By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The walk to the top of Laramie Peak in northern Albany County has been named as one of the top hikes in the nation by a popular travel magazine.
Last month, “Travel and Leisure” magazine named Laramie Peak as one of its top nine hikes in the United States and Canada, hailing its rugged terrain and the opportunity the trek provides to see wildlife.
“The highest and most prominent peak in the rugged state of Wyoming, Laramie is one of this list’s more rigorous hikes,” the magazine wrote. “It’s a 9.9 mile out-and-back with copious chances for wildlife sightings, including black bears, deer, and mountain lions.
“Like the La Perouse Bay trail (in Hawaii), Laramie’s base is a bit out of the way; it must be accessed by vehicle along a rough-and-tumble gravel road,” the article continued. “Its true off-the-beaten path location, however, means seclusion and mountain zen in spades. The majority of the hike is tree-covered, so fall visitors are pretty much guaranteed a colorful journey.”
The next 10 days will be a great time to see the fall colors on such hikes, according to Wyoming weatherman Don Day.
Other hikes included on the publication’s list include the aforementioned La Perouse Bay in Hawaii, Springwater on the Willamette in Portland, Oregon, and Tom’s Thumb Trail in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Hikers seem to agree with the praise for the Laramie Peak trail, as it is highly rated on the website AllTrails, which documents information about hiking trails around the world. Currently, Laramie Peak has a 4.3 rating out of 5 stars on the website.
“The first (two-thirds) of the hike is moderate, as the trail has a more gradual incline in its switchbacks, is relatively free of tripping obstructions, and goes surprisingly quick. The last (one-third) of the incline is noticeably steeper and the trail is much rockier. The views at the top are amazing, and show two different landscapes. As noted, there’s a fee to utilize the path,” user Chris Nelson said.
“Excellent trail with many places to pause and see great views. The peak is a bit of a mess with abandoned equipment. The views are awesome,” user Tambra Loyd wrote.
“Incredible hike! The dirt roads to get to the trailhead aren’t too bad, a little bumpy, but any pickup or SUV can easily make it. The climb up is moderate for experienced climbers and probably hard if you’ve never climbed a mountain with over 2,500ft of elevation gain. Saw no other people on trail on a Monday morning. I did see a black bear cub at the summit so be aware of bears in area,” user Zac Rhodes wrote.