Vedauwoo . Wyoming
Only for a night, but our camping trip was a nice change from the hectic cities we’ve visited over the past few months.
Only 120 miles from Denver you can find endless plains, open interstates, and trucks that are actually used for hauling hay and farming equipment. The blue skies give way to dark clouds and rain, and a shift in the wind brings back the blue, over and over throughout the day. The most scenic sight is what’s NOT there: No garish big box stores, no long string of family chain restaurant with their identifiable red neon stripe, and very little else except for the occasional sound of the trains rushing by.
Each time I drive north of Denver I’m shocked at the extreme pace of development. 10 years ago when I moved here the area north of 120th Street in Denver was nothing but farmland all the way up to Fort Collins.
Now when I take a trip north I see the former fields and prairies succumbed to seas of asphalt parking lots. The car dealerships, monotonous chain restaurants, and the typical big box stores are planted in the center, as if they fell that way completed from the sky.
Fortunately the rapid sprawl gives way to wide open spaces north of Fort Collins. Crossing the border into Wyoming at highway 287 you’re greeted with liquor stores and beat up pick up trucks that actually are used on farms hauling supplies.
About 20 miles north of Colorado at interstate 80 is Laramie, where we picked up some hot dogs, firewood, and last minute supplies for our camping trip. Vedauwoo is about 15 miles east of Laramie on 80, and is a large area of land with amazing rock formations, making it a destination for climbers.
A small campground is located at the entrance, but for tent folks like us it’s best to find a spot off of the long dirt road which travels into the far reaches of the park. This is the best place to camp, as you can many remote and isolated sites tucked between the enormous rock formations, and nearby lightly wooded forests.
A GPS or map of the park helps, since many of the roads fork into smaller roads and turnoffs, and it’s easy to get lost if you don’t remember the way you came in.
Our site above…
We found a campsite on a hill with a rock wall on the back side, and the open valleys below on the other side. A small creek was at the bottom of the hill, (and I didn’t even realize there were creeks and lakes at Vedauwoo).
We set up our tent, and Ryan, Melissa, and Suzy, (their dog), joined us a few hours later.
We made our fire up on this big flat rock to keep the smoke from blowing into the tents. It worked out perfectly for our kitchen. It worked out perfectly to cook our hot dogs, macaroni, and have chips and beer while watching the sunset, and later lightning storms to the north.
After setting up we took a hike on top of the rocks, and back into the woods. From the top of the rocks we spotted a lake, and scrambled down the rocks and walked in that direction. Hiking around Vedauwoo isn’t strenuous. There’s large fields between the rocks, and some of the forests have lightly traversed paths.
The creek travels through this beautiful lake, and is only about a half mile from the campsite. Didn’t see any beavers, but they were obviously busy at work on their house below.
We walked through the forest and followed the creek back to our campsite.
My birch tree photo, bland enough to be on a Hallmark store calender!