While we were researching places to go over the long July Fourth holiday weekend, we wanted to avoid all of the tourist crowds.
Using Google satellite view, we focused on mountains showing white tops, meaning good elevation and cooler temperatures.
One place that piqued my interest was a white section in the Wyoming section of the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest called the Snowy Range. With a name like that, how could we resist?
- Everybody is going to go camping this weekend.
- Because of the elevation, most of the campgrounds are closed until July 15th.
- Those that are open don’t have water due to late freezing weather.
- First-come, First-served campsites. No reservations means showing up and hoping you get a spot!
Although we just got back a few days ago from our 2021 Family Loop trip, we loaded the Pod up and hit the road to beat the crowds.
A night WallyDocking (dry camping in a Walmart parking lot) in Laramie Wyoming, then another hour up into the Medicine Bow Range.
First choice: Sugarloaf Campground. Closed, and snow across the road.
Second choice: Brooklyn Lake Campground. Closed.
After trying the other Forest Service campgrounds, we noticed that the Nash Fork campground was open despite the Forest Service website saying it was permanently closed.
And we were in luck – a primo spot all the way in the back, with moose milling about.
In the morning we talked to the ranger who came through, and he told us that the campground had been closed for the last 10 years due to the Pine Beetle bug killing off the trees, and we were the first group of campers. He also mentioned that a group of six bull moose had claimed the campground for themselves since there were no humans to bother them. Pretty cool!
We had to drive down out of the mountains to Centennial to get water as there was none available in the campgrounds or recreation areas in the mountains, the Forest Service didn’t get the water samples tested in time and couldn’t turn the wells on. Not convenient, but not a show-stopper since this was the perfect launching pad for our Snowy Range exploring!