Snowy Range Scenic Byway

Details

  • DesignationState Byway, Forest Service Byway (1988)
  • LocationWY
  • Length29 miles
Dedicated Byway Visitor Information
Discover Carbon County, WY
Statewide Byway Partners
Wyoming Department of Transportation
Wyoming Byways Guide and Map
Snowy Range Scenic Byway

Overview

The Snowy Range Scenic Byway is a 29-mile stretch of paved road that traverses the majestic Snowy Range Mountains in southeastern Wyoming. It is one of the first scenic byways designated on National Forest lands, and for good reason. The byway offers visitors a chance to experience the best of what Wyoming offers, from towering peaks and pristine lakes to alpine meadows and abundant wildlife.
The byway begins at Centennial, Wyoming, and climbs steadily through sagebrush and lodgepole pine forests. As you ascend, the views become increasingly spectacular. Rugged peaks rise on either side of the road, and snow-capped mountains loom in the distance.
The byway reaches its highest point at Libby Flats, over 10,000 feet in elevation. From Libby Flats, there are panoramic views of the Snowy Range Mountains and the surrounding valleys. On a clear day, you can see the Laramie Range to the east, the Sierra Madre Mountains to the west, and Rocky Mountain National Park to the south, with an observation platform to view and identify visible peaks.
Just a few miles further up the road is Mirror Lake, a stunning alpine lake. Mirror Lake is known for its crystal-clear waters and its reflection of the surrounding mountain faces. It is a popular spot for photography and picnicking.
The next highlight of the byway is Lake Marie, a beautiful lake in a valley surrounded by towering peaks. The lake is a popular spot for fishing, swimming, hiking, and kayaking. There is also a short hiking trail that leads to a small waterfall.
As you continue along the byway, you will pass through several mountain meadows. These meadows are home to wildflowers, including lupine and Indian paintbrush (Wyoming’s state flower). They are also an excellent place to see wildlife, such as elk, deer, moose, and marmots.
The byway ends at the town of Saratoga, Wyoming. Saratoga is a charming town with a rich history. Discover the healing waters of the Saratoga Mineral Hot Springs that the region's Native Americans once frequented for their healing powers.

THINGS TO DO ALONG THE SNOWY RANGE SCENIC BYWAY:
VISIT LAKE MARIE:
Lake Marie is a beautiful alpine lake that is popular for fishing, boating, and hiking.
TAKE A PHOTO OF MIRROR LAKE:
Mirror Lake is known for its clear waters and its reflection of the surrounding mountains. ADMIRE THE VIEW FROM LIBBY FLATS:
Libby Flats is the highest point on the byway and offers panoramic views of the Snowy Range Mountains and the surrounding valleys.
VISIT AN ALPINE MEADOR:
The alpine meadows along the byway are home to a variety of wildflowers and wildlife. SOAK IN THE SARATOGA MINERAL HOT SPRINGS:
Saratoga is known for its hot springs, which are said to have healing properties.
HIKING:
The Lakes Trail is a popular trail that connects Lake Marie and Mirror Lake; gorgeous views will have you stopping every few feet to take that Instagram-worthy photo. If you are looking for more elevation in your hike, try the Medicine Bow Peak Trail, as this very steep trail follows switchbacks up to the highest point on the Snowy Range. The trail reaches the summit of Medicine Bow Peak before it descends to meet the Lakes trail. It is not recommended to hike this trail after 3:00 p.m. due to the chance of lightning. Storms are known to blow in unexpectedly; be prepared!
CAMPING:
Along the Snowy Range Scenic Byway are several wonderful campgrounds such as Bennett Peak Campground which offers bank fishing accessible to persons with disabilities.

TIPS FOR VISITING THE SNOWY RANGE SCENIC BYWAY:
The byway is typically open from Memorial Day through October. However, it is always best to check the road conditions before you go.
The byway is a popular destination for recreationists, so be prepared for crowds, especially on weekends and holidays.
The byway reaches high elevations, so it is important to acclimatize to the altitude before doing any strenuous activities.
Be sure to bring plenty of food, water, and sunscreen. Leave no trace. Pack out everything you pack in. Take nothing but photos and memories, leave nothing but footprints.
HERE IS A POSSIBLE ITINERARY FOR A DAY TRIP ON THE SNOWY RANGE SCENIC BYWAY:
Morning:
Start your day with a visit to Lake Marie. Take some photos, fish from the shore, or hike the short trail to the waterfall. Have lunch at Mirror Lake and take some time to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Afternoon:
Drive to the top of Libby Flats to get an expansive view over the Snowy Range Mountains. Then, head to Saratoga for shopping, dinner, and a soak in the hot springs.

No matter what you choose to do, you are sure to have a memorable experience on the Snowy Range Scenic Byway. It is a truly special place that offers visitors a chance to enjoy Wyoming’s great outdoors.

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