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Laramie, WY: Medicine Bow Peak

This 7.4-mile loop takes hikers atop the Snowy Range’s gateway summit and its rugged ridgeline.

Rating

This 12,013-foot mountain, just across the Colorado-Wyoming border and north of the Mount Zirkel Wilderness, is often overlooked—all the better for solitude-loving hikers in search of classic Rocky Mountain views. Survey the area’s lush, rugged scenery from on high on this moderate 7.4-mile loop across class-II terrain.
Begin at pristine Lake Marie, a large pool at the foot of a ridge whose depths hide the remains of a 1950s plane crash. The trail heads north along a corridor, passing a chain of lakes and streams, then veers west. Gain the lion’s share of the day’s elevation on a set of rocky switchbacks leading to a broad ridgeline, then hike on to the summit. From atop the enormous quartzite block (the high point of the range), you’ll have incredible views of other Snowy Range peaks stretching to the north and Longs Peak and Mount Zirkel to the south. Continue west along the ridge and drop to the south to close the loop.
Info: (307) 326-5258; www.fs.fed.us/r2/mbr/
Hike provided by James Dziezynski, author of Best Summit Hikes in Colorado (Wilderness Press).
 

To Trailhead

From Laramie, head west on WY 130/Snowy Range Rd. From the town of Centennial, drive 14 more miles to the Lake Marie Trailhead. Note: This seasonal road is usually open by Memorial Day.

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