I had Marriott points that were expiring, and we had both been wanting to check out Wyoming since it’s so close to us in Denver. The points were enough to cover a hotel room for one night, so we decided to drive up and check it out! Check out our Wyoming travel guide below!
How we traveled there
We drove to Cheyenne from Denver which took 1.5 hours. After exploring Cheyenne, we drove to Laramie which was another hour. We were told to take the 210 route (Happy Jack Road) for the drive from Cheyenne to Laramie since it was a more scenic route, but our map rerouted us to 80 without knowing. Try to take 210 instead of 80 if you can and let us know how it is! After spending the night in Laramie, we drove to Medicine Bow National Forest which was 30 min from Laramie. After taking a few hours to drive through the park, we stopped in Saratoga, and then drove home from there which was about 3.5 hours.
Where we stayed
We stayed at the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Laramie. It was just a basic hotel but worked out fine for us. They allowed dogs for a $30 additional fee (specify that you want a pet-friendly room) and they had a free breakfast that had options for people with food restrictions.
What activities we experienced
- We grabbed a coffee at the Paramount Cafe and walked around town looking at the painted cowboy boots and murals. The cafe also has a dog-friendly patio behind the building, but it started raining so we could only enjoy it for a few minutes.
- We stopped at Desperado Depot but didn’t buy anything. We tried to go to the women’s clothing store 307 Roots but it was closed.
- On the way into town, we stopped at this sniffspot to let my dog run around. It was a great way to get his energy out in a fenced-in space and was only $9 for the hour.
- We walked around town and looked at a lot of the murals. Check out this self-guided walking tour to guide you.
- We drove through the University of Wyoming
- We stopped into a cute store called Poppy’s
Medicine Bow National Forest
- We entered the park from the east side and stopped at the visitor center. There is one main road called Snow Range Road you can follow through the park and make stops. It takes about an hour to drive through without stops, but with taking stops I’d recommend giving yourself about 2 hours to drive through. We intermittently lost cell service so be prepared for that. Our favorite stop was Lake Marie. We were able to walk up a little hill which overlooks the lake.
- Driving up Brooklyn Lake Road is where we saw a moose!
- These are the two hikes we were planning to do but there was too much snow
- Saratoga is about 20 minutes from the west side of Medicine Bow. We drove up to get lunch and see the town. We tried to go to Snowy Mountain Brewery, but they didn’t have a full menu and also didn’t allow dogs on their outside patio.
- We drove into town and found that almost everything was closed. We aren’t sure if it was because it was Sunday or because it was Father’s Day. We did stop in Sweet Maries Merchantile which had some cute clothes and gift items.
Where we ate
- Lunch at Coal Creek Tap – dog-friendly patio with a large beer selection and board games to play
- Dinner at Sweet Melissa – we sat outside here on their dog-friendly patio. They are a vegan and gluten-sensitive restaurant with delicious dishes and desserts. We also ordered drinks from the cocktail bar next door called Front Street Tavern.
- The Malt – We sat near the river and enjoyed our lunch. They have a dog-friendly patio and also have options for people with food restrictions like a gluten-free bun and vegetarian burger patty.
What we recommend knowing/preparing
- All these towns are on the smaller side and can be explored in 1-2 days total
- There was still snow when we went to Medicine Bow in mid-June, and we heard from a friend there was snow in July when they were there. There was so much snow that we couldn’t do the hike we had planned because the park rangers piled up snow to block the trailheads.
- We’d recommend bringing a winter coat, as well as snowshoes or spikes if you want to do a trail
- The Medicine Bow National Park allows dogs which was great. It also seemed like a heavy fishing area
- Without the snow, Medicine Bow seems pretty accessible for people with physical disabilities, however, with the snow and the way they pile it up/don’t clear it, I would say it would be difficult to do anything besides driving through which was still very pretty.
- Check out our travel tips page for general recommendations
What we didn’t do but looked into
- Cowgirls of the West Museum
- Accomplice Beer Company
- Cheyenne Botanic Gardens
- The Metropolitan Restaurant
- Trolley Tour
- Cheyenne Frontier Days – really popular rodeo festival the last week of July
- Paris West – cute restaurant/bar
- Indigo Buffalo – store we tried to go but was closed
- Ernie November – record store recommended to us by some locals
- Destination Taiwan – Thai restaurant that had great reviews
- Emma’s Old Time Photos – looked like fun and they allow dogs in the photos
- The Wrangler – Western clothing
- The Sugar Moose – cupcake house with a really cute outdoor patio
- Born in a Barn – we were told they have the best burgers
- Anong Thai
- Snowy Mountain Brewery – big outdoor patio with games but they don’t allow dogs on it
- Hobo Hot Springs – free and open 24/7
What we packed
- Hiking clothes
- Jackets (for rain and snow)
- Hats/gloves for the National Forest
- Casual clothes for meals out
- Check out our recommendations for travel clothing and essentials
We hope you enjoyed our Wyoming travel guide. Leave a comment below or contact us for any questions. If you are looking for more domestic trips, then you should also check out our post on visiting the Gorge in Washington state.