Backpacking in the Snowy Range Wyoming August 2016

Eugene

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
137
As my son is moving the Prague next month, I figured we better take one more hike before he leaves. We had planned on doing one in the Snowmass/Maroon bells area but the weather forecast looked iffy at best. So we did a last minute change to the Snowy Range in southern Wyoming about 3o miles west of Laramie. CalTopo says the trail is like 17 miles but actually it is more like 20 (my Garmin was not set correctly and so I missed the first 3 miles out on the lollipop loop) - the whole trail is shown because of retracing on the way back. We found a version of this hike in Douglas Lorain's book "Backpacking Wyoming", however, we did not do the last part going to the top of the ridge as described in his book.

Map:
Click here to view on CalTopohttp://caltopo.com/m/RA0E
Trailhead:
We used the Marie Lake trailhead which is on WY 130 about 30 miles west of Laramie. It is really easy to find with ample parking at the trailhead. As is the usual case, finding the exact start of the trail around the lake is a bit confusing but if you use the West Marie Lake parking lot simply follow around the lake and then head easterly to the next lake and you will find it.

Trail:
The trail is a typical alpine/subalpine trail with lots of rocks - nothing difficult except maybe some "missing" trail portions around the Gap Lakes where you have to boulder hop around the edge of the lake. We did the lollipop counter clockwise.

Picture of one of the first lakes with the cliff walls in the background

IMG_0436.JPG


The first night we camped at a small lake past Lost Lake and before Twin Lakes. Campsites are a bit hard to find where you would like to as the areas around the lakes are quite rocky.

We didn't encounter any bear on the hike but did see a large herd of these creatures at our first campsite (they wandered thru overnight but didn't do any damage:

IMG_0445.JPG


The trail is evidently also used for snow shoeing and/or cross-country skiing as there were numerous rock piles often with posts sticking out of the top marking the trail. I called this one "Super Cairn"

IMG_0439.JPG


The trail spends quite a bit (probably about 1/2) of the time in treeless meadows and/or rocky alpine areas. Here are a few pictures of the meadows:
IMG_0446.JPG
IMG_0448.JPG


Two of the prettiest lakes were on the west side of the Lollipop loop - Gap Lakes. They were sandwiched between to ridges. Here is where the trail was not noted on the map and one had to boulder hop along the edge of the lakes.

IMG_0451.JPG
IMG_0455.JPG

The wildflowers were past their prime but there were a few remaining.

IMG_0460.JPG
IMG_0462.JPG

After completing the short 2 1/2 day backpack we took a couple of days to explore Rocky Mountain NP. Although this wasn't backpacking here are a few picture of this portion of our trip.

The elk were just beginning the rut so elk viewing was a major attraction:

IMG_0481.JPG
IMG_0486.JPG

One of the prettiest water falls in the park is Alberta Falls:

IMG_0471.JPG


Then we did spot a moose in the distance from the Alpine Visitor's Center (Picture is blurry as was a long distance shot)
IMG_0491.JPG

Then finally a picture of my son at Emerald Lake - 3 lakes above Bear Lake:

