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Published May 08, 2020
By Jeremy M.
One of my favorite parts of being a college student in Laramie is how much there is to do. Don’t be deceived by the small-town feel, there is so much going on here! As one of the top-rated outdoor schools in the U.S., we have no shortage of things to keep you busy and entertained between classes. We’re only minutes from the mountains, but if that’s not your thing, our local restaurants and shops rival large cities, and our community takes a lot of pride in making sure college students are taken care of.
Here is my top 10 list of things to do while you’re attending school at University of Wyoming. Be sure to check out our Instagram page at @uofwyoming for more fun ideas to help make the most of your college experience!
Just a short 25-minute drive from Laramie, Vedauwoo Recreation Area offers incredible views of gravity-defying rock formations and some of the best rock climbing in the U.S. Along with several hiking trails, fishing holes, and camping and picnic sites, Vedauwoo tops our list of best things to do in Laramie..
The countless attractions of downtown Laramie come in second on our list. Between
the diverse selection of restaurants, the mom-and-pop shops, and the visual attractions,
downtown Laramie offers plenty of fun for everyone. One of our favorite parts of downtown
is the Laramie Mural Project. Check out more details here.
These breathtaking views of Medicine Bow Peak speak for themselves. About a 45-minute drive from Laramie, MedBow Peak is the highest peak in the Snowy Range (12,018 ft). You can hike to the top by following this trail.
Sitting at the base of Medicine Bow Peak is the beautiful (and properly-named) Mirror Lake. Whether you’re here to fish, hike, camp, or just spend the day picnicking, you’ll be more than impressed with the views of this gorgeous mountain lake.
Thirty minutes east of Laramie sits Curt Gowdy State Park, a public recreation area that features an extensive trail system, two fishing reservoirs, and hidden waterfalls. There’s so much to explore here that you may need to take advantage of one of the 101 overnight camping sights.
If you’re looking for some nature within Laramie city-limits, then you’ll love the Greenbelt Trail system. Spanning over 6 miles, the Greenbelt Trail is a paved walkway that runs along the Laramie River. Be sure to keep an eye out for deer, beavers, chorus frogs, herons, red-winged blackbirds, hawks, brown trout, minnows, dragonflies, and butterflies. Find more information about the trail here.
Photo courtesy City of Laramie
Not far from Curt Gowdy State Park is Happy Jack Recreation Area. Happy Jack is home to several trails that are great for hiking, camping, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, horseback riding, and most notably, mountain biking. Trails range from .4 miles to 3 miles long. Happy Jack also offers campsites for those looking to extend their outing.
Thirty minutes west of Laramie is a collection of four alkaline impoundments that serve as the home for lake trout, rainbow trout, and red ‘kype’ trout. The main food sources for trout in these lakes are scuds, caddis, damselflies, dragonflies, callibaetis, and chironomids. Check out the webpage for Laramie Plains Lakes.
Photo courtesy of VisitLaramie.org
Tired of crowds at big ski hills? Looks no further than Snow Range Ski Area. Tucked up in the Medicine Bow National Forest, this ski area offers dozens of run, excellent snow and short lift lines for skiers and snowboarders. Snowy Range also offers students at University of Wyoming (valid student ID required) discounted season pass tickets. Check them out here.
This 75-minute drive from Laramie is well worth the views. This retired fire look-out tower (and hidden gem) is available to rent during the spring, summer and fall seasons. Reserve your spot here.
Courtesy US Department of Agriculture