Snowy Range Scenic Byway
Activity Phone: 307-745-4195
Hours: Memorial Day - November & Snowmobile Access November - May
The Snowy Range Scenic Byway (Wyoming Highway 130) is located in southeast Wyoming and was originally a wagon road built in the 1870s. In the 1920s was widened and smoothed using horse-drawn equipment. The road was paved in the 1930s and designated as the nation’s second Scenic Byway in 1988. After six years of working on the road, it was completed and known as the “Great Skyroad.” The Scenic Byway over the Snowy Range is one of the shortest of Wyoming’s scenic byways, both in length and in the number of months it can be driven. The Snowy Range Scenic Byway is the second highest mountain pass in Wyoming. Snow usually closes the highest section of the road about early to mid-November and snowplows traditionally open the road in May right around Memorial Day weekend.
The land known as the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests has a long history dating back to 8,000 years ago when ancestors of the Plains Indians inhabited the area. The Northern Arapaho, Oglala Sioux, Northern Cheyenne, Eastern Shoshone, and the White River Utes all frequented the area. The region was used by these tribes who took advantage of its wildlife bounty. They frequented the forest to gather the prime “lodge pole pine” wood they liked to use for teepee poles and firewood. The soothing mineral hot springs along the banks of the North Platte River provided a welcome place to “make medicine” to cure their ills and to hold ceremonial pow-wows. Truly a “land of many uses,” the Snowy Range supports an active timber harvesting industry in addition to providing traditional livestock forage, watershed and outdoor recreation benefits.
Alpine Splendor and Beauty
The Snowy Range Scenic Byway is a spectacular “cut-across” for travelers. This scenic alternative to I-80 takes you through the majestic Snowy Range Mountains, past deep glacial lakes, pastoral meadows, rushing mountain streams and awe inspiring granite peaks.
The Scenic Byway has numerous places to stop or pull off for visitors to take in the serenity of the Snowy Range. During your drive remember to be cautious of wildlife on or near the road, especially during early morning and late evening hours.
Leaving Laramie and traveling west on the Scenic Byway, you will drive through the open plains of the traditional old west where the deer and antelope still play. Just 27 miles west of Laramie at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, lays the historic mining town of Centennial.