Vedauwoo Recreation Area’s gravity-defying rock formations are naturally equipped to entertain climbers, hikers, campers and others in pursuit of outdoor recreation. Known to the Arapaho Indians as “Land of the Earthborn Spirit,” Vedauwoo’s (pronounced vee-duh-voo) protrusions of Sherman granite were shaped by millions of years of icy, windy and wet weather.
Whether you’re interested in scaling the ancient sculpture’s rounded rocks, investigating the surrounding aspen and pine forests or simply passing time deciphering animal shapes in the formations, Vedauwoo is the perfect place to stop. Here are some activities to consider for your upcoming Vedauwoo adventure.
Hiking and Biking
Mountain bikers, hikers and trail runners can progress tirelessly on trails among the pine and aspen trees with views of the Medicine Bow Mountains. A variety of smooth trails are available for mountain bikers and those seeking an easier trek, while hikers with their hearts set on a view from Vedauwoo’s summits can tackle more challenging vertical trails. Many trails also permit travel by horseback, if you have one of those hiking buddies in tow.
Popular trails include Turtle Rock, a 3-mile route that circles Turtle Rock (we’ll leave judgment of the rock pile’s alleged amphibian shape to you), and the Box Canyon Trail, a route that leads up to Glen Dome for stunning views of the entire area. While you explore the trails, watch for beavers and other wildlife, including deer, pronghorn antelope, coyotes, raptors, elk and moose. Discover more Wyoming hiking trails.
A haven for climbers since the 1940s, Vedauwoo is rumored to host more than 700 different routes, notably wide-crack (offwidth) climbs. Bouldering and traditional routes are also available for less daring mountaineers. Those who reach the top of the rock masses of are rewarded with spectacular views.
Climbing season at Vedauwoo stretches from mid-April to mid-October, and the average difficulty of routes ranges from Class 5.6 to 5.13. For the ultimate climbing experience, hire a rock-climbing guide.
Camping and Other Lodging Options
Vedauwoo Campground is a great place to set up camp to explore the boulders, slabs and cliffs and the surrounding Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest. The campground, open May 15 through Nov. 1, accommodates RVs and has an area for tent camping. The campsites cannot be reserved and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
Laramie, a college town steeped in Old West history located less than 30-minutes away from Vedauwoo, has inviting places to spend the night after a long day at the monument, including an assortment of hotels and inns. Or head to the charming small town of Centennial (about 50 minutes from Vedauwoo), where you will find quaint bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals and a hotel. Find more places to stay in Wyoming.