Recreation and access opportunities vary widely on Medicine Bow National Forest and Thunder Basin National Grassland

Published: May. 11, 2020 at 4:45 AM CDT
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Public interest to utilize the Medicine Bow National Forest and Thunder Basin National Grassland in Wyoming is currently high, and as is seasonally typical, recreation and access opportunities vary widely.

The Forest and Grassland are open for dispersed use. Common public questions revolve around camping opportunities. Dispersed options are currently very limited, and broadly, visitors will find limited access for roads and trails, which is typical for this time of year due to seasonally closed roads, lingering snowpack and wet, muddy conditions.

Most developed recreation sites are not typically open this time of year due to accessibility.

Recreation opportunities will increase as spring transitions to summer and roads/trails become more accessible. This typically is weather-dependent and includes dispersed camping.

Be aware that black bears are on the move and hungry. Visit the Wyoming Game and Fish Bear Wise webpage for more information about camping in bear country:

Area-specific updates

Thunder Basin NG: The Grassland is currently free of snow and accessible for use. Caution should be used following a rain event or new snow melt as many of the gravel and dirt roads can become slick or impassable. The Weston Hills Recreation Area has been experiencing unusually high use during the last month. Expect the main parking area to be crowded or full. Additional parking is available on the north side of Forest Road 1246 or nearby on BLM lands. All motorized trails are limited to vehicles 50” or less.

Laramie Peak area: Most areas are accessible except for Friend Park and the Laramie Peak Trailhead. Campfires have been reported in this area. Please remember that fire restrictions are in place and campfires are not currently allowed.

Pole Mountain area: All roads are still under a seasonal closure but are being evaluated frequently and will be opened as quickly as conditions allow.

Sierra Madre & Snowy Ranges: Access is very limited. Please use sites only where resource damage will not occur. Most popular or regularly used dispersed camping areas are still inaccessible. Some lower elevation areas along the North Platte River are accessible, such as the Routt Access.

All our offices are serving the public remotely and are available by phone. Check with your local Ranger District office for site-specific information.

• Forest Supervisor’s Office (Laramie), (307) 745-2300

• Brush Creek-Hayden Ranger District (Saratoga), (307) 326-5258

• Douglas Ranger District (Douglas), (307) 358-4690

• Laramie Ranger District (Laramie), (307) 745-2300

Additional recreation and access information may be found on this website,, or you can follow the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland on Twitter, @FS_MBRTB.

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