Medicine Bow Peak via Lakes Trail Loop

HARD 190 reviews

Medicine Bow Peak via Lakes Trail Loop is a 6.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Saratoga, Wyoming that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.7 miles Elevation Gain: 1,712 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

Rocky scramble at higher elevation, subalpine wildflowers are plentiful. Very steep and follows switchbacks up to the highest points on the Snowy Range. Dogs are allowed on this trail but may have a difficult time traversing it due to large rocks and crevices.

hiking
rocky
8 days ago

I didn't complete the full trail. I hiked up the backside of the mountain starting at forest road 103 (must have a 4x4). The distance was 3.7 miles up, then down. Awesome views! Not highly trafficked.

hiking
19 days ago

It was absolutely a great hike and I highly recommend completing the loop and not going up and down the same way. It wasn’t very difficult and my dogs had no issues at all. I would rank it as a more moderate hike than hard.

I love the first mile of this trail! It’s steep, but is very satisfying! If you go all the way to the summit it is also worth the trip, although going up the back side of the mountain isn’t very pleasant most days

hiking
1 month ago

Me and my boyfriend Rob hiked this on 9/14 with our dogs. It was amazingly beautiful to say the least. A different hike for hiking enthusiasts. Lots of little lakes and spectacular views. Lots of rocks to maneuver but well worth the struggles. Beautiful area and great camping.

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

So far, this is the hardest and most rewarding trail I’ve ever hiked. It might not have been the smartest thing to climb this mountain less than 3 hours after landing in Denver from DC but I’m so happy I did. We were sucking air pretty hard for the first mile or so trying to acclimate to the higher altitude but the views were absolute stunning in every direction for the entire hike. And after visiting and hiking various trails in Shenandoah, Acadia, and RMNP, this one takes the cake and is way more peaceful and secluded (only saw 2 other people on the trail). And I would echo the other reviews of this trail and start your hike clockwise to make it a little easier on yourself.

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent hike!

Absolutely stunning views on the entire length of the trail. Started the loop at the Lake Marie trailhead and made it to the summit in less than 2 hours with frequent stops. Very windy about a mile in. Went off trail to take in the scenery. A little scramble towards the top but nothing major. Going down has a lot of loose gravel, but otherwise fairly easy. I normally do not repeat hikes, but I would do this one again in a heartbeat.

hiking
rocky
scramble
snow
1 month ago

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Strong 5, just excellent. Did on a holiday weekend and traffic wasn't terrible, saw about 10 others. I hiked it clockwise where as everyone else was doing counterclockwise. Definately recommend counter clockwise. Just beautiful views and scenery all the way.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing hike with great views. Lots of rock scrambling but plenty of fence post poles to mark the pathway. I ended up going right (counter clockwise) from the Mirror Lake parking area. It was certainly pretty steep once you get to the Sugarloaf Mountain area and start to turn up to the peak. My feet got a little sore, even in good boots, from walking on all the jagged rock. Pretty windy most of the time, but that's Wyoming. Only a little snow at the top but no bugs. Not kid friendly. Started at 745am and got done at 1145am, with a break at the peak. Beautiful views from elevation and I would totally repeat the hike.

hiking
1 month ago

No words.

A well marked, moderate steep but rocky trail in a windy place. Nice view from Medicine Bow Peak. It’s a popular hike.

1 month ago

I started at the lake Marie trailhead and went up clockwise- starting on the left side of Lake Marie so that elevation gain was gradual. I think this is the best way to go as the other way up is a LONG series of intense switchbacks on very rocky terrain. Temperature was great. It is VERY windy. I stopped by the information center for a map and they were super helpful and nice. They told me to park at Lake Marie because it is free which was super nice. I am not sure about mirror lake, but I know the Lewis lake trailhead had a fee. Also, I went on a Saturday around noon and it wasn’t even that busy. Coming from Colorado, I am used to trails being over exploited so this was a very nice and refreshing experience. I easily found a parking spot and after the first mile, I barely saw anyone until I reached the peak of medicine bow. I would highly suggest some type of ear coverage as the wind got insane at some points. I was hiking with an overnight hiking backpack and found some of the rock scrambling difficult with the added weight. Camping is free and allowed on the trail. I found a beautiful spot once down from the switchbacks right before mirror lake on the left hand side of the trail. Ice was only present in one small section of the trail, but there was an exposed rock area next to it that someone could take if they weren’t comfortable / didn’t have shoes for the snow. It is just like twenty feet of snow left at this point. Summit is a bit scrambly with the rocks. Nothing too crazy thought. Overall, beautiful. Great temperature- even at night! So nice to hike something this beautiful without huge crowds and with free parking and camping. Worth doing the entire loop. Way up is equally beautiful as the way down, but such different scenery on each side of the range, making it truly captivating the whole time. A little strenuous with the huge overnight pack, but def doable. If I were to do it again, I would hike light and then keep my camping gear in my car and hike back to lake Marie trailhead, grab gear, and walk back in about 1.8 miles to the good camping areas because the journey that way is pretty flat and would help avoid carrying excessive weight (as I did) over the range.

hiking
rocky
scramble
snow
1 month ago

I love the beauty of this hike. It was super windy and cold today, but otherwise gorgeous. Started early just incase a midday storm came through. Lots of people coming in around clockwise...likely to get in before snows start taking over the place.

hiking
2 months ago

We completed this hike 8/19. Great views and well maintained, easy to follow trail. We did the hike clockwise for a more moderate elevation grade. Summit was around 4 miles into the hike. We started later than we should have and got caught in a brief hail storm. I would rate this trail as moderate difficulty.

running
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked on Sunday 8/11, clockwise. Left the trailhead at Lake Marie at 7:30am, only 5-6 other cars in the lot. Parts of this trail are a little strenuous and there's some bouldering at the top. stunning views of the lakes and cliff faces on the east side. If you hike this counter clockwise, you'll have a 1,000 ft ascent in about 0.8 miles to the top. Pretty steep! There was still about 100 yards of snow to cross near the summit, but no big deal getting across it. A little muddy and marshy in spots around the lakes. Expect to get your feet wet. I took my dog, a 75 lb boxer/German shepherd mix. She is an experienced hiker and did great. I'd be careful taking small dogs though -- or expect to carry them a bit -- due to the handful of boulder fields.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely beautiful 100% suggested, no regreats Rated hard, although mostly due to elevation change. Some areas have a lot of boulders, if your stable on your feet and cardio is good go for it.

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