Snow Survey Cabin

Saratoga, Wyoming

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Overview

Snow Survey Cabin is located 28 miles southeast of Saratoga, Wyoming, in the Snowy Range of Medicine Bow National Forest. The cabin, located just off the Snowy Range Scenic Byway at nearly 10,000 feet, was built in 1944 and was a shelter for snow surveyors. Today, it is a unique lodging experience for guests seeking rustic recreation and relaxation in southeastern Wyoming. The cabin is open year-round and is accessible by vehicle in good road conditions. Winter access to the facility requires snowmobiling, skiing or snowshoeing up to six miles. Basic amenities are provided, but guests should be prepared to pack in some of their own supplies and gear.

Recreation

In the summer months, a vast hiking trail system accessing the highest elevations of the Snowy Range extends from the cabin's back door. Hikers looking for a challenge can make the trek up Medicine Bow Peak at an elevation of 12,013 feet, or hike nearby Browns Peak or Sugarloaf Mountain. Fishing is available at many alpine lakes and streams, including the popular Mirror Lake day use site. Winter brings deep powder snow for the snowmobiler and cross-country skier.

Facilities

The one-room cabin is furnished with two sets of bunk beds and can accommodate up to four people. The cabin is equipped with a propane cook stove, heater, solar lights, table and chairs, cookware, and basic cooking and eating utensils. An outhouse with vault toilet is located nearby. No running water is available at the cabin. Guests must bring their own supply of water for drinking, cooking and cleaning. Snow for melting is usually available in winter. Guests need to provide their own food, sleeping bags, lanterns or flashlights, pillows, towels, dish soap, matches, first aid kit, toilet paper and garbage bags. All trash and food must be packed out, and guests are expected to clean the cabin before leaving. No pets are allowed within the building. Pets must be on leash or lead outside to protect wildlife. Pet must be cleaned up after by owner.

Natural Features

From valleys and canyons that rise steeply to jagged ridges, the Snowy Range boasts alpine lakes, wildflower meadows and a mixed forest of spruce, lodgepole pine, subalpine fir and aspen. At elevations of 9,000 to 12,000 feet, it lives up to its name, as snow can fall in the area during any month of the year.

Wildlife viewing is abundant near the cabin, including elk, deer and moose. Migratory birds, squirrels and an occasional black bear find habitat in the forest as well.

Nearby Attractions

The Snowy Range is transected by Wyoming Highway 130 between Laramie and Saratoga. This is the Snowy Range Scenic Byway. Many campgrounds, picnic areas and hiking trails are located along its course. The small Snowy Range Ski Resort is accessible from this scenic byway as well; however, portions of Highway 130 are not completely accessible during the winter.

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Adventures Nearby

  • Fly Fish at Heart Lake

    When most people come to Medicine Bow National Forest, they usually do one of two hikes: the Lakes Trail or the Peak. Yes, both are spectacular. But break out your topo map to discover some of Medicine Bow's hidden gems, like Heart Lake.The first ...

  • Hike to the Summit of Medicine Bow Peak

    Medicine Bow Peak (12,014ft) is the highest summit in the Snowy Range of Wyoming. There is a network of quality alpine trails leading around the mountain and up to the summit. Stop in at the Visitor Center in Centennial for a free map of the area ...

    1.6 miles

  • Photograph the Snowy Range

    Starting at the Medicine Bow Peak TH you have easy access to Lake Marie, Mirror Lake, and Lookout Lake for sunrise. When the water is calm these crystal clear lakes provide incredible reflections of Medicine Bow Peak. Nearby Snowy Range Pass prov...