Medicine Bow–Routt National Forest, Wyoming
In the Laramie Range rock formations in the 10-square-mile area known as Vedauwoo (Arapaho for “land of the earthborn spirit” and pronounced vee-dah-voo) aren’t just any old rocks. Some 70 million years ago geologic uplift left a fold that ran from southeast Wyoming into northern Colorado, and Mother Nature later sculpted its exposed granite into strange shapes with nooks and crannies to spare. Today the formations are a dream come true for fans of rock climbing and bouldering. The Arapaho and Cheyenne who lived in what is now Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest believed the rocks at Vedauwoo were piled up by playful spirits. But you need not be a climber to be enthralled by strangely configured rocks with names like the Coke Bottle, the Rat Brain, Hassler’s Hatbox, and University of Mars.
When hiking the area’s nature trails through pine and aspen forests, keep an eye out for elk, pronghorn antelopes, badgers, wild turkeys, bald eagles, and assorted other wildlife.
Open May – Oct.