Medicine Bow National Forest


Encampment River on Medicine Bow National Forest
Encampment River on Medicine Bow National Forest
Vedauwoo Outcrops

Medicine Bow National Forest is 1,096,891 acres of some of the most beautiful countryside on Earth. Located in southern and central Wyoming, Medicine Bow National Forest contains portions of the Medicine Bow, Sierra Madre and Laramie Mountains. Elevations vary from about 5,500' to the summit of Medicine Bow Peak at 12,013'. The climate here ranges from windy, semi-arid in the lower reaches of the forest to cold and humid at the higher elevations. This is an area where it can snow on any day of the year. This area also regularly experiences high winds. This is also a landscape with great recreational opportunities.

The name "Medicine Bow" is translated from several Native American tongues. Tribes would come to these mountains in search of large pieces of mountain mahogany because the wood was excellent for making bows from. At the same time, they would perform sacred rituals (good medicine) to cure diseases among their people.

 

Wilderness Areas on
Medicine Bow National Forest

That part of the forest north of Interstate 80 contains the Vedauwoo outcrops. The Vedauwoo outcrops are composed of 1.4-billion-year-old Sherman Granite. This granite is very hard and doesn't erode nearly as easily as the formations that once overlaid the granite. The granite became exposed during the uplift of the Laramie Mountains about 65 million years ago (during the Laramide Orogeny). The Vedauwoos are very popular with rock climbers and picnickers. Access to the property is free but there are fees associated with parking and camping. At the main parking area is a kiosk with information, including a notice that the area was used as a military testing ground up until 1961... So if you come across any unexploded ordnance in your explorations, don't disturb it, report it to the authorities.

The Snowy Range (south on Interstate 80) is heavily forested and contains many good fishing lakes and streams. It also earns that name (Snowy Range) every winter. The Snowy Range is crossed east/west by the Snowy Range Scenic Byway, a paved road that is usually closed in winter due to heavy snowfall. On the eastern side of the range is the Snowy Range Ski Area. There are local ranger offices in Saratoga and Laramie.

Medicine Bow National Forest
Larger photos courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management
Smaller photo courtesy of Wikipedia userid Jerith, CCA-by-SA 3.0 License
 
In the Snowy Range
Medicine Bow Peak

Campgrounds on Medicine Bow National Forest

Every campground that offers any form of services beyond having vault toilets is most likely a concessionaire-operated fee area.

Brush Creek/Hayden Ranger District
Campground # of Sites Max RV Size Altitude Camping restroom drinking water fishing boat launch accessibility parking trail head hiking picnic area motor boat horse back riding boat-rowing mountain biking
Battle Creek 4 20' 7,800' yes yes yes yes         yes          
Bottle Creek 12 45' 8,800' yes yes yes           yes yes        
Bow River 13 32' 8,600' yes yes yes yes         yes yes        
Deep Creek 12 22' 10,200' yes yes yes yes         yes yes        
French Creek 11 20' 8,000' yes yes yes yes         yes yes        
Haskins Creek 10 20' 9,000' yes yes yes yes         yes yes        
Jack Creek 16 40' 8,500' yes yes yes yes         yes yes          
Hog Park 50 50' 8,400' yes yes yes yes yes   yes   yes yes yes      
Lincoln Park 12 40' 7,800' yes yes yes yes   yes     yes yes        
Lost Creek 13 40' 8,800' yes yes yes yes         yes yes        
Ryan Park 48 30' 8,000' yes yes yes yes   yes     yes yes        
Silver Lake 16 32' 10,400' yes yes yes yes       yes yes yes        
Six Mile Gap 9 40' 8,000' yes yes yes yes       yes yes yes     yes  
South Brush Creek 20 32' 7,900' yes yes yes yes         yes yes       yes
 

Douglas Ranger District

Campground # of Sites Max RV Size Altitude Camping restroom drinking water fishing boat launch accessibilty parking trail head hiking picnic area motor boat horse back riding mountain biking ATV
Campbell Creek 8 22' 8,200' yes yes             yes       yes yes
Curtis Gulch 6 22' 6,600' yes yes   yes       yes yes     yes yes yes
Esterbrook 12 22' 6,500' yes yes yes yes       yes yes     yes yes yes
Friend Park 11 22' 7,400' yes yes yes yes     yes yes yes   yes yes yes yes
 

