This easy 3.2-mile loop circles Turtle Rock in the Medicine Bow National Forest. From the gravel parking strip just above the main trailhead area, walk downhill to the paved area at the base of the weathered formation. Head northwest on the easy trail as it winds beneath aspen and squeezes between Turtle Rock’s boulder-strewn base and a marshy wetland to the south. This first section of trail affords up-close views of the piled, cracked rocks—and climbers making their way up the face—before gaining some distance from the formation as it turns east. Scattered fir and pine line the trail as it rolls over several small hills past the rock’s sloped backside.
At mile 1.9, the trail turns to slickrock—watch for cairns marking the way—and turns south, skirting a small pool and cascade before turning left to go around an alternative trailhead (complete with pit toilet). The last 0.7 mile of trail parallels the road and tent campground, turning right at a signed trail junction to land back in the parking area.
-Mapped by Kristy Holland