Coloradoans like myself are seeking the outdoors more than ever. An unprecedented number of people are playing outside, occupying trails, and seeking fresh air. Though I have always considered myself sociable and courteous on trails, having to step off constantly and let others pass by while friendly trail banter is murmured under face coverings is somewhat tiring. Fortunately, our neighbor to the north is not only full of stunning countryside, but is also the least populated state in the USA. Just over the Colorado border, Carbon County, Wyoming has all the travel amenities one could need, plus a vast outdoor landscape to explore.
Photo: Andrew Morgan via Carbon County Visitors Council, Wyoming
The Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest straddles the Colorado-Wyoming border and features loads of alpine lakes and towering granite peaks. My favorite way to escape in the Medicine Bow mountains is via a hike to a high alpine lake where my husband and I can throw a few casts. In previous years we have spent some winter nights cozied up in Saratoga and found plenty of solitude on our cross-country skis. I expect we’ll be doing more of that this coming winter!
Photo: Carbon County Visitors Council, Wyoming
Catch fish and fresh air
Photo: John Blough via Carbon County Visitors Council, Wyoming
Aside from pristine, alpine lake fishing, there are streams and rivers where the (affectionately named) hogs hang out–big fish that is. Actually, I nabbed one of my biggest catches ever on the North Platte River! North French Creek, which parallels the scenic highway 130, is chock-full of brook trout, making for a fun afternoon.
Scenery from behind the wheel
Photo: Emily Sierra Photography
I have come to appreciate the beauty in vast, open prairies and simply the feeling of wide landscapes. Approaching and driving through the hills of Carbon County really allows my mind to wander and feel free. Leaving the prairies in the rear view mirror and heading up the mountains toward the Snowy Range is always a treat. Striking mountain peaks and magnificent lakes are right off the highway, making for always-memorable journeys.
Businesses are open!
Shops, bars, restaurants, and museums—they’re ready to see your face! Dine-in is allowed at restaurants (indoors and out), plus you’ll find plenty of parks nearby where you can bring your take-out for a picnic. Every business may have different regulations though, so it’s always important to check in for specific hotel, restaurant or business guidelines.
A few reminders for safe travel during COVID-19
Remember that visiting a small town during a pandemic is beneficial to the local economy but make sure you visit in a safe and respectful way. If you, or anyone in your party has symptoms of Covid-19, you should stay home until you feel better. To help control the spread of the virus during your travels, wear a mask when social distancing isn’t possible, wash your hand often, and remember that kindness is the key. Taking these simple steps shows respect to other travelers and the locals working hard to help you enjoy your stay.
With that, enjoy this wildlife photo of some baby foxes. Wishing you happy, safe travels!
Photo: Calvin Hazlewood via Carbon County Visitors Council, Wyoming