Saturday, May 7, 2011

Vedauwoo Wyoming: Turtle Rock Trail and Beyond

Distance: 3.2 mile loop (Turtle Rock), at least 6 miles if you include Renyold's Hill and the Devil's Playground
Elevation: 8,280 ft
Elevation Gain: 958 ft (up and down)
Date Hiked: 13 May 2007

Vedauwoo, in the Medicine Bow National Forest Wyoming, is a unique treat. This formation is in an area called the Devil's Playground.

Vedauwoo, (pronounced "vee-da-voo") is a cool area in Wyoming filled with interlocking trails, interesting rock formations, beaver ponds, and young Aspens. It is a great place to hike, bike, rock climb or lounge.

The start of the Turtle Rock Trail
Vedauwoo rocks are formed from Sherman Granite.

Just across the border from Colorado, it makes for a unique day trip for Denverites and an easy jaunt from those in Ft. Collins. It is also easy to find, just take I-80 west of Cheyenne to exit 329 (Vedauwoo Road). There is a very nice campground in the park for those who want a quick getaway from the city.

My friend Tom revels in an early spring day.
This lone boulder is on the back side (having gone clockwise) of the Turtle Rock Loop.
On this trip, a friend took us on the Turtle Rock Trail and then veered east toward Reynold's Hill and the Devil's Playground before returning to Turtle Rock. Since I did this trip in 2007 before I started blogging, this post won't be as accurate as my current descriptions. We did at least 6 miles that day but I can't give you our exact route beyond Turtle Rock, just the major destinations. Many of the rock formations in the area are named and easily identifiable.

A view of the Sherman Mountains from the north side of the Turtle Rock Trail

Streams crisscross the area. Many contain small ponds with Beaver houses or dams.

The word Vedauwoo means "land of the earthborn spirit" in native Arapaho. The granite rock formations that are the main attraction are 1.4 billion years old. Hard as a rock (ha!) this stone resisted erosion and remained long after much softer substrate slowly drained away.

Looking east with Turtle Rock to our backs at Reynold's Hill, our next destination. We'll be crossing that meadow filled with Sagebrush.

Getting closer to Reynold's Hill

If you enjoy rocky scenery, you may wish to check out Mathew Winters Park in Golden and Roxbourough State Park south of Denver for easy hikes and Goose Creek Trail south of Pine for a more strenuous experience. Further away is the Dillon Pinnacles.

A nice view of Renyold's Hill
A map showing the Vedauwoo area. The icon in the lower left is the start of the Turtle Rock Trail. Turtle Rock is obvious on the terrain map. The first icon in the upper right is Reynold's Hill with the Devil's Playground just beyond.


Linda said...

I didn't realise lounging was in your vocabulary, Sylvia! said...

Hi Sylvia! Awesome blog!!

I was wondering if I could use one of your photos in this post for my blog, The Roaming Naturalist - I would be happy to link your blog and credit you in any way you need. Please let me know at roamingnaturalist (at) gmail (dot) com. Thank you so much!