Fly Fish at Heart Lake

Rate this Adventure Wyoming Dipper Lake

Added by

Distance: 5 miles roundtrip. Duration: half day. Perfect alpine lake views, with no other people. Tough 4. WD road to get up to the trailhead - truck up with a Polaris if you have one.

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 adventure of this hike is getting there. From Highway 130, turn on to FR 103. You'll follow a dirt road for about 2 miles, then the road gets super hairy. You can either brave it (only do so if you have 4WD vehicle that can handle it), hike it (beware, though, of ATV traffic) or ATV it (fun, but requires you to take a trailer). Whichever method you choose, you'll eventually get to Dipper Lake (about one and a half miles) at which point the trail really begins. Dipper Lake is awesome on its own...but it keeps getting better from there!

From Dipper Lake, you'll hop on Heart Lake Trail, which will be to your left. It's only about a mile to Heart Lake. Take your time as you'll pass other smaller lakes on your way. You'll hike through both forest and meadow terrain.

Heart Lake is trout heaven. This hike can be just a hike, but if you own a fly rod, bring it and have some fun. Because this isn't the most-hiked trail in Medicine Bow, the fish bite like crazy. You'll find browns and brooks.

Bonus points if you spy a moose. I did, and I nearly peed my pants. A big bull ran past us as we were doing a little exploring off-trail. Also, don't take a nap at the lake but forget to put sunscreen on your legs. I looked like a lobster for a few days afterwards.

Pack List

  • Fly rod
  • Flies
  • Fly repair kit
  • Delicious snacks (I brought sour gummy worms, GoLean Crunch, and cookie butter)
  • Water and/or water treatment tablets (there's lot of lakes and streams to get water)
  • Rain pants/jacket
  • 4WD Vehicle or Polaris Ranger/Razr
  • Camera
  • Topo map (important as trail isn't super well-marked)
  • Crazy Creek for chillin hard once you get to the main lake (Heart Lake)
Read More

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

Added by Corinne White

I live on a ranch in Wyoming. I spend my days roping bulls, flyfishing for dinner, and riding into the sunset. Just kidding, I work in the ranch's office. But I try to do all that stuff in my spare time. 


Activities:

Fishing, Swimming, Hiking

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Summer, Autumn

Features:

Dog Friendly
Forest
Lake
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

More Adventures Nearby

Hike to Glory Peak

Wyoming / Glory Peak Trail

This hike starts at a very high elevation, and the incline is steep! The views make the elevation worth it. This trail is best used in the summer or early autumn.  Photos: Dave Thomas and Antoine

Hike to Lower Sheep Canyon

Wyoming / Lower Sheep Canyon Trail

The trail is moderate in difficulty and is used primarily for hiking. There's a smaller game trail along the ridge line that should be avoided.  Photos: Alan English and Robert 

Hike to Goodwin Lake

Wyoming / Goodwin Lake Trail

The lake is cold, but perfect for swimming! Be bear aware when on this trail. The trail is best used in the summer or fall.  Photos: Cameron Yee and Jerry Donaho