The Snowy Range in Wyoming is a remote area within the least populated state in America. Just 30 minutes from Laramie, this peaceful destination showcases beautiful alpine lakes framing snow-capped mountains. Wildlife in the area include black bear, moose, marmots, pika, and elk. September is the perfect time to hike in the Snowy Range, with warm days and nighttime temperatures hovering above freezing. There could be a potential dusting of snow on the peaks, which make for beautiful photos!
This trip is designed for beginner backpackers, and your guides will share tips and tricks to help you perfect your skills (navigation, cooking, water purification, setting up camp, etc) and help plan your own trips in the future. Each team member will carry their own personal gear, along with group gear and food distributed evenly. We will cover 5-8 miles per day. We also build in some quiet time for personal reflection, journaling, or just hanging out enjoying your surroundings.
After 2 nights on the trail, you’ll trade your heavier gear for lightweight day packs and hike up Medicine Bow Peak! Medicine Bow is the tallest peak in the Snowy Range (12,014 ft). The trip ends with an overnight stay in historic Saratoga, WY where you can soak in the relaxing hot springs.
With 3 days and 2 nights on the trail, the chance to summit a peak, hot springs, and a celebratory dinner and overnight stay in historic Saratoga, WY, this is a truly unique backpacking experience.
*Provided by Special Use Permit through the Medicine Bow National Forest
Day 1 – Arrive in Laramie in the afternoon. Our guides will meet you at the airport and transport you to your hotel, if necessary. After you’re checked in and comfortable, we’ll have a pre-trip meeting, gear check and distribution of group gear/food followed by dinner in Laramie. (Meals Included: D)
Day 2 – In the morning, the guides will pick you up at the hotel and transfer everyone to the trailhead. You will hike approximately 6-7 miles, stopping for lunch and to enjoy the scenery along the way. Your guides will prepare dinner for the group before camping under the abundant stars in the backcountry. (Meals provided: B, L, D)
Day 3 – You’ll get an early start and continue hiking passing alpine lakes along the way. Today’s hike is about the same length as yesterday, and you’ll spend the evening camping out. (Meals provided: B, L, D)
Day 4 – This morning you’ll hike out of the backcountry and drop your heavy packs at the vehicle. Carrying only what you need for the day, you’ll hike to the summit of Medicine Bow Peak (12,014ft). Afterward, you’ll drive to Saratoga for a well-deserved dinner and soak in the hot springs. Overnight at the Wolf Hotel. (Meals provided: B, L, D)
Day 5 – After breakfast, the guides will transport you back to Laramie for your departure. (Meals provided: NA)
Note: Itinerary is subject to change depending on weather, trail and course conditions, travel, health and well-being of the trip participants, and interests of the group.
Backpack – 40-65 liters, capable of 30-40 lb load
Backpack rain cover
Duffel bag (for items to be left in the car while hiking)
Sleeping bag – lightweight, easily packable (rated to 20 degrees).
Casual clothing – lightweight, comfortable items for travel
Airline tickets (if necessary)
Sun hat with brim
Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip balm with SPF
Hiking Pants (zip-offs are great)
Long sleeve shirts
Long underwear (top and bottoms)
Fleece jacket or wool sweater
Down or synthetic “puffy” jacket
Waterproof/breathable jacket and pants
Hiking boots – waterproof with good ankle support
Tennis shoes or sandals (for around camp)
Hiking socks, sock liners (optional) and warm socks for around camp
Water bottles (2-3) and/or a Hydration reservoir (2-3 liters)
Plastic bowl, cups, spoon and fork
Matches or lighter
Trekking poles (optional, but highly recommended)
Small multi-tool or pocket knife
Headlamp or flashlight w/ extra batteries
Camera w/ extra batteries, tripod (optional)
Book notebook, journal, pencil or pen
Bandanas or Buff
Personal first-aid kit and medications
Several large Ziploc plastic bags for trash
Toilet paper (will use Ziploc bags for used paper while on trail)
Medium to Large pack towel
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Handi-wipes (moist towelettes for cleaning)
Personal toiletry items
- 2 days/1 nights backpacking in Medicine Bow National Forest
- Day-hike to the summit of Medicine Bow Peak
- 1 night’s stay at a hotel in Laramie, WY (double occupancy)
- 1 night’s stay at the historic Wolf Lodge in Saratoga, WY (double occupancy)
- Dinner on Night 1 and Dinner on Night 4
- All meals prepared by your guides during the hiking portion of the trip
- Visit to the Saratoga Hot Springs
- Local Transporation (to/from the airport to your hotel)
- Tents, group cookware, stoves/fuel, and water filtration systems
- 3 pre-departure conference calls with your guide(s)
- Permits, area usage fees, and guide fees
- Transportation from your home to/from Laramie, Wyoming
- Personal gear and clothing
- Off-Trail meals (with the exception of dinner on nights 1 and 4)
- Alcoholic beverages, extra drinks and snacks beyond what is provided
- Guide Tips
We know that well-fed hikers are happy hikers and we aim to please! On the trail, your guides will prepare delicious meals each day. Traditional trail snacks are also provided (jerky, trail mix, granola bars), but you are welcome to bring some of your favorites, if you prefer. We will have a welcome dinner at a restaurant in Laramie on Night 1 and a celebration dinner at a restaurant in Saratoga after the hike, as well.
Special dietary considerations can be accommodated with advance notice.
On night 1, we will spend the evening at a hotel in Laramie, WY. While on the trail, nights will be spent sleeping under the stars in roomy, 3-person tents (provided). After the hike, we spend an evening at the historic Wolf Lodge in Saratoga, WY. Accommodations are based on double occupancy. If you prefer single occupancy, that can be arranged for an additional $100/person/night.
Some of the activities that you may choose to participate in while in Wyoming are strenuous and take place at higher elevations. They should not be undertaken if you have any health conditions which may put you at risk. You are strongly advised to consult your physician for a thorough medical check-up and clearance before attempting our Snowy Range Backpacking Trip. If you are over 50 years old, talk to your doctor about doing a ‘stress EKG’. Should you require any medication whatsoever, you must provide your own and be able to administer it yourself.
FROM OUR TRAVELERS
“Good preparation, terrific guides, an incredible destination….what an awesome trip! Adventure doesn’t have to mean a trip outside the US….there are amazing destinations on our soil to be explored.”
– Sean B. Snowy Range Backpacking
“I had a great time on this trip. Laura and Jack did a great job of guiding our group through the backcountry of Wyoming. The scenery was spectacular especially the sunrises over the mountain ranges and the incredible night skies with the milky way in full view. The trip pushed me from time to time, but, the challenges were reasonable and every day ended with a sense of achievement. I enjoyed the self reflection time and opportunity to appreciate the quiet that the backcountry provides. “