Medicine Bow Peak Trail Professional Review and Guide
"Located 35 miles west of Laramie, near the Snowy Range Pass crest, in the Medicine Bow Mountains. A good day hike that can be done as a loop and includes a scenic peak climb."
--Bill Hunger, Hiking Wyoming (Falcon Guides).
Previous reviewers did a fine job. I'll augment. I did the Lake Marie loop of 7+ miles on a spectacular Saturday morning. The loop encompasses the bulk of the alpine area and reminds me a great deal of the Canadian Rockies. I took my two dogs on this loop and we were met by a huge number of other dog owners.
Despite the fact that this hike is in the least populated state in the country there were quite a few hikers on the trails probably because the weather forecasts were extremely favorable. The previous weekend this range was shrowded in low scudding, menacing clouds.
Views to die for with lots of alpine lakes glistening below you. But its the sheerness and bald face contrast with the snow fields and alpine lakes that make this moderate hike, particularly striking.
Great day hike when returning to visit my old college. I did the seven mile route by Lake Marie. I chose the far west route which gradually increases in elevation, as opposed to the eastern loop route which is dramatically steeper. I did this early in the morning to avoid the afternoon lightning strikes that has been happening to Wyoming this summer! Took me about 4 hours, with significant soak in time at the top to complete
This was a very good experience in hiking the highest peak in the Snowy Range. We started from the Sugarloaf Rec. Area Trailhead and the top of the peak is 2 miles one way. The peak can also be reached from the Lake Marie Trailhead for a longer hike. Several other trails intersect with the Med. Bow Peak trail so you can mix and match for a different experience. Our trip took 4 hours for the 4 mile round trip (including about one hour for breaks and lunch). The trail is well marked and very steep and rocky. You must scramble over boulders near the top. The winds are very strong in the middle of the hike, but aren't so bad at the top. The trail is moderately busy, I reccommed going early in the morning to miss the people and to find good parking at the trailhead. The veiws at the top are awesome....You can see Elk Mountain, about 10 alpine lakes and ponds, the Laramie Plains Lakes, Sheep Mountain and the Summit West of Laramie.
This is a great hike and a great work out. My legs are still burning from the climb down.
My son and I took the Lake's Trail from the Mirror Lake trailhead to Medicine Bow Peak. The round trip is about 7 miles. The first 2 1/2 miles involves moderate climbing through beautiful wild flowers and past a series of small lakes. If you are observant, you can see wildlife like pikas, marmots and a variety of birds. The view of the Medicine Bow peaks is unique and not available from roads or other approaches. Leaving early in the day will make for a more solitary trip, and allow you to get down from the summit before afternnon weather rolls in. Traffic does pick up at the base of Medicine Bow itself, since many hikers choose the much shorter approach from Sugerloaf. The winds are heavy at the base of the mountain, and continue for about half way up the .87 miles to the top. For experienced hikers, their are no real challenges, but be sure to wear good foot gear for the boulder hopping near the top. The views from the summit are not to be missed. Although we retraced our trail due to time constraints, returning via the south summit and the Lake Marie trail looks like a potentially fun hike. Since Lake Marie is only about 1/4 mile below Mirror Lake, getting back to your vehicle would be no big deal. If you are in the area Medicine Bow should not be missed.
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