Laramie Ranger District

Campground # of Sites Max RV Size Altitude Camping restroom drinking water fishing boat launch accessibilty parking trail head hiking picnic area motor boat horse back riding boat-rowing mountain biking
Bobbie Thomson 10 25' 8,800' yes yes yes yes                    
Boswell Creek 9 25' 8,900' yes yes   yes                    
Brooklyn Lake 19 30' 10,500' yes yes yes yes         yes     yes yes  
Holmes 11 22' 9,700'   yes   yes                    
Lake Owen 35 25' 9,000' yes yes yes yes yes           yes   yes  
Libby Creek/Aspen 8 30' 8,600' yes yes   yes         yes          
Libby Creek/Pine 6 25' 8,600' yes yes yes yes         yes          
Libby Creek/Spruce 8 25' 8,600' yes yes yes yes         yes          
Libby Creek/Willow 16 30' 8,600' yes yes yes yes         yes          
Miller Lake 7 25' 9,100' yes yes yes yes                 yes  
Nash Fork 27 30' 10,200' yes yes yes yes                    
North Fork 60 30' 8,600' yes yes yes yes         yes     yes    
Pelton Creek 15 30' 8,100' yes yes yes yes         yes     yes    
Pickeroon - No Services 8 25' 7,800' yes yes   yes         yes     yes    
Pike Pole - No Services 6 25' 7,800' yes yes   yes         yes     yes    
Pole Creek Group Camp 6 25' 7,800' yes yes             yes          
Rob Roy 65 30' 9,500' yes yes yes yes yes         yes yes   yes  
Sugar Loaf 16 25' 10,700' yes yes yes yes         yes          
Vedauwoo 11 30' 8,200' yes yes yes           yes         yes
Yellow Pine 19 30' 8,400' yes yes yes                      
 
