Take your time on this inspiring ride through southern Wyoming that originates out of Laramie, the “Gem City of the Plains.” Open country and the breathtakingly beautiful Snowy Range Scenic Byway through the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests are the hallmarks of this ride. On the way back you’ll ride through the communities of Fox Park and Woods Landing-Jelm, a particularly colorful journey in the fall.
Approximately 180 miles
Laramie Area Visitor Center, 210 E Custer St, Laramie, WY, (800) 445-5303
The seasonally operated DiVide restaurant and lounge offers pizza, pasta, tacos, burgers, and other favorites. Find it at 520 McCaffrey Ave, Encampment, WY, (307) 327-5064.
Scenery (5 out of 5)
Prairie, mountain ranges, glacial lakes, and more. It doesn’t get more visually stimulating than this!
Difficulty (3 out of 5)
The route is not difficult to follow or navigate. The difficulty lies keeping your eyes on the road. Take your time and stop often.
Road Conditions (4 out of 5)
Other than the winter road closures, the roads are in good shape. It’s always a good idea to check with the local visitors center for updates.
Points of Interest
Snowy Range Scenic Byway
Originally an 1870s wagon road, in 1988 this road became the nation’s second scenic byway. As the name implies, it takes you through the Snowy Range, part of the Medicine Bow Mountains, passing deep glacial lakes and alpine meadows. This byway is the second highest mountain pass in Wyoming. Snow closes the highest section of the road for much of the cold months. Plan accordingly.
Centennial Visitor’s Center
Stop here to pick up maps of hiking trails and learn about mountain wildflowers, wildlife, and recreation. During summer and fall it’s open daily.
Libby Flats Observation Site
At more than 10,000 feet, this marks the highest point along the Snowy Range Scenic Byway. You can enjoy breathtaking views of several mountain ranges. The 12,013-foot Medicine Bow Peak is in view too.
Grand Encampment Museum
Learn what life was like for miners, women, and ranchers at the turn of the 20th century. In its heyday, Encampment was a booming copper mining town complete with saloons, a 16-mile-long tramway, stagecoach stops, and more. This museum is touted as one of the best in Wyoming. Admission is by donation.