterday morning, the day of our joint hike, I watched the parking lot at the trailhead fill up and conversations begin as hikers unloaded their gear, hoisted babies onto their backs and headed down the trail. I knew that I was witnessing something amazing.

Laramie hikers were coming together.

We were connecting children with seniors.

We were sharing a passion for hiking and the outdoors.

We stopped together for a photo shortly after leaving the trailhead. Then we split into groups of those who hiked at an adult pace, and those who hiked at the pace of a toddler.

WELCOME

I’ll cherish this photo forever because to me this is what community is all about.

Thanks Little Laramie Hikers, for being awesome. I treasure our hikes together. Thanks Seniors on the Go for letting us join you for a hike, and showing our children that outdoor adventure doesn’t have age restrictions.

Here’s to many more hikes together!

 

How do I climb a 14er? (Reader Question)

Lately, we’ve been asked a lot of questions about things like gear, equipment and hiking in general. It’s awesome, we love being able to share our thoughts. Instead of keeping the conversation confined to an email or social media conversation, we’re going to start publishing more Q&A’s right here too.

At the end of August I headed to Colorado to climb Mt. Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln and Bross with a few friends. They were my first 14ers. I write a trip report over on our sister site, Hike Like A Woman and it’s been crazy popular. But it also generated a lot of questions about bagging peaks.

Now, you might have noticed that we don’t have any maps or trail guides published for any 14ers yet. The key word there is yet, because as we expand into Colorado more we’re going to be mapping and bagging more big mountains. Also, I think that the “rules” for climbing 14ers also apply when you’re climbing our 11 & 12,000 foot peaks. So, I thought it would be fitting to go ahead and answer a question about 14ers right here today.

HOW DO I CLIMB A 14ER

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Today’s question comes from Rachel. 

“Hi Rebecca, I just read your blog post about climbing four 14ers in Colorado. I’m curious, was this your first 14er? I’ve never climbed one before but I’d like to. What advice do you have for someone like me?”

Hi Rachel,

That’s awesome, do it. 

Yes, I did climb my first 14er last summer. I’d climbed plenty of 12 & 13,000-foot peaks but decided it was time to tackle mountains the 14,000-foot variety. Now I’m afraid that I’m a little bit hooked…

Here’s what I did.

  • Research and find the perfect first peak. For me, it was the Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, Bross (the DeCaLiBron) because I wanted to get all 4 on my first time up. I recommend the website 14ers.com. It is super useful for trip planning.
  • Get in shape by doing a few good climbs before you attempt your summit, but know that even if you’re in amazing shape your lungs will burn at 14,000 + feet.
  • If you’re coming from sea level there are a few different schools of thought in terms of acclimatization, check out this post. Most important is to stay hydrated, well-fueled and to listen to your body and head down if you feel sick no matter how badly you want to summit.
  • Get an early start, if you’re hiking a popular trail near the front range be hiking no later than 5:30 or 6 am to avoid not just crowds (it’s like Disneyland up on some of the more popular peaks) but also dangerous afternoon lightning and thunderstorms.
  • Recruit a few good friends to join you, just for the fun of it.
  • Don’t forget to wear good boots that are well broken in, plenty of people climb in just running shoes but if you’re like me you’ll want the protection and ankle support that only a pair of boots can provide when you’re descending a scree slope. Also think about finding a good pair of trekking poles.
  • Choose your season, Aug, Sept. good months for climbing 14ers but some rad people ski up them in the winter too.

Thank you for the question Rachel, best of luck to you!

 

Have you ever climbed a 14er? What advice would you give?

How To Climb Medicine Bow Peak With Kids

 

Last week a friend posted this question on the facebook page of our local kid-friendly hiking group.

Any tips for a family hike up Medicine Bow Peak? Best trailhead?

It just happened to coincide with some other questions we’ve been asked lately regarding taking kids to the top of the peak. So, I thought it’d be a good time to talk a little bit about climbing Medicine Bow Peak with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. 

How to climb Medicine Bow Peak with Kids

Medicine Bow Peak is the highest peak in the Snowy Range at 12,013 feet. It is part of a rugged ridge line that towers over several alpine lakes and forest below. There are several different trailheads that will take you to the summit.

The Lewis Lake Trailhead is very scenic at 1.6 miles offers the shortest route to the summit.

The Lake Marie Trailhead offers a generally more gradual, but longer climb (3.6 miles) which is just as scenic. It will also take you past an old lookout cabin.

No matter your route you will hike through some very steep sections and very rocky sections but there is hardly a spot on the trail that doesn’t offer a stunning view.

Here’s a video of the hike to the peak. I think it does a good job of showing the terrain that you’ll see on the climb.

