Beat the Late Summer Heat: RV Camping in Medicine Bow National Forest

There’s a place just three hours north of Denver that beckons RV travelers to escape late summer’s oppressive heat.  The deep-forest and lakeside campgrounds of Wyoming’s Medicine Bow National Forest are ringed by snowcapped peaks, steeped in Native American lore and perfectly positioned for maximum outdoor recreation.

Medicine Bow National Forest

Medicine Bow National Forest

Sound like the kind of place you’d like to spend late summer experiencing? Don’t hesitate to make plans, as most campgrounds in this national forest are only open through mid-September.  But there’s still time to park the RV beneath the trees and absorb the cool, green wonders of Medicine Bow.

If that sounds too sedate for your active RV camping crew, never fear. There are so many different ways to experience Wyoming’s Snowy Range!  Here are just a few ideas for spending time while RV camping in Medicine Bow National Forest:

  • Camp at Vedauwoo Recreation Area, just twenty miles east of Laramie, WY on I-80. The campground is surrounded by enormous granite formations, with unforgettable views of the Snowy Range.  The National Park Service has taken great pains to create a comfortable campground that manages to seem wild and remote.

What to do while camping at Vedauwoo?  Go mountain biking on Turtle Rock Trail, hike the more than twenty miles of trails through high meadows and subalpine forests (not to mention taking in the rock formations all around you), or take a quick drive over to the Ames Monument “Pyramid” on the other side of I-80.

  • Did we mention that Medicine Bow NF stretches out for a million acres in southern Wyoming? That’s why it’s possible to camp at places like Silver Lake Campground, eighteen miles east of Centennial on WY-130 (also known as the Snowy Range Scenic Byway) and feel like you’ve left civilization behind. This small, well-planned campground at just over ten thousand feet elevation is only open July to September, making it the perfect late summer refuge.

If you choose Silver Lake as your Medicine Bow RV camping base, the sky’s the limit for outdoor recreation. Hikers will enjoy the short but awesomely scenic trail around the lake and trails to special places like Lake Marie Falls.  There’s also a trail up Medicine Bow Peak, where you can hike as far as your expertise allows (snow and ice even in mid-June, some scrambling across boulder fields near the summit), with magnificent views of the Smoky Range at every level.

Silver Lake itself is popular with ‘belly boat’ fishermen and kayakers, too, so bring the watercraft if that’s your passion.

  • Speaking of fishing, the small Sugarloaf campground tucked into the spruce and pine forests on Libby Lake offers campers the chance to fish two clear, snowmelt lakes—Libby Lake and Lewis Lake—for brook trout and splake.

Popular trailheads in the Sugarloaf area invite hikers to explore the forest or hike the slopes of Sugarloaf Mountain. Great vacation photos guaranteed!

Whether escaping the late summer heat for you means relaxing in a quiet forest campground, hiking to a mountain summit or fishing and paddling your way across an alpine lake, Medicine Bow National Forest is the place to be.

Pick up a Denver RV rental and head north to Wyoming. The Smoky Range is waiting to fulfill your late summer, RV camping dreams.

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