Views of the Snowy Range at Libby Flats Observation Site

Looking toward the Snowy Range from the Libby Flats Observation Tower, Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming

Looking toward the Snowy Range from the Libby Flats Observation Tower

Our goal in visiting the Snowy Range in southern Wyoming was to hike the trail up to Medicine Bow Peak.  That was an amazing hike, but looking for a place to eat breakfast early on the morning of the hike, we stumbled onto the Libby Flats Observation Site, a castle-like overlook with views to the Snowy Range and across nearby meadows and a lake.  It’s lovely, and the trail is very short – only 0.125 miles RT!

From the parking area, walk the paved path to the stairway up the castle-like or fortress-like viewing area.  Binoculars are available, but really, the views are quite good without them.

The Snowy Range from the Libby Flats Observation Tower, Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming

The Snowy Range

To the north is the Snowy Range, to the east and south are flat meadowlands (even a small lake).  The outline of the Rockies is also visible to the south.

 

If you want a slightly longer trail, hike the 0.25 mile loop by turning right at the foot of the stairs.  The trail has more scenic views before returning you to the parking area.

Looking south from the Libby Flats Observation Tower - those are the Rockies in the distance. Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming

Looking south – those are the Rockies in the distance

It’s not long, but the observation area does pack a punch in terms of views… I can’t even imagine how pretty the Snowy Range would be with snow on it…

Round Trip Trail Length: 0.125 to 0.3 miles

Elevation change: Negligible

Facilities: Primitive restrooms

Fees: None

Trail Notes: Enjoy the architecture of the observation tower!

The railing gives the Libby Flats Observation Tower a distinctly castle- or fortress-like appearance. Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming

The railing gives the observation tower a distinctly castle- or fortress-like appearance

Trail ★★★★☆

Road ★★★★☆

Signs ★★★★☆

Scenery ★★★★☆

Would I go 100 miles out of my way for this? ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

 

Key GPS Coordinates for Libby Flats Observation Site

Parking Area: 41.34206N / -106.29916W (41° 20′ 31.4154″ / -106° 17′ 56.976″) (10,849ft)

Observation Tower: 41.34117N / -106.29844W (41° 20′ 28.2114″ / -106° 17′ 54.3834″)

Views west from the Libby Flat Observation Tower, Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming

Views west

Getting to the Libby Flats Observation Site

From I-80 in Laramie, WY take Exit 311 to Snowy Range Road; turn left under the highway (if coming from I-80E) or right (if coming from I-80W).  After 0.8 miles, turn right onto WY-130W (Snowy Range Road).  Continue to follow WY-130 39.6 miles.  Turn left into the parking area, marked for Medicine Bow National Forest Observation Point Libby Flats.

 

Alternatively, from I-80 take Exit 235; turn right (from I-80W) or left under the highway (from I-80E).  (This is the same exit as for Hobo Pool; since you’ll be driving right past the door more or less, I highly recommend you check it out on your through!)  Drive 27.9 miles on WY-130E, then turn left to stay on WY-130E.  After another 28.4 miles, turn right left into the parking area, marked for Medicine Bow National Forest Observation Point Libby Flats.

 

Note: this road may be closed in winter, and the observations site is likely snowed in at least into, if not through, the month of May.

Descending from the Libby Flats Observation Tower, Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming

Descending from the observation tower


Partly Cloudy
Friday Fri May 26 20%
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Windy with a mix of clouds and sun. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High near 60F. Winds WSW at 20 to 30 mph.
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Sunny early followed by increasing clouds and a few showers later in the day. Thunder possible. High 57F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.
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Mostly sunny skies during the morning hours will give way to occasional showers in the afternoon. High near 60F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
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Tuesday Tue May 30 50%
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Mostly sunny in the morning. Increasing clouds with showers later in the day. Thunder possible. High 63F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%.