Trail Report: Pole Creek Trail

A few crazy weeks and a few sick kids have kept us from logging too many miles on the trails lately but this morning we did manage to get a nice little snowshoe in at Happy Jack along the Pole Creek Trail. Here are the current trail conditions: Date: 2/6/15 Time: 10-11:45 am MST Temperature: 40°F Weather: Sunshine and blue sky Wind: Gentle breeze Trail Snowshoed: Pole Creek Trail Snowpack: Good. I was actually quite surprised to see so much snow at Happy Jack given how warm it's been in Laramie. Snow conditions: Deep, warm, wet snow. Grooming: N/A but…

What Happened When I Left My iPhone At Home

Yesterday afternoon I took my kids cross-country skiing at Tie City. After loading the car with clothing, ski's, poles, the Chariot, snacks, water and ski boots we were off. Happily driving up the mountain to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Then something crazy happened. I pulled into the trailhead, looked in my pack and could not find my beloved iPhone. I remembered that I had left it at home, right on the kitchen counter where I had last been using it to take a picture of my kids eating apples (I know, now that I'm writing this that seems…

12 Trails of Christmas: Tie City/Happy Jack Multipurpose Trails

In the summer it feels like there's sometimes angst between mountain bikers, horseback riders and hikers over trail usage.  In the winter we have our own set of trail issues: cross-country skiers vs snowshoers vs fat bikers. Skate skiers like and need a nice wide groomed platform of packed snow to ski. Classic skiers like to in a perfectly placed track. Backcountry skiers work really hard to break their own tracks on a non-groomed surface. It's the same with snowshoers. I get it when skate skiers are ticked because snowshoe crampons dig into the trails or classic skiers get annoyed…

12 Trails of Christmas: Aspen Trail to the Haunted Forest Trail

If you're looking for the perfect place for an afternoon of snowshoeing you can't go wrong from the Happy Jack trailhead. We love Happy Jack so much we're talking about it again, with another route to check out, the Aspen Trail to the Haunted Forest Trail. To get here start at the Happy Jack trailhead, head left at the base of the hill following the blue diamond markers on the trees. The trail will head toward the Pole Creek campground but keep going and head to the right before you get to the campground. You'll climb a little bit until…

12 Trails of Christmas: Happy Jack

We love Happy Jack. Not just because it's a 15 minute commute from our garage to the trailhead but because Happy Jack combines the perfect trifeca of a wicked fast sledding hill with winter trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Sure, you can also fat bike and snowboard on the trails from the Happy Jack trailhead too so I guess that would make it the perfect quintfecta. We also love that the Happy Jack trailhead is just a wee bit more protected from the wind than the Tie City trailhead. (Notice I said wee bit, no part of Pole Mountain is…

Top 5 Kid-Friendly Hikes Near Laramie

This summer I've been on a mission. To find hiking destinations with nice scenery, minimal elevation change and trails wide enough to accommodate a jogging stroller because let's be honest--I'd love to ditch the Chariot but 1/2 mile down the trail I'm usually pushing one child and carrying the other. Sure, I like steep technical trails and amazing views as much as the next hiker but since most of the time I hit the trails with William (3) and Finn (1) I need to go for easy. I you're looking to find us on a weekday morning there's a good…

Top Spring Break Adventures Near Laramie, WY

Spring break is almost upon us. It's the time when college students plan on leaving Laramie in search of epic adventures. But, if you plan on staying in town or visiting Laramie, don't worry. There are plenty of places to explore without burning a full tank of gas. The best part about planning a spring break adventure here is that you could be wearing shorts at Vedauwoo one day and ski clothes in the Snowy Range the next. Here are our four favorite local spring break activities. 1) Night skiing or snowshoeing. A few of our favorite places for night skiing…

Top 3 Hikes Near Laramie

Do you ever have one of those days where you just have an hour or two but absolutely need to go play in the mountains? [caption id="attachment_1271" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Curt Gowdy State Park[/caption] One of the things we love about living in Laramie is that we're just a 15 minute drive from Pole Mountain, and a 30 minute drive to Vedauwoo and Curt Gowdy State Park. Here are our top 3 favorite hikes within 30 minutes of Laramie. Turtle Rock Trail: 2.3 miles of beauty in Vedauwoo. The best part about Turtle Rock Trail is stopping to boulder and take…