IMG_0515.JPG


Enjoyable hike - too bad we couldn't have done the Snowmass hike as I have always wanted to look at that area - maybe next year.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
M Suggestions for a 10 day backpacking trip in early June Trip Planning 8
D Backpacking Ideas for an 8 year old Trip Planning 16
norwegianxplorer Backpacking Norway in the fog, trying out my new 4 season tent Trip Reports 2
norwegianxplorer Norway Backpacking in the fall, Western Norway Backpacking 5
Miya Beach Backpacking and Creek Bed Sleeping Backpacking 29
BJett Honeymoon Backpacking - An Intro to Canyon Country Backpacking 14
norwegianxplorer Summiting Mount Whitney from Guitar Lake, 6 Days backpacking the Sierra before the Creek Fire closed everything down. Backpacking 5
Eugene Backpacking the Sawtooths Backpacking 11
NorthwestWanderer Backpacking the Lost River Range in Idaho : Bear Creek Lake & Upper Basin Backpacking 7
NorthwestWanderer Backpacking Okanogan National Forest : Copper Glance Lake & failed attempt at No Dice Lake Backpacking 2
R Invite Yellowstone Backpacking Trip 7/29-8/3 Meet Up (Members Only) 0
norwegianxplorer Sequoia National Park, Backpacking Mt Silliman area, June 2020 Backpacking 8
norwegianxplorer Muddy Creek 6 day backpacking loop with My Own Frontier Backpacking 5
ridings82 Uintas Backpacking Loop Trip Reports 4
Mikjik86 FULL Video Part 2 Backpacking Glacier National Park "North Circle Route" Backpacking 0
NorthwestWanderer Backpacking Oregon's Cottonwood Canyon : Lost Corral Trail Backpacking 1
Mikjik86 Backpacking Glacier National Park (Part 2 Preview) "North Circle Route" Montana, August 2019 Backpacking 2
DouginGJCO Hiking &/or backpacking partner for Canyonlands Natl Park and nearby Noobs: Introduce yourself! 0
Ugly Gear Review New Backpacking Pack. Options Gear Reviews 16
NorthwestWanderer Backpacking Washington's Coulee Country : Barker Canyon Backpacking 5
M Non-technical 1-2 night backpacking w dogs and kids - Escalante-ish area in April? Trip Planning 14
McKee80 Yellowstone backpacking advice Trip Planning 15
yoseman backpacking Grand Teton NP Trip Planning 0
Yvonne first backpacking trip in the Beartooths, early August Trip Planning 11
J Dark Canyon Backpacking Help Trip Planning 9
J Suggestions for 4-5 days Backpacking in the Southwest Trip Planning 2
Bob Backpacking - Old School General Discussion 38
D Need suggestions for a backpacking trip with a base camp Trip Planning 10
Yvonne Backpacking the Winds: From Elkhart TH to Titcomb Basin, July 2018 Backpacking 20
M advice Grand Canyon backpacking Spring 2020 Trip Planning 16
Mikjik86 Backpacking Glacier National Park August 2019 Backpacking 3
Mikjik86 Backpacking Glacier National Park - North Circle Route Part 1 Preview Video. Backpacking 1
NorthwestWanderer Backpacking the John Muir Wilderness : Humphreys Basin Backpacking 3
Eugene Suggestions for mid-Nov backpacking trip Trip Planning 2
tomcat32 Backpacking the Cranberry Lake 50 (Adirondacks) Backpacking 6
Nohmichel Colorado Backpacking in October 7-12 2019 Trip Planning 8
Eugene Rawah Wilderness Backpacking Trip Backpacking 0
F Seeking advice for a 5 or 6 night Banff or Jasper backpacking trip for a married couple with different ideas of what awesome is!!! Trip Planning 7
Kullaberg63 Winds: Backpacking to Bikepacking Backpacking 2
Mikjik86 8 Days Backpacking Dark Canyon Wilderness Backpacking 1
tomcat32 Backpacking Pennsylvania's Loyalsock Trail Backpacking 5
J Canyonlands Needles Backpacking Suggestions Trip Planning 8
NorthwestWanderer Backpacking the Pasayten Wilderness : Harts Pass, PCT, Windy Pass, Buffalo Pass, Foggy Pass, Jim Pass, Hulman Pass & Rock Pass Meadows Backpacking 3
Mikjik86 Short Video: Backpacking/Packrafting Dark Canyon Wilderness, Utah. April 2019 Backpacking 0
WasatchWill Grove Creek: A Father-Daughter Backpacking Trip Backpacking 8
WasatchWill Backpacking Pleasant Pocket Mesa, Capitol Reef NP Backpacking 15
NorthwestWanderer 6 Day backpacking trip in Glacier Peak Wilderness (3 days of off trail route) Backpacking 9
DrNed Plan B to High Uintas Backpacking Trip Planning 20
DuneElliot Backpacking Scotland's West Highland Way Trip Reports 5
Ugly Sleeping with Pfieff, Maybird in May, or Summer -Winter Backpacking Winter Sports 7

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top