When it’s time to “get your west on,” it’s time to head for Wyoming’s Carbon County. Located high on the Continental Divide in south-central Wyoming just west of Laramie, this snowmobile secret sits astride Interstate 80 for easy access from points to the east and west. And with a riding season from November through May, Carbon County has snow when many other areas are brown.
More than 500 miles of trails cover three distinct riding areas within Carbon County. The Snowy Range is the largest and most developed, with 306 miles trails plus extensive off-trail riding in snow up to 12 feet deep. Accessible from the cities of Saratoga, Riverside, Encampment, and Elk Mountain, this area has trail-side services including lodging, dining and gas.
West of the Continental Divide, the Sierra Madres riding area borders the Huston Park Wilderness, and offers terrific trail and backcountry riding in some of the most beautiful landscapes anywhere. Access is available from Baggs on the west side or Encampment on the east side. Outfitters are prepared to provide sleds, guides and pretty much anything else you need for an awesome vacation in either of these areas.
Northern Carbon County offers the Shirley Mountains, a remote area of U.S. Bureau of Land Management-administered public land for additional backcountry and non-groomed trail riding north of Hanna and Medicine Bow.
Virtually all of this awesomely scenic area is at least 6,000 feet above sea level, so if you bring your own sled, make sure it is tuned for best performance at these higher elevations. A modestly priced state permit is required. Air temperatures can vary greatly, so come equipped for changes.
Also, bring your camera so you can enter your action snowmobile shots in Carbon County’s photo contest. Check the website below for rules.
When you are done riding, it’s time to soak up some of the incredible history of this big county and visit the natural hot spring in Saratoga that is free and never closes.
Make this the year that you explore Carbon County. For details and assistance, call toll free 800/228-3547 or go to wyomingcarboncounty.com and check the searchable directory of lodging.