Laramie Ranger District

Vedauwoo Recreation Area

Welcome to the Laramie Ranger District of the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests in Laramie, Wyoming. This historic ranger district is located in the scenic Snowy Range and the Medicine Bow Mountains in southeast Wyoming, just a short distance from several major metropolitan areas. Administering approximately 400,000 acres of public land, this ranger district offers a wide array of multiple-use management activities, such as year-round recreation opportunities, grazing, forest product collection, interpretive education, and wildlife and fisheries habitat improvement activities.

SNOWY RANGE SCENIC BYWAY – The Snowy Range Scenic Byway crosses the Medicine Bow Mountains. including 27 miles through the national forest. Approachable from the east or west from Interstate 80, the Laramie and Brush Creek/Hayden Ranger Districts share the byway. The route rises from 8,000 feet on the valley floor to a height of 10,847 feet. At Snowy Range Pass, nearby Medicine Bow Peak towers over at an elevation of 12,013 feet.

Travelers are close enough to Medicine Bow Peak to explore the year-round snowfields. Even in summer, these snowfields glisten along the peak's face. illustrating how this part of the mountain range got its name.

Vegetation along the byway changes from sagebrush prairie at the lower elevations to lodgepole pine at mid elevations. At higher elevations, the lodgepole pine gives way to spruce-fir forests and alpine tundra. In summer, wildflowers carpet the alpine meadows. Visitors have opportunities to view birds, moose, elk, deer, pronghorn antelope, and smaller mammals, such as marmots, beaver, pikas, and pine martin. There are many small lakes nestled against high escarpments that are home to rainbow, cutthroat, and brook trout.

The byway is open from Memorial Day through October, weather permitting. The Centennial Visitor Information Center is located on the eastern national forest boundary and is open late May through October and then on an intermittent basis throughout the winter. The Brush Creek Visitor Information Center, on the western boundary of the national forest, is open May through mid-October. Maps, brochures, passes, permits, books, and schedules for interpretive programs are available at this visitor center. The byway is a popular recreation attraction with many picnic, camping, observation, and interpretive facilities. There are several hiking trails accessible from the byway, including a trail up to Medicine Bow Peak. The upper portion of this trail traverses large boulder fields that make it a difficult hike for small children.

Accessible facilities are available at Barber Lake and Lake Owen.

VEDAUWOO – The jumbled rocks of Vedauwoo are located on the Pole Mountain Unit between Laramie and Cheyenne directly off Interstate 80. This is a popular area for hiking, biking, and camping. Visitors may reserve a gazebo for picnicking by calling 307-745-2300. Firewood may be gathered but not cut from dead standing trees in this area. Also, firewood may not be removed from this area. It may be used only for campfires on site. All off-road travel by motor vehicles is prohibited in this area. Motor vehicle travel is permitted on open, designated roads only.