I think the beauty of Medicine Bow Peak is that it is a peak that the entire family can bag together. But it’s not an easy hike and I would say that when it comes to outdoor family adventures it’s one that needs to be approached with caution.

This might not be the hike for your family if you aren’t comfortable with heights, altitude, and unstable rocky terrain.  Or, if you aren’t comfortable carrying a baby or toddler on your back on a steep climb. Or if thinking about your children standing on a rocky summit without good footing makes you nervous. Instead of a summit attempt I’d recommend a waterfall hike or a scenic trek to Gap Lakes instead. 

How to climb Medicine Bow Peak with kids

Usually, I’m comfortable taking risks in the outdoors with kids, in fact probably a little bit too comfortable.  But I did try to summit earlier this summer alone with both kids and turned around just a few hundred feet from the summit when the terrain got a little bit too difficult to manage by myself with a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old. If you do hike with kids know that it’s okay not to summit. Part of being savvy in the outdoors is knowing when to call it a day.

With that being said, we frequently see families on this peak and there’s no better family holiday photo than one that’s taken at 12,013 feet.

Here are a few tips for the hike.

  • Food and fluids are essential for both you and kids of all ages at altitude. Pack more than you think you’ll need and don’t forget to stop often to replenish your bodies. The good news is that no matter where you stop you’ll be able to find a nice rock to sit on and you’ll be able to enjoy a spectacular view. 
  • Get an early start. The parking lots at both Lewis Lake and Lake Marie fill up quickly and you’ll want to avoid afternoon thunderstorms and lightning.  Try to be moving no later than 7:30 or 8 am.
  • Save this trail for August and September after the snow melts and before the snow flies.
  • Some parents find hiking with a child in a framed backpack carrier is challenging on this trail since there will be some bending over to scramble across the rocks. If you do hike with a framed carrier make sure that your kiddo is securely fastened so they won’t fall out of the carrier or choose a soft carrier–like an Ergo instead. A soft carrier will keep the child tucked snug against your body and help with your center of balance. If you want to use a backpack carrier take your kid up to Vedauwoo and practice a few scrambles while wearing the carrier before tackling the peak.

Framed backpack carrier.

  • Choose your trailhead carefully. I always recommend the Lewis Lake trailhead for families because it’s shorter. I know that after 3 or 4 hours on the trail my kids are done so the least amount of mileage is usually better for my family. But if your kids are bigger and can handle a longer day you might want to go the Lake Marie Route, the trail is easier until you reach the gap. No matter how you look at it, the final summit push is going to be tough and there’s no way to avoid it.
  • Be prepared for crazy weather. We consider a raincoat and a winter hat essential items on this hike no matter what the season. The summit will be windy and cold even if the weather in Laramie is downright tropical. Also don’t forget sun protection, even on a cloudy day.

Kid on the summit.

  • Break out those trekking poles, the extra support is awesome if you’re carrying a child.
  • It’s okay to reward yourself on this hike…this is a hard hike for adults. It’s even harder for kids. But I’ve heard of 5 and 6-year-olds summiting without any help–and I can’t wait for that day. Maybe you keep a stash of jellybeans in a pocket or promise ice cream in Centennial on the way home. 
  • Tell a few stories to keeps little hikers motivated. There is some fascinating history around the peak. You can talk to your kids about the time an airplane crashed into the mountain. Or the women who kept watch for fires from the peak

If I haven’t talked you into attempting to climb the peak by now here are just a few more reasons and of course, you can check out our trail page and download a free trail map right here. 

Here’s the view as you descend the peak.

Have you climbed the peak with kids? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment of this hike? What would you add to the list?

How to get to Hidden Falls

Hidden Falls.

It’s a cool place and we get a lot of questions about how to get to the falls.

Friends don't let friends Introducing (3)

Curt Gowdy State Park does a great job of marking trails and trail intersections, but it can be tricky to find the best route. We see people up there all the time looking for the waterfall and on the wrong trail.

We thought we’d dedicate a post to Hidden Falls and give you a few tips for this hike. We’re going to break it down into the most popular route, the easiest route, and a fun loop.

Most Scenic/Popular Route:

  • Start from the Aspen Grove Trailhead. If you look across the parking lot (on the archery range side) you’ll see a trail sign and another smaller sign that says “waterfall.”

Hidden Falls 1

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  • Follow this trail up and through the meadow and then the trees.

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  • You’ll come to the first intersection,  but it’s well marked. Just keep heading down the trail.

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  • You’ll climb a little bit farther and then come out in a meadow. The next intersection is where people make a wrong turn. Hang a hard left and keep on climbing. You’ll want to stay on the trail and not turn left but do it. This intersection is not currently marked with a “waterfall” sign.

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  • The trail will climb a little bit higher before it starts to descend through the forest. As you get into the forest you’ll notice  more rock formations, thick, green vegetation (and wonder if you’re still in Wyoming) and hear the sound of water rushing through Crow Creek.

