Contributors to this thread:
WY Snowy Range Camp/ATV
So spur of the moment I decided to pack up my 9 year old daughter and head out to the Snowy Range in WY to camp for a couple days and ATV around over the coming holiday. I've been through there on highway 130, but that's about all I know about the area. Reason I picked it is it is a couple hours closer than most other mountain areas I could get to. I would love to go the Bighorns, but that adds about 5 hours to my drive.
Anyone spent time in the Snowy range? Plenty of roads to be on with the ATV? Good scenery? What did the last fires do? Is there a lot of burned area from the last fires? Creeks to play in and throw rocks? Easy to find a shady spot to throw up a tent?
Any input would be great. This will be the first camping trip for my daughter. And I may have a buddy come along with his machine and a daughter or three as well
Stop an get your atv sticker in Laramie. Stop again at Bear Bottom grill and bar in Centennial, kids ok, for a pizza or other meal.
Lots of spots to camp, still some snow up higher. We have rain forecast for weekends, scattered thunder storms, take precautions for those. Should be nice and green up there. There will be plenty of folks out and about for the holiday, be careful on the roads with your atvs. Everyone in the town of Centennial shoots off fireworks for the 4th, go someplace to look down over the town and valley and watch. Sand Lake Rd has good areas for camping, off of Fallen Pines Rd too off Sand Lake. Ehlin Rd, 1st left out of Centennial, has a narrow spot that makes meeting vehicles a pucker. The road gets very rough too later. Maybe go up from Albany and you have the lodge there for another meal option, the manager is a friend. Take Highway 11 up to the NF. You can get to Rob Roy Res that way. Keystone is a neat little mountain community of cabins up that way. Old fire tower you can climb if not rented out, Spruce Mtn lookout. Over on Saratoga side go in at Brush Cr or take FS rd 100 towards Kennaday Peak and great areas to camp. Saratoga has a free hot spring soaking pool too, it's hot.
Bake - when you get to Laramie, stop at the West Laramie Fly Store [ you'll have to stop and get your atv registration anyway] they are really helpful and will point you in the right direction.
Or swing into the Wyo Game & Fish [its just south of the West Laramie Fly Store] and get your atv registration and they will also be helpful.
Most of the southern half of the Snowies burned so you might want to stay north of there. But there are sooooo many places to go, I cant even begin to tell ya
Yep, there are most definitely plenty of roads and nice scenery for your atv. You can access the southern end of the Snowies from highway 230 and the northern end from 130. Take the Snowy Range exit in Laramie and turn left. You'll see the route split in approx 1 mile before you leave town. I spend most my time in the northern end. As you head west, you'll see Sheep Mountain on your left. Maybe 5 mi before Centennial is a highway (I believe it's 11) and a sign that says Albany. Turn left at the T and you'll travel along the base of Sheep Mountain on your left and the Snowies will be on your right. Follow the paved road to Albany, where the road turns to gravel. Follow the signs to Lake Owen and Rob Roy Reservoirs. There are lots of small creeks and roads/trails, as well as camping spots. You can take the road from Rob Roy down through French Creek and on to where it comes into 130 on the west side of the range.
If you stay on 130, once you get past Centennial, there are roads taking off both sides all the way across the range. The top of the range is beautiful, with Medicine Bow Peak, Sugarloaf, Lake Marie, etc. Make sure to stop off at the Libby Flats observation point just before you crest the top. It has an observation deck where you can look down across the Snowies, the Saratoga Valley, and over to Blackhall Mountain and the Sierra Madres, as well as several peaks in Colorado.
Just like the other side, there are numerous roads/trails, creeks, lakes, and camping areas. On the north side of 130 just before you start hitting the flats is County Rd 100. If you turn north, in approx 8-9 miles is the road to the top of Kennaday Peak and the old fire tower. The view is amazing once you break treeline.
A trip into Saratoga is always worthwhile. Hit the Hobo pool and hot springs. It sits right along the river, so the kids can wade and play in the North Platte. Just north of the river, on Bridge Street, is Duke's Bar & Grill. They have some really good mexican food, and their green chili fries are to die for!
The big fire from two years ago stayed south of 130. LOTS of timber was burned, but even last year, grasses and flowers were starting to come back. Although a lot was burned, there were areas that escaped the fire's wrath. If you stay on the main county roads you should be fine, but if you go on any side road/trail I would highly recommend having a chain saw with you. That goes for anywhere in the Snowies or Madres.
The only thing you'll need is an ORV sticker and helmets for the kids. Just make sure you stay on roads/trails that are designated ORV. Pick up a Medicine Bow ORV Trail Map when you get your sticker. In addition to showing all the ORV roads/trails, it lists rules and regulations. Have fun!
