Added by Dan Barr
Hidden in plain sight, this scenic little day hike is right next to I-80 just east of Wyoming's Snowy Mountains.
Starting at the trailhead near the parking lot, the trail starts off relatively paved and moves close to the base of Turtle Rock, a large outcrop of Sherman Granite that has stood the test of time from the creation of the Rocky Mountains.
Following the trail to the left at the loop intersection, the trail becomes more rugged and takes you through small patches of forest and wide open areas strewn with boulders, perfect for various stages of bouldering and rock climbing. The loop stays fairly level as it winds around Turtle Rock, but be careful: At some spots the rock is unstable and break loose, and in others it can be slick to walk on, so proper footwear is strongly encouraged.
The views from the top of Turtle Rock are astounding and the Snowy Mountains to the east make for an extremely scenic backdrop. There is no trail to the top, however. The only way to reach it is by bouldering up the hillside, which, depending on the route you take can be difficult. On your way out, be sure to snap a picture of the nearby Potato Chip Rock! Its quite a sight!
There is also a $5 fee per vehicle that enters the recreation area, and 28 campsites that cost $10/night to stay there, closed seasonally from November to May. Check the USDA's Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest website for more details, listed here: http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/mbr/home.
- Water Bottles (2-3 liters)
- Hiking Boots
- Rappelling/ Rock Climbing Gear
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