September 24, 2018
Crossing the Snowy Range Scenic Byway
We added the Snowy Range Scenic Byway to our itinerary to help break up the long drive from Michigan to California. Wyoming has quickly become one of our favorite states to visit, even if we are just passing through. There are many opportunities to explore and beauty can be found everywhere. The Snowy Range Scenic Byway did not disappoint.
Rising from 8,000 feet on the valley floor to 10,847 feet above sea level, the Snowy Range Scenic Byway is 29 miles long and crosses the Medicine Bow Mountain Range. The drive includes the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest portion of the Wyoming Highway 130. It takes roughly an hour to travel straight through but it’s worth stopping and checking out the epic scenery. There are also opportunities for climbing, hiking, and camping.
Our favorite stop was at Mirror Lake and Lake Marie. Both lakes are glacier-fed and provide some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. We found out afterward that across from Lake Marie, visitors can take a short walk to Lake Marie Falls. The lake lays at the base of the mountain peaks and on a calm day, I bet one can see the reflections of the mountains in the surface of lake.
Our next stop was the Snowy Range Observation Point. The observation point hasn’t been in operation since the 1920s but still provides an incredible view.
We stopped at the Libby Overlook where we could see for miles. This is the highest point on the Snowy Range Scenic Byway and has a breathtaking view. We didn’t spend a lot of time here, unfortunately, because it was extremely windy and extremely cold. Freezing, really.
Wyoming Highway 130 is located in southeastern Wyoming and is an alternative to I-80. We exited I-80 in Laramie and followed WY-130 about 30 minutes to Centennial, Wyoming. The byway begins here as WY-130 enters the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest. The next 29 miles are well worth the short detour from I-80.
Because we didn’t have a lot of time to explore, we missed out on some potentially amazing opportunities. These opportunities and more information about the scenic byway can be found at Laramie, Wyoming’s Brochure.