Albany County High Point Trip Report

Medicine Bow Peak (12,013 ft)

Date: August 4, 2002
Author: Michael Schwartz

Previous trip reports described the hike up the south ridge, about 3.5 miles long, passing by the Carbon County liner highpoint en route. I found a report elsewhere that mentioned the "much shorter" Lewis Lake approach from the east and used that.

Driving west from Laramie on WY 130, look for the National Forest Visitor Center on the westbound side of the road in or just past (I think) Centennial. They can provide a free hard copy of the same trail map shown on the National Forest web site. Zero odometer.

Pass Lake Road to the Brooklyn Lakes at 6.3 miles, the Libby Creek parking area at 9.2 miles, then turn right (north) onto the rough road to the Sugarloaf Recreation Area at 9.6 miles. Self-pay ($3 cash or check) at the entrance. Drive a rough mile or so all the way to the parking lot overlooking Lewis Lake, almost 300 feet higher than the Lake Marie trailhead from the south, and a clear view of Medicine Bow Peak. Pick up the Lewis Lake trail that runs along the south shore of the lake, then along the north shoulder of Sugarloaf Mountain, to the saddle between Sugarloaf and Medicine Bow. From the saddle switchback steeply northwest up the east end of the summit ridge, then follow the trail to the summit. Hike to summit from Lewis Lake is only 1.9 miles, and took 1 hour 10 minutes.

From the summit, it's an easy 35 minute round trip to the Carbon County liner highpoint, losing about 90 feet of elevation. Hike from Medicine Bow Peak summit back to Lewis Lake took 55 minutes. This is a spectacular area, with great views, and not requiring a tremendous amount of effort to enjoy its pleasures.