Fisherman in Medicine Bow National Forest

Fishing Spots on Medicine Bow National Forest

Brush Creek/Hayden Ranger District

Name of Lake or Stream Acres or Miles Maximum Depth Elevation Brook Trout Rainbow Trout Golden Trout Cutthrout Trout Brown Trout Splake No Fish
Arastre Lake 12 25' 10,180' yes            
Arrowhead Lake 10 10' 10,770' yes            
East Banner Lake 8 14' 10,050' yes            
North Banner Lake 9 22' 9,930' yes            
South Banner Lake 4 19' 9,950'   yes          
Barber Lake 2 19' 8,760'   yes          
Bellamy Lake 1 5' 10,660' yes            
Blackjack Lake 4 4' 10,580' yes            
Campbell Lake 14 35' 10,020' yes            
Cascade Lake 8 45' 10,090' yes            
Crater Lake 10 65' 10,560' yes            
Crescent Lake 8 8' 10,770' yes            
Cutthroat Lake 6 19' 10,670' yes            
Deep Lake 25 29' 10,500' yes            
Dipper Lake 28 32' 10,692'       yes      
Driller Lake 2 3' 10,090' yes            
Edwards Lake 4 28' 10,270' yes            
North Gap Lake 32 67' 10,850' yes            
Garden Lake 6 3' 10,650' yes            
Hanging Lake 4 5' 9,060'   yes          
Hatchet Lake 3 3' 10,660' yes            
Heart Lake 12 45' 10,740' yes            
Hwy. 130 Lake 5 4' 10,470'             yes
Jeff Lake 7 5' 10,630'             yes
East Klondyke Lake 1 12' 10,785' yes         yes  
North Klondyke Lake 7 20' 10,780' yes         yes  
West Klondyke Lake 24 20' 10,750' yes     yes   yes  
Libby Flats Lake 3 4' 10,225' yes            
Libby Lake 26 40' 10,750' yes     yes   yes  
Long Lake 31 42' 8,910'             yes
Little Long Lake 5 6' 10,590' yes            
Middle Long Lake 6 10' 10,620' yes            
Upper Long Lake 4 15' 10,780'             yes
Lookout Lake 35 87' 10,630' yes            
Magnolia Lake 4 15' 10,185'             yes
Lake Marie 26 40' 10,500' yes yes          
North Meadow Lake 5 13' 10,570' yes            
South Meadow Lake 11 10' 10,610' yes            
Mill Pond Lake 3 3' 10,300' yes            
Mirror Lake 26 50' 10,600' yes yes          
Lower Missouri Lake 3 5' 10,150' yes            
Upper Missouri Lake 6 11' 10,180'             yes
Moerke Lake 10 3' 8,880'             yes
Mutt Lake 16 7' 10,630'             yes
Phantom Lake 12 16' 10,040' yes            
Quealy Lake 9 4' 10,330' yes            
Quealy Lake #1 2 5' 10,325' yes            
Rat Lake 2 4' 9,590' yes            
Reservoir Lake 29 82' 10,770' yes            
Sand Lake 92 15' 10,131' yes yes       yes  
Scott Lake 2 21' 11,030'             yes
Sevenmile Lake 2 3' 9,490'             yes
Sheep Lake 19 4' 10,770' yes            
Shelf Lake #1 3 29' 10,970'     yes        
Shelf Lake #2 6 18' 10,970'     yes        
Shelf Lake #4 3 11' 10,870' yes            
Shelf Lake #5 1 6' 10,870' yes            
Silver Lake 17 25' 10,250' yes            
Snowbank Lake 2 8' 10,610'             yes
Stamp Mill Lake 3 13' 9,990'             yes
Sucker Lake 13 8' 10,350' yes     yes      
Towner Lake 9 6' 10,705' yes            
Turpin Reservoir 99 22' 9,397' yes            
North Twin Lake (Carbon Co.) 8 44' 10,360' yes            
South Twin Lake (Carbon Co.) 27 68' 10,282'           yes  
Vagner Lake 11 6' 10,450' yes            
Vosseller Lake 2 5' 10,590' yes            
Deep Creek 6     yes yes       yes  
Gold Run Creek 4     yes            
Medicine Bow River 13     yes yes     yes    
East Fork Medicine Bow River 7     yes yes     yes    
Nash Fork Creek 7     yes yes     yes    
North Brush Creek 11     yes yes     yes    
North Fork Little Laramie River 8     yes yes     yes    
East Fork Pass Creek 5     yes yes     yes    
Rock Creek 15     yes yes     yes    
Middle Fork Rock Creek 2     yes     yes      
North Fork Rock Creek 7     yes            
South Fork Rock Creek 5     yes            
Silver Run Creek 3     yes            
Trail Creek 5     yes            
Turpin Creek 9     yes            
 

Laramie Ranger District

Name of Lake or Stream Acres or Miles Maximum Depth Elevation Brook Trout Rainbow Trout Golden Trout Cutthrout Trout Brown Trout Splake No Fish
Bear Lake 17 41' 10,100'   yes          
Big Brooklyn Lake 36 38' 10,526' yes     yes   yes  
Little Brooklyn Lake 8 6' 10,353' yes         yes  
Fire Box Lake 4 4' 9,590'             yes
South Gap Lake 44 70' 10,950' yes yes   yes      
East Glacier Lake 7 25' 10,790' yes     yes      
West Glacier Lake 8 28' 10,780' yes            
Golden Lake 5 16' 10,470' yes     yes      
Grassy Lake 3 3' 10,670' yes            
Hourglass Lake 8 4 10,500'             yes
Lewis Lake 19 33' 10,730' yes     yes yes yes  
Lost Lakes 17 82' 10,950' yes            
East Lost Lakes 8 3' 10,170'             yes
Silver Run Lake 14 14' 10,050' yes            
Swastika Lake 12 3' 10,060'             yes
Big Telephone Lake 25 10' 10,705' yes            
Little Telephone Lake 8 12 10,700' yes            
North Twin Lakes (Albany Co.) 4 4' 10,690'             yes
South Twin Lakes (Albany Co.) 17 82' 10,950'         yes    
Libby Creek 11     yes yes     yes    
Fisherman photo courtesy of TheArmchairExplorer, CCA-by-SA 3.0 License