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  • The next intersection you’ll come to will be down, close to the creek. Your instinct will be to keep hiking low along the creek but the trail actually makes a hard right turn and starts switchbacking up again. This intersection is marked with a “waterfall” sign and hang in there- you’re on the right path.

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  • Shortly after this intersection you’ll come to a bridge, this intersection will give you the option to either continue along Crow Creek trail or head on Alberts Alley. Keep trekking along the Crow Creek trail, at this point you’re less than 1/2 mile from the waterfall.

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  • You’ll come to another intersection but keep on moving down Crow Creek.
  • IMG_6991You’ll  know you’re almost at the waterfall when you start to hear it, and the rock formations become dense. The last few feet up to the waterfall follow a stone staircase.

On this route the waterfall is just about 2 miles from the trailhead.

  • To get back to the Aspen Grove Trailhead simply retrace your steps.
  • You can do this trail with a lightweight jogging stroller like a Chariot but I don’t recommend it. You’ll have to carry the stroller over several rocky places and have any child exit the Chariot and walk along several portions of the trail. It’s much easier to carry a child or double carry two children along this route.

Chariot

Easiest/Kid-Friendly Route:

  • If you’re looking for an easier kid-friendly route (albeit less scenic) park at the Aspen Grove trailhead and walk through the horse stables.

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  • Link up with the Lariat Loop and follow it through a meadow. It’s not much of a trail in places.

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  • Eventually, you’ll come to the intersection where the Lariat Loop links up with Albert’s Alley. Follow Albert’s Alley down the meadow.

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  • Follow Albert’s Alley down to this bridge. This is the same bridge you’d link up with if you came on this trail via Crow Creek.

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  • At the bridge hang a right and get onto Crow Creek trail.
  • Not far from the bridge is another trail intersection, keep on truckin’ down Crow Creek trail.

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  • You’ll  know you’re almost at the waterfall when you start to hear it, and the rock formations become dense. The last few feet up to the waterfall follow a stone staircase.
  • The waterfall is just about 2 miles from the trailhead on this route too.
  • To get back to the Aspen Grove Trailhead simply retrace your steps.
  • This is a much more Chariot-friendly trail, without a lot of boulders, roots or other obstacles. Your child will be able to ride in a Chariot until the last few hundred feet to the falls. Bicycles are not allowed on the Lariat Loop but the park has said nothing about jogging strollers, so there’s some gray area there. I figure that a parent hauling a toddler in a stroller isn’t moving at the speed of a mountain biker and has plenty of time to give equestrians and horses their space.

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The Loop: 

For a fun 4-mile-loop I recommend heading down to the waterfall via Crow Creek & Pinball and heading up via Alberts Alley and Lariat trail. This will show you the most terrain diversity and loops are always fun!

Pro-Tips:

  • Bring sandals or water shoes  if you’re hiking with kids because they will want to splash in the water. I just stripped my kids down to their skivvies and packed their Keens to wear in the water. After we played in the water I wrapped them in our rain gear (because I wasn’t about to pack the extra weight from towels) and sat them on a rock to warm up and dry off after playing in the water.

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  • Some signs at intersections say “waterfall” and some signs don’t. Look at a map before you strike out (or print off a FREE map and bring it with you) before you go.
  • Another way for easy navigation is to download a map of Curt Gowdy State Park on your mobile phone. Just follow the blue bubble, it’ll pinpoint your location onto a map as long as you have service. We had cell service for most of the hike except the last mile or so along Crow Creek to the falls.

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Overall this is a fun hike through some interesting terrain to a fun waterfall! Kids love the waterfall and climbing on the big boulders along the route. Just know where you’re going before you leave the trailhead and don’t depend on “waterfall” signs and you’ll easily find this hidden gem.

Have you been to Hidden Falls? What tips do you have for the trek there or the route?

Friends don’t let friends hike with bad maps

Last Friday Al was leading a guided hike so I headed to Lewis Lake to see how far up the trail I could get with a 3-year-old and a 2-year-old.

My goal was Medicine Bow Peak but the initial ascent from the lake wore my kids out and they needed to be carried for the final 1.5 miles. We had to turn back within spitting distance of the summit when the scramble over the final talus slope proved too challenging with 58 pounds of sleepy kid strapped to me.

Friends don't let friends Introducing

Near the gap we ran into a couple who were trying to navigate off of one of our competitors maps–you know those big sites where the content is crowd-sourced and not always accurate? The route that they were trying to follow on their map was a route that doesn’t even exist. They were looking at the map, looking at the trail, looking at the terrain and trying to figure out why the map didn’t match the trail.

We stopped and chatted with them about the trail and the route to the peak and I made a mental note to toss a few of our demo trail guides in my pack just for situations like that.

