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Day 13 Wyoming Mt Rushmore Yellowstone Tetons 14 day trip

Elk Mountain, Wyoming to Cheyenne, Wyoming - Day 13

Drive Time: 4 hours

Hotels in Cheyenne WY:

Nagle Warren Mansion Bed and Breakfast

The Historic Plains Hotel


Early western ranches

Snowy Range Scenic Byway

Vedauwoo and Ames Monument

This route takes you through some of the early ranches in the West, with the hay meadows adjacent to the North Platte River, most of them are still being ranched today, many by the same families. The North Platte offers excellent fly fishing. The route goes gradually from the valley to alpine meadows and lakes, with the Snowy Range Mountains as a showy backdrop. After Laramie, the road goes over the “summit” and close by a delightfully interesting rock outcropping called Vedauwoo. Then you will have panoramic views out across the prairie as you descend into Cheyenne.

Directions: Ask Susan or Arthur for directions to Saratoga, Wyoming, another quintessential ranch community. From Saratoga take WY 130 south about 8 miles, then there is a left turn to stay on WY 130 over the Snowy Range Scenic Highway to Laramie.

From Laramie take I-80 east to Exit #329. The Ames Monument is to the right about a mile and Vedauwoo is to the left about 2 miles. Continue east on I-80 to Exit #362, then turn left on Central Avenue to downtown Cheyenne.

Snowy Range Road Scenic Highway climbs high above the Wyoming prairie and passes through Medicine Bow National Forest and the Snowy Range where you'll see snow on these towering peaks even in summer.

June and July are prime months for the wildflower bloom, and hikers can enjoy several byway-accessible trails, including a route up Medicine Bow Peak (12,013 feet). Alpine lakes offer fly fishing for high-country trout, and deer, elk, and moose all forage within sight of the drive.

The Ames Monument honors Oakes and Oliver Ames who financially rescued the Union Pacific railroad during the westward construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. Completed in 1882 at a cost of $65,000, this monolithic 60-foot high granite pyramid was built by the Union Pacific Railroad Company. It stands on the highest elevation (8,247 feet) of the original transcontinental route. Until 1901, when the railroad was relocated several miles to the south, it passed close by the north side of the monument where once stood the rail town of Sherman. Noted American architect H. H. Richardson designed the Monument and it includes 2 bas relief sculptures by America’s premier sculptor Augustas Saint-Gaudens.

Vedauwoo National Forest Recreation Area or  “Land Of The Earth Born Spirit”. While from the road it may not look like much, when you drive in you will find interesting rock formations, flora, and fauna. Take an easy walk like Box Canyon or longer like Turtle Rock Trail. There are normally rock climbers testing their skills.


Nagle Warren Mansion Bed and Breakfast

The Historic Plains Hotel


Western Wear at the Wrangler

Cheyenne Street Trolley

Historic Downtown Carriage Rides

Cheyenne Depot Museum

Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum

Wyoming State Capitol

Historic Governors Mansion

Cheyenne Botanic Gardens

On to Day 14

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