Explore the most popular river trails in Medicine Bow National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

I hiked most of this trail in the summer of 2016 and found it to be a peaceful and leisurely walk most of the way. It was generally shady as we followed the stream, and there were wild raspberries along much of the trail. Quite a treat. It did get a bit warm when we had no shade, but that was only a small part of our hike.
I must have turned around before reaching the difficult part because I thought the hike was almost entirely easy.

trail running
10 months ago

Nice views. As the snow and ice melts late this summer, this will be a nice running trail (with forced stoppages for rock scrambles, stream crossings, and maybe a snowfield or two that might not melt). I parked at Libby Flats and ran the road into the trail for a nice warmup before the technical stuff). Go early though, the crowds were gathering on my way out.

Easy trail. Would be fun to do with family. A lot of fallen trees after you reach the waterfall. Made it difficult to trek.

backpacking
11 months ago

Started at the Arlington trailhead and packed into Crater Lake. Great trail, like Teena says be prepared for a ton of downed trees that make the trail a lot more difficult than it would be otherwise for backpacking. We were on the trail in early June, the first 6 miles or so were pretty clear but after that there was still quite a bit of snow on the trail, especially around Crater Lake. Very secluded this time of year, the only other people we saw were a couple doing a day-hike near the trailhead.

11 months ago

be forewarned there are A LOT of downed trees on the trail that you have to climb over or crawl under. was a little difficult with a 50 lb pack on.

Monday, May 15, 2017

love this!

hiking
Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Nice trail. Easy going. Quiet.

hiking
Saturday, August 13, 2016

Very nice peaceful hike! Dog friendly, kid friendly and family friendly! There were signs of moose and bear but we had no encounters

backpacking
Tuesday, July 05, 2016

First and foremost, the location of the trail head is very wrong on All trails as of 7/5/16. Visit http://www.justtrails.com/trails/rock-creek-trail/ for a much more accurate trail head description and trail information. I did submit an update to All Trails, but make sure you verify where the trail is. All Trails also is only showing about 3 miles of an 11.1 mile trail.

That being said, this is a fantastic backpacking trail. There are several well used camping sites along it, and it isn't overly trafficked. On July 4th weekend I met 8 other hikers over a span of 24 hours.

You do have to traverse several rock slides, and if you are going to bring a dog, you might consider boots for their feet. I learned that the hard way with a torn paw on my dog's foot.

There is a lot of bear and moose sign in the area, but I didn't see either animal in my trek. The trail follows Rock Creek and offers stunning vistas and quiet forest paths to lead the way.

hiking
Saturday, August 22, 2015

Parked at Libby Lake on Free National Park Day. It was packed! It is normally $5 day fee. My three 6-9 year old's, two dogs and myself hiked over the saddle and camped for the night near Rainbow Lake. Amazing! Did not meet a soul after going over the saddle. Lost the trail a few times, but easy enough to find it again. Saw some moose and marmot. Very cold. Our packs and tent were frozen stiff the next morning. But not us! :)

hiking
Thursday, July 16, 2015

Started out for North Gap. Wife and Kids were sick of the car before we got there so we stopped at Barber lake instead, about two or three miles below North Gap. Wonderful time the first mile or so is a little civilized, some cabins, cars, etc. After that the real trail begins. A little steep in some places, but overall this is a good family trail after about three miles, the trail forks the lower fork dead ends at a campsite and I assume the other fork connects to Barber Lake.

hiking
Friday, July 18, 2014

Very scenic trail. Started at Sugarloaf Campground. Check snow conditions on trail, take sunscreen and insect repellent. Adventurous hikers need to crest the peak west of North Gap Lake, attack from the North side, Todd Scott memorial plaque at peak. For snowmobilers this hill is known as Widow-maker.

trail running
Friday, July 11, 2014

Absolutely incredible trail! It ranks as one of two of my all time favorites. I started on the Lakes Trail and then trail ran up North Gap Lake Trail till the snow and ice made it impossible for me to push on. Along the way you see stunning views of the mountains, I spotted a moose, and you'll enjoy hearing the rock badgers chirp at you as you circumnavigate the lakes.

