So where is a good place to take the family on a stroll in the woods? We’ve put together a list of our favorites. These aren’t necessarily places with the easiest trails but they are places with things to keep most family members entertained. The first one, Mirror Lake, is best if you’re trying to minimize the amount of walking but has the fewest places to picnic. The second two, Silver Lake and Vedauwoo don’t have hard trails and you don’t even have to take the trails. But if you do, everyone should be up for at least two and a half miles in order to get around to everything.
- Lake Marie: When you arrive at Lake Marie you’ll get out of your car under the shadow of the sheer alpine peaks of the Snowy Range. At the edge of the parking area you’ll be able to see most of Lake Marie and from there you’ll have four main options with time to do all of them if you want. The easiest choice to fall into is to walk along the wide, gentle path that connects Lake Marie with Mirror Lake. Or if you’re feeling a little more ambitions, hike a short but quite steep trail up to the CCC lookout above Lake Marie on the Medicine Bow Peak Trail. Both of these trails are found on our Medicine Bow Peak Trail Map. You can also cross the highway to walk the short trail around Lake Marie Falls, or start down Miners Cabin and Tipple Trail for about a quarter of a mile and you’ll come to a small bench that overlooks a rocky canyon and the Medicine Bow Peak ridge line. Both of these trails are found on our Lake Marie Falls Trial Map.
- Silver Lake: Silver Lake is one of those rare places that seems to have a little bit of everything in a small place. I recommend bringing food and spending as much of the day here as you can. There are many picnic tables available although finding shade will be a challenge since all the beetle killed trees have been removed. Take the one and a half mile long trail that circles silver lake or the two and a half mile long Meadow Falls Trail that passes many scenic points, a waterfall, and a large meadow. Silver Lake is often overlooked and certainly under appreciated because it is so close to Medicine Bow Peak and all those alpine lakes. That makes is a much less crowded place to relax with the family without sacrificing much in the way of mountain scenery.
- Vedauwoo: It is nearly impossible to compile a list like this and not include Vedauwoo. Vedauwoo is close enough that you can even take the family there to enjoy a late summer evening after work. Bring food, you’ll find plenty of picnic tables or other places to eat waiting for you. Then spend the rest of your time free climbing, bouldering, and generally exploring among the rocks. If you’re feeling up for a trail then the 2.3 mile long Turtle Rock Trail is waiting to take you in a big loop around the most prominent rock formation. The downside of Vedauwoo is related to both it’s close proximity to Laramie and Cheyenne and it’s unique rock features which tend to draw a lot of people especially rock climbers so come prepared for people.
Where is your favorite place for a good family day in the mountains near Laramie?