Platte River Wilderness

Area Status: Open
Platte River Wilderness

Platte River Wilderness mainly lies within the Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming, but also includes a small portion within the Routt National Forest in Colorado. It is managed by the U.S. Forest Service and is located on the Brush Creek/Hayden, Laramie and Parks Ranger Districts. Average elevation is 7,700 feet.

The United States Congress designated the Platte River Wilderness in 1984 and it has a total of 23,492 acres. Colorado contains approximately 743 acres. Wyoming contains approximately 22,749 acres.

The North Platte River features blue-ribbon trout fishing, as well as rafting and kayaking. North Gate Canyon is a popular white-water rafting section of water. Douglas Creek is also noted for its' excellent trout fishing opportunities. Hiking, backpacking and hunting are other popular activities.

Dispersed camping opportunities are widespread or several developed campgrounds are nearby, such as Six Mile Gap Campground and Pelton Creek Campground.

The Douglas Creek Trail follows the creek for 9.5 miles through an open canyon with trailheads at both ends. You can hike a loop from the Pelton Creek Trailhead by exiting the Douglas Creek Trail to return via the Platte River Trail.

Elk and deer find excellent winter habitat in this Wilderness area.

Trails/Trailheads that access the Platte River Wilderness include:

Select 'Hiking' on the Brush Creek/Hayden, Laramie and/or Parks Ranger Districts' Recreation pages for a complete list of trails.

At a Glance

Restrictions: Please review wilderness regulations.
Water: Treat all non-potable water before consuming.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Brush Creek/Hayden, Laramie and/or Parks Ranger Districts

General Information

General Notes:

Topo maps

Forest Service Topography Maps: These maps overlay Forest Service assets, such as roads, trails, and campgrounds, on USGS's topographic maps. They are available for download by quadrangle.

Buy maps online

National Forest Store: Offers a full, nationwide selection of National Forest, Ranger District, Wilderness, and Specialty Maps for purchase online or by phone, fax, and mail.

Go to for additional maps and information about Wilderness.


Dispersed Camping

River and Stream Fishing

The North Platte River is classified as a blue-ribbon trout stream by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD). Fish species present include brook, brown and rainbow trout. Douglas Creek also offers good fishing opportunities.

Special fishing regulations apply to the North Platte River upstream of Saratoga, Wyoming. For additional information regarding fishing and boating regulations, contact the WGFD in Laramie or Cheyenne.

Day Hiking


Horse Riding

Big Game Hunting

Small Game Hunting

Game Bird/Waterfowl

Viewing Scenery

Boating - Non-Motorized

XC Skiing/Snowshoeing

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities