The entire Medicine Bow Peak area is a fun place to spend some time and as far as mountain roads go, it’s a pretty easy drive to get up there. So aside from hiking to the summit or lingering by the many alpine lakes, here’s a list of historic sites near Medicine Bow Peak to explore.
- The Billie Class Stamp Mill: This one is very easy to get to and contains the remains of an old stamp mill, an important but often overlooked part of mining history. To be sure, not much of the mill remains but what is there is worth checking out. The Billie Class Stamp Mill is on a small strip of land between Lewis Lake and Class Lake. If you head that way on a weekend or over a holiday, don’t be surprised if the Lewis Lake parking lot is full and you have to park near Libby Lake instead.
- The Red Mask Mine: The Red Mask Mine is certainly the easiest historic mine to visit not only near Medicine Bow Peak but in the Snowy Range as well. Not only is it right next to Wyoming Highway 130 but the trail that makes a loop from the parking area, past the mine and the miners cabin is easy and just barely over a half mile. The years have taken their toll on the headframe but you can still see quite a bit of it. The same can be said for the miners cabin as well. Not too many people take the time to walk through here and those that do don’t stay long so there’s a good chance you won’t be bothered.
- The Wreckage of United Airlines Flight 409: There is still quite a bit of evidence from this tragedy about a half mile north (and a little bit west) of the Mirror Lake Trailhead. Most of the wreckage is small except for the engines. We only found one engine but most sources claim two are up there and I can’t image one being carried off. It is possible to get to the wreckage without too much effort but it will require some cross country travel over some boulders as there is no trail.
- Medicine Bow Peak Fire Lookout: Almost nothing remains of the old fire lookout that used to be in top of Medicine Bow Peak. The only physical remains are a small structure that served as a shelter near the summit. It may not be worth the effort to climb to 11,493 feet just to see it but it makes a good side trip if you are already headed to Medicine Bow Peak from the Lake Marie Trailhead. And if you’re just curious about the historic fire lookout, we have put all we know so far on our Medicine Bow Peak Fire Lookout page.
- Cabins near Quealy Lake: There are two small historic cabins near Quealy Lake along Forest Road 103 although it might be better to say there is one historic cabin and a barn of some kind. It’s hard to say because the second building is in pretty rough shape. I’m convinced that these are old sheep herder cabins but so far I’ve found nothing to back that up. Of all the historic sites on this list, these take the longest to get to. It is possible to drive right up to them but I don’t recommend that for most people or vehicles.
As far as historic sites go, these are some of our favorites. Let us know which one you like the best.