Hike to Crater Lake, Medicine Bow National Forest

Details

Distance

3 miles

Elevation Gain

751 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Julian Spina

On this adventure you get experience both mountain top views and a crystal clear lake! Find solitude on this short but steep hike in the Medicine Bow National Forest.

To get here use exit 272 (Arlington) on I-80 and then proceed south on WY-13 for a quarter mile. Turn right on Elk Mountain Arlington Rd, from here on out the roads are unpaved.  After a mile turn left on Forest Rd 111, following signs for Medicine Bow National Forest.  Continue on Forest Rd 111 for 11 miles, then continue straight on Forest Rd 113, following signs for Crater Lake.  Follow this road for 1.5 miles and the trailhead will be on your left.  Most cars should have no problem with the first 11 miles of the road but when you reach road 113 there are a few more rocks to deal with. There are several pull-offs for parking if your car can not make it the last mile.

Once you reach the trailhead the trail is well marked, just follow signs for Crater Lake.  After a relatively flat first mile you reach a view point and have views of the lake and the surrounding mountains, this is where your decent to the lake begins.  While it's not far, it is steep so take your time and watch your footing.  Once you reach the lake you are free to explore, fish, and if its hot, go swimming! 

Near the lake there are a few campsites, so feel free to make this an overnight trip.  Don't forget that the way back is mostly uphill so plan your time accordingly.  This is a pretty remote part of the region so make sure to pack in (and out) everything you need. 

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Known for

Fishing
Photography
Swimming
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Scenic

Nearby

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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Wyoming’s wide-open spaces make it easy to get off the grid and on a trail, through a park, into a forest, up a mountain or down a river. During your journey through Wyoming’s Black to Yellow Region, discover geologic marvels, dense evergreen forests and sprawling prairielands.

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