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Medicine Bow Peak Loop

Medicine Bow Area, Wyoming

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Medicine Bow Peak Loop

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  • The trailhead at Mirror Lakes.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • A boulder section along Lookout Lake.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • Looking back over Lookout Lake.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • New lakes appear on your way to the saddle.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • Looking back at the Snowy Range.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • Climbing to the saddle.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • From the saddle looking at the Medicine Bow Peak ridgeline.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • Halfway to the summit, looking back at Lewis Lakes.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • Views continue to get better as you get higher.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • Looking northeast at Browns Peak.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • At the ridge leading to the summit looking south at Mirror Lakes.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • The snowfield leading to the summit.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • The summit boulder field.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • Looking west from the summit.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • Heading south for the rest of your hike.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • The trail flattens out and drops steadily.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • Looking back at Medicine Bow Peak.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • The ridge continues south toward Colorado.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • Continuing to descend to Lake Marie.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • Lake Marie.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • Looking north on the descent to Lake Marie.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • Lake Marie.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • Mirror Lake.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • Lake Marie from the shore.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • Shallower section of Lake Marie with nice colors in the water.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • Many flowers along the paved path back to the Mirror Lakes Trailhead.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • Fantastic views on the Medicine Bow Peak Loop ascent traveling clockwise.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • The views are endless on the descent when hiking the loop clockwise.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • Fantastic views on the Medicine Bow Peak descent traveling clockwise.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • Views from the Medicine Bow Peak summit.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • Fantastic views on the Medicine Bow Peak descent traveling clockwise.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • You'll have a fantastic look at many of the surrounding lakes (Libby, Lewis, Klondike, etc.) on this switchback.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • Signage leading to Medicine Bow Peak near the summit.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • An enormous smooth rock overlooking Lookout Cabin is the perfect place to take a break and enjoy a snack.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • Follow signs to take a quick detour to Lookout Cabin just about 100 yards off the trail.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • A junction near the summit gives hikers many different options. - Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • View of Medicine Bow Peak not far from the Lake Marie Trailhead.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • One of the oddest summits around. A flat area of vegetation followed by a mound of enormous mound of boulders that need scrambled to reach the summit.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • A look uphill on the initial ascent from the trailhead at Lake Marie.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • Fantastic views on the Medicine Bow Peak Loop ascent traveling clockwise.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • Fantastic views on the Medicine Bow Peak Loop ascent traveling clockwise.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
  • A look up the trailhead if traveling clockwise from Lake Marie parking lot.- Medicine Bow Peak Loop
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Easy Access. Great Views. Low Crowds.
Cons: 
None.
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Region:
Medicine Bow Area, WY
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,408.00 ft (429.16 m)
Parking Pass: 
Sometimes
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
7.60 mi (12.23 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
10,605.00 ft (3,232.40 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Sitting high in the crown of the Snowy Range, Medicine Bow Peak is the highest mountain in southern Wyoming. At 12,013 feet in elevation and with over 3,200 feet of prominence, Medicine Bow Peak is part of an enormous proterozoic quartzite ridge that juts above the Medicine Bow Mountains. In 1955, United Airlines Flight 409 crashed into Medicine Bow Peak with no survivors. Pieces of the plane and engine are still scattered alongside the base of the cliffs, and a plaque and memorial are still in place at Disaster Wall, erected in August 2001.

Medicine Bow Peak is part of the Snowy Range, 35 miles west of Laramie, Wyoming. It is an excellent place to find solitude where many less scenic trails just south in Colorado would be swarming with people on the same summer day. It is a hidden gem in southern Wyoming that is slowly becoming more popular to those in Cheyenne and Laramie.

There are a few access points to this trail, including this counterclockwise route starting and stopping at Mirror Lakes. From the Mirror Lakes Trailhead, head north along the Lakes Trail and quickly find yourself navigating boulders and forest just on the eastern flank of Lookout Lake across from the giant wall of rock on the western side. A fairly gentle climb will take you to the saddle junction, where another path from Lewis Lake will join you on the way to the summit. The trail steepens for about 1 mile, gaining almost 1,000 feet to reach the summit. Many switchbacks will lead you to the top of the ridge, where a small snowfield and a short boulder field grant access to the summit.

Once at the summit, continue down the other side, traversing the peak. After another short descent across a boulder field and onto the main ridge, the trail flattens and slowly drops elevation until a series of rocky overlooks of Lake Marie. Drop steeply from here along the only trail to find the Lake Marie parking area, where the trail becomes pavement for the last 0.5 mile to the trailhead. Pay close attention to the weather, because the prominence of this range can quickly develop afternoon thunderstorms in the summer. Expect to find snow covering the trail from October to late June.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(3 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(4 within a 30 mile radius)

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