Friends don't let friends Introducing (1)

Then yesterday I was at Curt Gowdy State Park with a few friends. We were chasing our children down the Crow Creek trail when we ran into 2 separate groups of lost hikers looking for Hidden Falls. In this situation neither group had a trail map, they were simply relying on maps at trail intersections and following the “Waterfall” signs.

Friends don't let friends Introducing (2)

I get it. I’ve been there. I’ve taken bad maps on big hikes and spent the entire time being confused. I’ve also taken off without even looking at a map. But, since we’re in the map-building, navigation-teachin’ business I really think that it’s important to hike with good maps!

Here’s why we stand by our maps.

We don’t put a map on our website until we’ve hiked it ourselves. We’re local, and small, we aren’t crowd-sourced. We’re Al & Rebecca sourced and if we haven’t hiked a trail it stays in our database until we have.

I’m not telling you to stop visiting Trails.com or AllTrails.com, I think they are good references for some material. Our business models are different, we aren’t subscription based, you can access all of our trail information and even print trail maps for free. We stand by that because no one shoud have to hike with bad trail information.

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p.s.

We’ve written a lot about Medicine Bow Peak, it’s by far our most popular trail. these links might help if you’re planning a trip that direction.

You can also find a ton of trail information for Curt Gowdy State Park right here. Since Hidden Falls seems to be the most popular attraction at the park here is a step-by-step guide to get you from the Aspen Grove trailhead to the falls.

 

 

6 Ways to Enjoy A Crowd-Free Holiday

Have you ever pulled into the perfect campsite only to have a bunch of 17-year-olds and their keg of beer show up at the campsite right next to you?

Or, have you ever sought solace in the woods to have it interrupted by a crying baby all night.

(If so that was our crying baby, so sorry!)

We love the outdoors and we love sharing our favorite outdoor places but with a holiday weekend just around the corner where do you go to find some peace and quiet?

It’s going to be crazy at Vedauwoo, Curt Gowdy State Park, Lake Owen, Rob Roy Reservoir and even in the Snowies this weekend. It’s inevitable!

6 ways to enjoy a crowd-freeholiday!

Here’s how we plan a holiday weekend adventure.

  • Get to the campground a little bit early so you can choose your neighbors. If you want peace and quiet look for an old retired couple in an RV, seriously this tricks works!
  • If you’re headed out for a day hike get an early start. Beat the trail congestion, crazy parking lots, hot weather and afternoon thunderstorms by striking out as soon as the birds start chirping.
  • Or start your hike in the evening after everyone has retired to their campsite or headed  back into town!
  • Stick to remote trails, trails that are off the beaten path or that people simply don’t know about our use very often. A few of our recommendations are Deep Creek campground for camping where you can explore Rock Creek trail or Sheep Lake trail and check out the remains of Sand Lake Lodge.
  • Don’t camp in an established campground but make sure you follow the backcountry camping rules where you are and adhere to the Leave No Trace Principles…or else we’ll hunt you down and blog about you 😉
  • Avoid trailheads near popular campsites. People (including us) love campgrounds that intersect with trail networks but if you’re looking to avoid crowds find a trailhead in the middle of nowhere to start your hike.

But, if you’re keeping it local this weekend be sure to come visit us today from 12-5 pm at the Elevation 8076′ Celebration in Centennial AND Laramie’s Freedom Has a Birthday in Washington Park from 10-4 pm. Stop by our tent, chat with us, and play a few map games!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Trail Report: Headquarters Trail/Crow Creek Loop

We’d been getting reports of muddy and icky trails on Pole Mountain so yesterday morning we pointed our car in that direction and headed out from the Summit or Headquarters Trailhead West.

When we got to the trailhead instead of heading up headquarters trail we headed down toward to the Crow Creek Loop.

Trail Report Headquarters TrailCrow Creek Loop

While we were able to get about 1/5 mile of dry trails in that’s about it.

This overturned tree smack dab in the middle of the trail is your clue to turn back.

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Or else you’ll be hiking through this. Pristine and beautiful but a total swamp.

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Here were the trail conditions.

  • Date: 6/10/15
  • Time: 9:00 am -10:30 am
  • Temperature: 50-55°F
  • Weather: Cloudy
  • Wind: Calm
  • Trails Hiked: Portions of Headquarters & Crow Creek Loop
  • Trail Conditions: Trails were mostly dry with just a few areas of deep mud until the marshy area along the creek. There are several down trees along the trail too. This trail is going to need some time to dry up before it’s accessible. Instead just head the opposite direction on headquarters trail from this trailhead, stay high, and you’ll be golden.

#hikelaramie

We do have a free trail map for the entire Pole Mountain Area or check out our app and Trail Deck.

What are the other conditions in the area?