Answers Provided for Snowy Range Winter Recreation Parking Questions on Laramie Ranger District

Release Date: Feb 16, 2018  

Media Contact: Aaron Voos, (307) 745-2323

 

News Release (PDF)

 

(LARAMIE, Wyo.)  February 16, 2018 – The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has fielded multiple public questions recently about day-use parking, overnight parking, and winter camping at various sites in the Snowy Range, Medicine Bow National Forest. In response, the Laramie Ranger District would like to clarify guidelines for public use that go along with those USFS recreation sites.

 

At all USFS-maintained winter recreation sites in the Snowy Range, there are capacity issues due to increased usage. This developing issue has been recognized and a dialogue about solutions has been initiated between the USFS, State of Wyoming partners, individual users, and user groups such as Snowy Range Snowmobile Club. In addition to the public questions listed above, parking along Wyoming Highway 130 is also being discussed.

 

Following is general information regarding USFS-managed recreation sites in the Snowy Range during the winter:

  • Day use fees need to be paid on site according to posted instructions.  All vehicles must display a permit or fee stub. Day use sites are designated for occupancy between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
  • Annual day use passes may be purchased in advance at USFS District offices during normal business hours. Valid interagency or senior passes may also be used at day use sites.
  • After hours or alternate sales locations are available for annual passes. Contact your local District office for details.
  • Camping in day use areas is prohibited.
  • Overnight parking is discouraged, as vehicles left overnight prevent plowing, and decrease the availability of parking for other forest users.
  • Cabin and recreation residence owners who wish to park overnight should contact the Laramie Ranger District. A standard process for parking in these situations is currently being developed.
  • Trailers may not be stored or left overnight in day use lots.
  • All Over Snow Vehicles (OSV) will display a current Resident or Non-Resident Wyoming state snowmobile registration, including any OSV off-loaded in a Forest Service designated recreation site.
  • Parking a vehicle or trailer in a manner that decreases the capacity of a Forest Service day use area, or impacts the ability to maintain the lot, may result in a citation.
  • Parking in a designated parking lot, managed by the USFS, is different than parking alongside a state highway. Users should mind current/existing WYDOT and Scenic Byway signage along Wyoming Highways 130 and 230.

 

The District recognizes the need to improve signage at recreation sites, has improved staffing, and is working to address consistency with enforcement of regulations. That said, users should heed existing signs and watch for new signage in the near future

 

“I understand the importance of winter recreation to the communities that we serve,” stated Laramie District Ranger Frank Romero. “We are utilizing the increased public use and subsequent questions, as opportunities to work with the community and our partners on solutions to a variety of issues, such as overnight parking and winter camping.”

 

The Snowy Range Snowmobile Club is working with the USFS, the Wyoming State Trails Program and WYDOT to identify and improve parking opportunities for winter snowmobile access.  “Educating users about existing parking limitations, receiving feedback and suggestions regarding parking needs and engaging in a collaborative dialog between users and land managers will hopefully lead to an improved parking experience for snowmobile users in the Snowy Range,” stated Matt Burkhart, a spokesperson for the Club. “Parking in an orderly and safe manner maximizes the available opportunities.  The Club asks snowmobilers to respect existing USFS parking rules and actively participate in developing solutions which support a range of parking opportunities to provide access.”

 

Below are additional details for specific USFS-managed locations in the Snowy Range:

 

Sites along Wyoming Highway 230 - Tic’s Parking, Mountain Home, Chimney Park

  • Day use sites – fee required
  • Access to motorized and non-motorized trails
  • Mountain Home: Not plowed
  • Chimney Park: Plowed by a USFS agreement with WYDOT
  • Tic’s: Plowed by USFS, with funding assistance from Wyoming State Trails

 

Albany Day Use Area

  • Day Use Site – fee required
  • Access to motorized and non-motorized trails
  • USFS pays for a contractor to plow

 

Sites along Wyoming Highway 130 - Corner Mountain, Little Laramie

  • Day use sites – fee required
  • Access to unmaintained, non-motorized trails
  • Little Laramie: Not plowed
  • Corner Mountain: Plowed by a USFS agreement with WYDOT

 

Green Rock Day Use Area

  • Parking and access for non-motorized trails only
  • No snowmobile trailers or motorized access
  • Day use site – fee required
  • Fee is only required in the Green Rock parking area provided by the Forest Service
  • Green Rock parking area does not have the capacity to accommodate trailers
  • USFS plows

 

There are no winter day use sites maintained by the Forest Service on the west side of the Snowy Range, Brush Creek/Hayden District.

 

For more information on winter day use sites maintained by the Forest Service on the east side of the Snowy Range, contact the Laramie Ranger District at (307) 745-2300.  You can also visit https://fs.usda.gov/mbr, or follow us on Twitter, @FS_MBRTB.