EDIT: Guess I got a little long-winded while the others were posting. Ha! Between the three of us, you should have plenty to do and see over the weekend;-)
Just the kind of stuff I needed. Thank you all!!!
If you go up to Lake Marie, you may be able to have a snowball fight in the parking lot, even on July 4th! We did that more than once! Also having to clean snow off the windshield after leaving the Buckhorn at 1AM in the middle of summer.
I DO miss it.......
Have fun, travel safe and Share lots of Pix!!
Good luck, Robb
Sounds like fun, Bake. Hope your daughter gets hooked on the outdoors!
Another "family" memory maker for sure - as Robb said - LOTS of pics please. Might even consider taking "her best friend" from school. Will make it even more memorable for her (HA and you of course,,,,, dealing with couple 9 year old girls)
Bake, keep your eyes open for moose I have a cow moose tag for that area will be bow hunting this fall. Have a safe trip. John C.
It’s definitely possible to see moose along any of the roads/trails in the Snowies. There’s a spot right along 130 where you’ll see them in the willows by the creek anytime of day, especially mornings and evenings. Your biggest challenge will be finding a cow without a calf by her side.
That would be cool to see moose! Never even thought of that.
She's an outdoor girl for sure. I hope it sticks, but who knows. As it is, the first thing she does most evenings is let her dogs out, jump in the Ranger with her BB gun, and off to find something to shoot at or capture at the pond or along our little drainage creek. She shot her first turkey this spring, and her first deer last fall.
I've hunted out in Wyoming farther west than the Snowy Range, and up in the Bighorns. She's been wanting to go camping, so we just decided to take off next weekend. We'll have low expectations. We're taking one lab, a UTV, and we'll just take it as it comes. Throw up a tent and a really simple camp. Throw rocks and wade creeks. Drive around. We'll bring her BB gun and plink for sure.
Thanks for all the suggestions, I really appreciate it.
Bake, I have no input on the area, but sounds like a fun time and most importantly, you're making memories with your daughter. You hear it over and over, they grow up quick. Safe travels to you both and have a great time.
I love the area can’t really go wrong with anywhere I like brush creek and Turpin res area saw a couple hundred head of elk last Saturday
It may rain, be prepared for that. Otherwise should be cooler. Some supplies in Centennial and on other side at Ryan Park on 130. West Laramie Fly Store is the stop for fishing licenses and advice. Fuel can be bought at several spots near it for trailers and such, their gas pumps are tight for trailers. Snowy Range Exit off of I-80 west side of town, just a short jump around on I-80 from say 287 if coming up from Ft Collins.
Forest should be green and fairly moist right now. Campfires should be good. If you stay at a campground you will have to take bear precautions with your food.
Bake I was lucky enough to hunt the snowys for moose two years ago. Certainly a special place. Was there 12 days, so I am no expert on the area. The advice on here seems spot on from my experience. I second taking a small chainsaw though. We used it on a few days to clear trees off the roads. Have fun!
Gonna take a chainsaw the next time that I am in that country as much as I hate to mix gas and bowhunting.
I don't mean to hijack the thread. The Snowies are a fantastic place. However, I do have a bone of contention with cnelk. Why didn't you finish the job of cutting out the rest of the deadfall instead of just cutting a hole big enough to get your ATV through? It looks like you are on a road for full size vehicles. So, now someone else will have to stop and finish the job of cutting the rest of the trees just to get through. Secondly, have you ever thought about winter time and somebody on a snowmobile were to hit those trees you left hanging? Please, think of others users and not just yourself. So far this summer, my wife and I and other friends have cut out over 400 trees off of Forest Service ATV trails and jeep roads so I do believe I know what I'm talking about.
There's a whole Forest Service Road crew who are paid by taxpayers to clear roads. So there is no need to cut more than necessary to get through. It's ludicrous to expect a private citizen in September to prepare Forest Service roads for snowmobilers.
If ya don’t like what cnelk did, you darn sure wouldn’t like how much I cut!
In both cases you are either selfish or lazy. I guess I take a different view of my public lands than most people.
I guess you do take a different view. You can certainly continue to provide road maintenance to your heart’s content if that’s what trips your trigger.
However, when I travel roads/trails on my atv I’m either hunting or preparing for hunting season. The last thing I’m going to do is open up trails as an open invitation for every Tom, Dick, and Harry with a big quad, side by side, or truck so they can come crash the party. If that makes me selfish or lazy, I can live with that. And BTW, you did mean to hijack the thread.
Uh, back to the original post guys... Bake have fun, stay safe, send pics!
I don't know nuttin about that area.........
I take my Ryobi eChainsaw with me !
Good job Brad,
Sounds like a great time! Be safe and enjoy the time with your daughter in the great outdoors.