hiking
Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Its very remote so bring all necessary gear to be safe plenty of wildlife saw a bear that was to close for comfort but I enjoyed it, little foot traffic so its nice and quite i brought my dogs. i also brought some bear protection the dogs chased the bear off

hiking
Thursday, June 28, 2012

LaBonte Canyon
Trailhead: Just to the north of Douglas Wyoming leave I-25 at exit 146 and head southeast on HWY.96 for 3.2 miles and turn right onto HWY.91. Drive about 13 miles where the payment ends and the road becomes Converse County Road 24. In another three miles the road forks; turn left onto Converse County Road 16 (Fort Fetterman Road) drive about 15 miles to the LaBonte Canyon/Curtis Gulch Campground Road (Forrest Rd. 658). Drive downstream along LaBonte Creek for about five miles. Just outside of the entrance to Curtis Gulch Campground you will find signage and parking for three different trails (Curtis Gulch, LaBonte Canyon and Big Bear Canyon). Park and walk downstream through the campground to start the hike.
Driving to LaBonte Canyon from Casper for the first time as I left I-25 it took me approximately one hour and forty five minutes to reach the trailhead (confirming my route as I traveled with map and looking at new scenery and wildlife). Leaving the canyon driving more deliberately it took just under an hour to reach I-25.
LaBonte Canyon Trail is an out three miles and back three miles trail. The trail is open to ATV traffic for the first two miles. This would at first glance seem to distract from the hike, however I saw no evidence of ATV traffic leaving the established trail and almost no litter. People who use the area it seems are aware of and follow Leave No Trace ethics I hope all of you will as well. I was there on a Saturday afternoon and saw one camper in the Curtis Gulch Campground and no one else.
Curtis Gulch Campground is a small (approximately 8-10 sites), but beautifully tucked away mostly shady campground. A pit toilet that is well kept and a clean water supply are available. Cost is ten dollars a night. Curtis Gulch Campground could act as base camp for days of hiking and climbing. If climbing interest you, the area contain hundreds of domes some approaching four or five hundred feet in height.
The quality of rock is excellent. There are many meandering crack/face routes. The rock doesnt lend itself to long straight cracks. I did however spy a few that where at least two pitches long.
This is not as far as I can determine an established rock climbing area. I scrambled to the top of two domes via easy routes and saw no evidence of previous attempts or any repel anchors. So if you come to climb make sure youve got your shit together and you know what you are doing. Because you will die before any rescue operation is even launched.
Back to the hike: The trail follows and criss crosses LaBonte Creek for three miles downstream to the border of the Medicine Bow National Forrest and the back again. The first two miles along an ATV trail. The last mile or so is a foot path. The day I was there it was 102 degrees and I chose to turn around just after the ATV trail ended and the foot path began. The walking was easy, although the beginning of the foot path portion was a little difficult to find. You cant really get lost as long as you stay in the bottom of the canyon I saw at least two other trails leaving the LaBonte trail heading up other canyons (not on any of the maps I had).
The valley bottom that you walk is an interesting mix. For a short section one is walking in high plains like sagebrush environment.
And then back along the stream in the midst of large cottonwood and willows. Some sections are among huge Ponderosa Pines.All the while you are gently steered down canyon buy steep canyon walls. Stream crossings provided views up and down stream I couldnt help but stop and take in.There were lots of fish. Not sure what kind of trout but I assume native. Fishing would be great especially around the end of mile two walking in where one encounters abundant beaver ponds.
By the way, if you cant control your dogs please dont bring them. Keep them out of the ponds please.
This ripairian enviromen was incredibly rich with wildlife. The trail often raises up above the creek affording you veiws(with the aid of binoculars) into the top of trees along the creek.This canyon truly is a bird watchers paridise. I am an amature bird watcher and I identified no less than tweny six speicies in my four hours in the canyon!
Larger wild life also abounds. I saw white tail deer, beaver and Elk. I also saw sign of Bighorn Sheep, Black Bear and Racoon. There also was no shortage of butterflys.
No matter what your interest, whether it be hiking, climbing, fishing/hunting, wildlife viewing or just a quiet little place at the end of a not very busy road to spend some time in the shade of a large tree by a stream with friends cooking good food a perhaps enjoying some fine single malt LaBonte Canyon can deliver.
Hope you come. I know you will enjoy if you do.

camping
Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wyoming solitude in the backyard of the Snowy Mountains. This is a good get away from everyone, I saw no one. Beaver ponds were full of brookies. Nice niews of the Platte River Valley and the Sierra Madres.

The elevation is up there, so , be prepared.

hiking
4 months ago

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8 months ago

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9 months ago

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9 months ago

11 months ago

Saturday, May 13, 2017

hiking
Friday, April 14, 2017

hiking
Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sunday, July 31, 2016