Snowy Range (WY) easy backpacking recommendations?

RyanP

Formerly bob32
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Messages
316
I was planning on taking my family backpacking this upcoming Wed-Fri (mid-week!) here in CO but the weather forecast looks pretty bad, so I checked a bunch of locations on weather.gov and it looks like Southern WY has a somewhat better forecast those days. So I am considering heading to the Snowy Range around Medicine Bow Peak, but I have never been there and don't know much about the area. Does anyone have any suggestions for a 2-night / 3-day route? Here are some criteria:

1. A loop would be great. A one-way trip enabled by a mountain bike shuttle would also be great (for some reason I really like doing that kind of thing!). In-and-outs are worse.
2. My original plan (in CO) was to have everyone hike to the lake/campsite the first day, then I would wake up early the 2nd morning to bag a summit (and be back to camp by late morning), and then just explore for the 2nd day, then hike back out the 3rd day. I would still be up for that kind of base-camp itinerary. Or we could hike every day and move camp each day.
3. Must be able to get to trailhead in my Subaru Outback.
4. I'd like to limit it to around 5-ish miles and 1k feet or so of elevation gain/loss per day. A little more gain or loss is fine if it's not on back-to-back days, or if we don't have the gain and the loss in the same day. A summit could be nice but is not necessary.

Thanks in advance for any recommendations! Or if anyone has any suggestions for other areas I should look at that might have good weather this Wed-Fri (anything within 4-ish hours from Denver fitting these criteria), please let me know as well!
 

Bob

Trailmaster
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
2,852
about half of it burned last year....... FYI
 

RyanP

Formerly bob32
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
Messages
316
The area that burned was a bit South of the better backpacking area.

Not really a loop, but lots of opportunities and easy car access North of South Gap Lake.
Thanks @mike_offerman! I was just looking into that area. I'd say there's a 50/50 chance that we head there in a few days (depending on weather, smoke, etc).

Does anyone know how smoky it is in that part of the state?
 

Bob

Trailmaster
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
2,852
No one knows.... Smoke patterns can change daily. Go to fire.airnow.gov to check current patterns
 
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