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…

5 Essentials for Hiking at Curt Gowdy State Park

When it comes to packing and planning for a hike we've all heard about the '10 Essentials' -- a list of 10 items that you should always have in your daypack. Here they are: Navigation tool Sun protection Insulation Illumination First aid supplies Fire Repair kit Nutrition Hydration Emergency shelter I'm all about being prepared for an emergency, but I'm also all for packing light so I can move fast, especially when accompanied by children and all of their extra gear. (and by gear I mean snacks) We've found ourselves at Curt Gowdy State Park a lot this spring and summer.…

What’s Bloomin’ in the Snowy Range

Yesterday we headed to the Snowies to hike from the Little Laramie trailhead. Instead, we got distracted by wildflowers and ended up wandering around from trailhead to trailhead seeing what was blooming and where it was blooming. So, instead of a trail report we're bringing you the first ever Just Trails wildflower report. Here's what's blooming right now in the Snowy Range. Corner Mountain / Little Laramie Trailhead Yes, if you're looking to catch a glimpse of these beautiful yellow flowers in full bloom head to the Little Laramie Trailhead. There are a few at Corner Mountain, but not nearly…

Never Leave Home Without these 5 Things

It was a bit of a weird morning. Al left early to go set up for the GPS class up at Curt Gowdy State Park and then I headed there with our kids to do some hiking. We were about a mile into Stone Temple Pilot when I got this text message from Al who had finished up and was headed home. "Bad accident. Traffic is stopped on the interstate back to Laramie." No worries, I thought. Traffic will be moving by the time we're ready to leave. An hour later I called Al and to discover that he was…

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

Trail Report: Medicine Bow Rail Trail (Lake Owen trailhead) 6/8/15

Lake Owen is one of my favorite places to hike with kids near Laramie. I like it because I can usually get some good mileage along the rail trail if I promise to let my kids splash around in the lake and play on the caboose at the trailhead after the hike. Yesterday was no exception. We were on the trail by 7:30 am headed from the Lake Owen trailhead to the Lincoln Gulch trailhead. We didn't make it all the way but hiked a few miles down the trail and then back up  finishing with a loop around the…

Trail Report: Pole Creek Trail (6/2/15)

This morning our local hiking group met at Happy Jack for a morning on the trails. It's always chaos when there are a dozen kids scampering down the trail BUT nothing makes me smile more than seeing local kids get outside, get some exercise and learn a little bit about nature. We meandered our way slowly along the Pole Creek Trail and through the old campground stopping a few times to check out a beaver lodge, wildflowers, and insects. If you live in Laramie or Cheyenne you're always welcome to come hike with us! Hikes are posted on our calendar. Here…

Trail Report: Tie City Snowshoe Trail + Campground Loop (6/1/15)

Yesterday (6/1/15) afternoon we caught a break between thunderstorms to head up to Tie City. Our purpose wasn't so much a hike, but an attempt to clean up trash. But we did snap a few photos of the trails, and can report that they are mostly dry but wet and muddy in the lower, marshy areas. There was a fallen tree across the trail at one point, but it wasn't a big deal.     Here were the trail conditions. Date: 6/1/15 Time: 3-4:30 pm Temperature: 50-60°F (ish). Weather: Rainy & Overcast Wind: Slight breeze Trails Hiked: Snowshoe trail & Campground…

Trail Report: Turtle Rock 5/30/15

My kids woke up wild and energetic so I took them to Vedauwoo to try to wear them out. How's that for honest parenting? We hiked, and climbed on the "big big rocks" and splashed in the creek. The morning started cool and a little bit breezy but by 9 am we were down to shirtsleeves and one of my children may or may not have finished the hike pantsless. We did notice that there were several fallen trees across the trail along the upper Turtle Rock trail, so be forewarned if you're mountain biking. There were also several muddy…

Trail Report: Lone Pine State Wildlife Area 5/29/15

Our morning started bright and early when we packed our raincoats and headed to Colorado! Shocking, I know. We spent some time at a Cub Scout Camp where our friends, the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers are having their spring training. Al is teaching a map & compass class and a GPS class tomorrow so we got the course set up and hiked around the camp a bit. Then we decided to head to the Cherokee State Wildlife Area to check out the Lone Pine trail. The actual Lone Pine trail is over 10 miles, but we only made it down the…