More Travel Facts for the Medicine Bow Rail-Trail
When the first thaws and springtime blooms hit Wyoming, the countryside erupts in a long-awaited celebration of outdoors activity. And for anyone who's been cooped up all winter, you won't find a more eye-pleasing reward than the 21-mile Medicine Bow Rail-Trail, about 30 miles outside of Laramie and just across the border from Colorado. With mountains on the horizon, wetlands, grasslands and forests vying for your attention, you'll share the rail-trail with all kinds of critters from chipmunks to moose. Because on the Medicine Bow, the only racket you'll hear is a world of wildlife at play.
Here are extended Travel Facts to help you enjoy Wyoming's remote and riveting countryside. Read the full article to learn more about the wilderness glamour of the Medicine Bow Rail-Trail.
Where to Stay and Eat
Laramie has numerous motels and hotels, ranging from the high-end Hilton Garden Inn and Holiday Inn to more economical accommodations at Motel 8 and Econo Lodge. Check the Laramie Chamber of Commerce for listings.
For lodging with a western theme closer to the trail, check out accommodations in and around Centennial. The Mountain View Historic Hotel and restaurant (888.400.9953, 307.742.5476) is especially welcoming to cyclists, since the owner is an avid pedaler. The rooms are furnished in a western motif, and the restaurant is complete with espresso coffee bar. Centennial Valley Trading Post (307.721.5074) has two upstairs rooms and a restaurant. The Old Corral and restaurant (307.745.5918, 800.678.2024) offers a more traditional motel atmosphere. Vee Bar Guest Ranch (800.483.3227), about 10 miles east of Centennial, has bed and breakfast accommodations. Mountain Meadow Cabins (307.742.6042) offers individual mountain cabins where you fix your own meals, and Snowy Mountain Lodge (307.742.7669) has refurbished cabins and a restaurant.
The WyColo Lodge and restaurant (888.RMK.2006) is in the cabin community of Mountain Home and is especially popular in the winter with the snowmobile crowd. In Albany, try Albany Lodge and restaurant (307.745.5782).
You can find dispersed camping—camping outside of a campground—throughout Medicine Bow National Forest; sites are especially numerous along the road to Lake Owen. There are a number of National Forest campgrounds in the vicinity; those closest to the trail are at Lake Owen and Miller Lake. For more information, check the Medicine Bow National Forest Web site.
What to Do
Partially housed in a 1907 Laramie, Hahn's Peak and Pacific Railroad depot, the Nici Self Museum (2734 State Highway 130, Centennial, 307.742.7763) takes you back to the early history of the Centennial Valley, with exhibits depicting its rich mining, lumbering, ranching and railroading heritage. A 1944 Union Pacific caboose and many large pieces of ranching, farming and mining equipment are on display.
For a spectacular up-close view of Medicine Bow Peak, follow the Snowy Range Scenic Byway 29 miles along U.S. Highway 130 from Centennial to Saratoga. You'll pass by Mirror Lake and beneath Medicine Bow Peak. The trail up to the peak takes about three hours and is quite strenuous due to the high elevation and steep terrain, but at the top you'll be rewarded with views of at least 100 miles in all directions. Once in Saratoga, pause to enjoy a soak in the hot springs.
Step back into the time of Butch Cassidy and the Wild West as you wander through the restored 1872 prison at Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site in Laramie. The site features other buildings as well, and hosts special events such as 1800s-style baseball games, a horse barn theater and the Butch Cassidy Days. For information, visit the Wyoming Tourism Web site or call 307.745.6161.