Hutton Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Hutton Lake National Wildlife Refuge is a 1,968-acre property at a 7,150-foot elevation located in a park-like area surrounded by mountains. There are five lakes here (Hutton, George, Hoge, Rush and Creighton) at the southern end of the Laramie Plains in Albany County (southeastern Wyoming). Hutton Lake NWR was established in 1932 as a resting, feeding and breeding ground for migratory birds but has recently become involved in efforts to save the endangered Wyoming toad from extinction: Lake George is being used for captive breeding and as a release site for grown toads.
Habitat at Hutton Lake consists of about 560 acres of marsh and open water with another 1,408 acres of grassland and greasewood uplands. There are several roads that cross the refuge and give access to all five lakes. Spring is a good time to visit when all the redhead and canvasback ducks are in. The waterfowl flights can be pretty spectacular. If you're into prairie dogs, there are towns of prairie dogs along most of the roads: just watch where you step.
To get there: Take US Highway 287 south from Interstate 80 (in Laramie) for about 1/2 mile. Turn right and go west on Fort Sanderson Drive to the Monolith Concrete Plant. At the concrete plant turn right and cross the tracks, then take an immediate left onto County Road 34 (Sand Creek Road). Follow that for about seven miles to the west-southwest. You'll start seeing signs for the refuge, follow them. The refuge is fenced but is open from sunrise to sunset.
Hutton Lake National Wildlife Refuge is administered by Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge.
US Fish & Wildlife Service
US Fish & Wildlife Service: Arapaho NWR
Map courtesy of National Geographic Topo!