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Medicine Bow Peak Trail

MODERATE 33 reviews

Medicine Bow Peak Trail is a 3.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Centennial, Wyoming that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 3.2 miles Elevation Gain: 1,240 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

The Medicine Bow Peak Trail is the shortest of the three routes to Medicine Bow Peak. Being the shortest means the elevation gains to the peak are more dramatic. The trailhead begins at Lewis Lake, where there is ample parking, and an easy start for the hike. As the trail heads past Lewis Lake, the going is pretty level, and the scenery is beautiful. The trail then begins to climb toward the saddle between Sugarloaf Mountain and Medicine Bow Peak. Once the trail reaches the saddle, it joins with the Medicine Bow Trail for the remaining 0.8 mile hike to the peak. It is constant switchbacks up the slope until the trail reaches a boulder scramble for the last 0.1 mile to the summit. Once the trail leaves the saddle, the views to the summit are stunning! Looking down on the lakes below, as the trail ascends 1000 feet, is a blast! There were a couple of ice fields, one over the trail near the summit. Medicine Bow Peak is 12,013 feet, and is the highest point in the Snowy Range, so the 360-degree views from the top are stunning!

hiking
rocky
scramble
13 days ago

Difficult hike. Would not recommend the entire trail for dogs. The last bit to the peak is a reasonably difficult scramble, and we have a 25lb dog. We were able to carry her but it was already challenging on our own let alone with the dog. Otherwise great hike, super gorgeous, great views from the peak and all along the entire trail.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
snow
13 days ago

Beginner hiker here and I could tell my body was not used to the elevation or in shape. The people passing me could tell too. I took my time though and brought lots of water. What I did not bring was sunscreen. Minimal to no shade the entire way and the clear Wyoming skies at elevation will get you quick. I took my golden with me (off leash) and she enjoyed it! She made it all the way to the boulder fields at the top, but then chickened out. I left her there so I could at least summit and thankfully some friendly people calmed her until I returned (~5 - 10 minutes). The views were amazing and I could have stayed up there all day (if just to catch my breath...). Wind was worse at the gap between the peak and Sugarloaf, so bring some sort of break. Later in the year is best as the snow will have cleared by then. Thunderstorms (lightning) in the afternoon almost daily, so start early. First timer took me 1.5 hours up, 45 minutes down from Libby Lake parking lot.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
18 days ago

Bring sunscreen on a sunny day for sure! Top of the mountain is boulders and will be a scramble, but the views are well worth it all! Also, bring plenty of h2o!

hiking
rocky
scramble
21 days ago

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
scramble
26 days ago

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
28 days ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
28 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Damn beautiful scenery throughout this one. The first half is through lake scenery and then it really turns challenging at the halfway point and ends traversing large granite boulders to the top. We went early and beat the crowds. When we came out the lot was full and the side road parking was a half mile long. We took a dog and she made it to the very top, but it’s no simple task. It’s impressive to look down on the Sugarloaf mound to the east. Enjoy.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked on 6/30 and there is still a TON of snow. Some areas with 5ft+ deep snow drifts. The snow is soft so lots of postholing. You still need snow shoes if you are trying to get to the peak and even then the snow is so soft its gonna be difficult. Even the lower trails still have areas large areas with deep snow. I would imagine its gonna be at least another month before you can easily hike the peak.

3 months ago

stunningly beautiful in mid October. streams, lakes, rocks, flora, views! we even saw a bear print. go prepared for higher altitude hiking, rock scrambling and snow in the last section climbing to the peak. keep an eye on the weather.

hiking
11 months ago

Stunning views all the way south into Colorado from the top of the peak. Start at a time where you know you will be able to get all the way up and started back down before noon. Storms pop up in a few minutes at this altitude.

hiking
Thursday, September 06, 2018

Absolutely beautiful

hiking
Friday, July 06, 2018

This is a beautiful hike, and a great one for anyone looking to summit their first peak. The top is nothing but a boulder field, so be prepared to scramble. There is still quite a bit of snow on the trail with some sections blocked, or washed out. The Sugarloaf area is not yet opened either, so you must park outside the gate and hike an additional mile just to get to the trailhead. The many lakes, flowers, and the breathtaking view from the top, make this a must hike trail!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Beautiful hike today! Very windy, however.

hiking
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Hiked it the day after viewing the eclipse near Casper. Trail earns its moderate rating mostly due to several boulder field scrambles near the top. Leave your poles in the car - they'll just get in your way.

hiking
Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Lewis Lake Trail is the shortest of the three routes to Medicine Bow Peak. Being the shortest means the elevation gains to the peak are more dramatic. The trailhead begins at Lewis Lake, where there is ample parking, and an easy start for the hike. As the trail heads past Lewis Lake, the going is pretty level, and the scenery is beautiful. The trail then begins to climb toward the saddle between Sugarloaf Mountain and Medicine Bow Peak. Once the trail reaches the saddle, it joins with the Medicine Bow Trail for the remaining 0.8 mile hike to the peak. It is constant switchbacks up the slope until the trail reaches a boulder scramble for the last 0.1 mile to the summit. Once the trail leaves the saddle, the views to the summit are stunning! Looking down on the lakes below, as the trail ascends 1000 feet, is a blast! There were a couple of ice fields, one over the trail near the summit. Medicine Bow Peak is 12,013 feet, and is the highest point in the Snowy Range, so the 360-degree views from the top are stunning! This trail begins at over 10,000 feet, and climbs to just over 12,000 feet. I had been in Wyoming 3 days before I tried this summit, so I had a little time for acclimatization, and I would certainly recommend that if you are unaccustomed to hiking at altitude. I had to take many breathing breaks, but it was worth the effort!

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