Medicine Bow National Forest & Mountains in Wyoming

Steamboat Springs Colorado
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Medicine Bow Mountains

The Medicine Bow mountains are located within the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest and offer a variety of activities for travelers year round.

  • Within the Medicine Bow mountains is the Snowy Range, a massive quartzite block. The block, faulted to create a cliff system 500-1500 ft. high, created Wyoming’s highest paved road at an elevation of 10,800 ft.
  • The road is open from late May to early October.


The Medicine Bow mountains get their namesake from the Native American tradition of bow-making. The bows were predominantly constructed of mountain mahogany, collected in the valleys of southeastern Wyoming.


The Medicine Bow mountains are located in the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest which spans from north central Colorado to central Wyoming.

From Steamboat Springs in Colorado, drive Highway 40 to the Highway 14 exit that goes towards Walden. From Walden, drive north to the break in the road between Highways 125 and 127. The distance via Laramie and Saratoga is virtually the same, so use an ATLAS and decide accordingly. From the Front Range of Colorado, drive I-25 North to Cheyenne, and get onto I-80 which you'll follow to Laramie. Drive Highway 130 west through Centennial, and continue over Snowy Range Pass. Once in the mountains, you will pass Snowy Range Ski Area and a number of campsites, pullouts, and scenic stops before arriving at destination. The Medicine Bow Peak ridge is very obvious from Highway 130.

Brush Creek Ranger Station
South Hwy. 130
P.O.B. 249
Saratoga, Wyoming 82331


This area provides year-round recreation for travelers. However, certain activities are dependent upon the season. As frost may occur at any time, visitors to higher elevations should prepare for harsh weather, including high winds and snow even in the summer months.


In the summer months, the Medicine Bow Mountains are used for mechanized travel including driving, ATV, boating and bicycling. Camping, hunting and fishing are also extremely popular.

In the winter season, winter camping, mountaineering and other winter recreation opportunities abound. However, day hiking is recommended from July-September while avalanches and road closures are possible.

Additional Info

The Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest spans 2.2 million acres and ranges in elevation from 5,500-12,940 ft.

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