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Section 2: Trip Two

The Fetterman Road from Rock River north to Douglas

 

Open Google Map at GPS Coordinates:

 
Beginning: 41.784708, -105.983135
     Ending: 42.755335, -105.408673
 

 

This trip begins by turning off US-30 at mile #287, just north of Rock River. As you head east on the Fetterman Road (A-61), Laramie Peak is to the northeast, the Snowy Range is south, and to the southwest is Elk Mountain. After two miles, the road swings northeast and follows along Rock Creek. Four miles after crossing the creek, a small road turns northwest toward the Freezeout and Shirley Mountains, but continue northeast across the Laramie Plains.

You pass Rock Creek Lake after about four miles and four miles further is a junction at Wheatland Reservoir #3. Here the Palmer Canyon Road (A-721) goes northeast to Cottonwood Park (34 miles). Along this road you can go to Sybille Canyon (W-34), Wheatland, Glendo, or Douglas (see page 34 and page 36).

Turn north on A-61 and after three miles you cross Spring Creek and pass by Red Hill (off to the east a bit). The road continues north across Seven-mile Creek (three miles) and across the plains to a small lake at Twenty-mile Draw (nine more miles). North of the lake is a junction at Twentytwo-mile Draw. Here the Mule Creek Road (A-64) turns northwest for 16 miles to a junction with the Marshall Road (A-610). There you can travel to Rock River, Medicine Bow, Casper, or Douglas (see page 34 and page 38).

Continue north on A-61 for one mile to another junction. Here the Garrett Road (A-713) turns east toward Cow Creek Mountain. Along this road you can hit the Palmer Canyon Road by turning south at Garrett, or you can go through Friend Park to Esterbrook (and then over to Douglas, Glendo, or Wheatland).

Stay to the north for three more miles and you come to another junction. Here the Esterbrook/Eagle Peak Road (A-710) turns east toward Cow Creek Mountain. On this road you can join the road going through Friend Park at the base of Eagle Peak (15 miles). From there you can travel to Esterbrook.

Stay on A-61 to the north. The road passes by Toltec Reservoir (two miles) and then by the Hay Creek Road (A-76, dead end to the east). About two miles north of A-76, you go by a small lake and pass between Smith Mountain on the west and Bar-M Mountain on the east. Two miles north of the lake, you get a quick glimpse of Bell Butte and Bell Mountain, by looking northeast up the North Laramie River Drainage. Also here, the road to Toltec turns east and dead ends.

Just past this view, the road goes by Soldier Creek Reservoir. Here Mule Creek Mountain is just off to the west. About three miles north of the reservoir, you pass between Forty-mile Peak (to the west) and Flattop Mountain (to the east). Along here you can see Blacktail Peak to the northeast. To the northwest is Brumley Mountain and behind it is the taller Camelback Mountain.

After a few miles, you begin following LaBonte Creek past willow, spruce, pine, aspen, and a few cedar trees. The road crosses the creek several times during the next four miles down to the LaBonte Canyon Road. This is a beautiful drive and return road to the Curtis Gulch Campground.

The road then climbs a bit, away from the creek, and you can see Camelback Mountain (and why it got the name) to the west. Behind Brumley Mountain to the south is Forty-mile Peak. To the southeast is Flattop Mountain.

Two miles after crossing Indian Creek, A-61 changes to C-16 at the county line and you begin traveling through Downy Park. Here you can see Warbonnet Peak to the west. As the road crosses Gould Creek, you can see a cut in the mountains to the east where West Fork LaBonte Canyon drops over the other side. Packsaddle Mountain is now to the southeast.

As you continue north, you pass by School Section Mountain (small hump to the west) and you can see Squaw Mountain (pointed) and Buffalo Peak (domed) to the far west. The road follows along a ridge and, as you drop down to the junction below, you can see Baldy Point off to the east.

At the junction with the Cold Springs Road, you can take C-24 southwest along LaPrele Creek to the North Fork Little Medicine Bow River and the Shirley Basin. From there you can travel to Rock River, Medicine Bow, or Casper (see page 32).

Turn north on C-24 and the road drops down Virden Hill and crosses Little LaPrele Creek. Two miles further, C-24 ends and you join W-91 at mile #23. Here C-11 goes north to the Windy Ridge Road.

As you follow LaPrele Creek to the northeast on W-91, you pass by Moss Agate Hill off to the west and at mile #17 is a junction where C-15 turns west to join C-11. One mile further on W-91, the Windy Ridge Road (C-14) turns west and crosses C-11 and continues west to the Boxelder Road (about ten miles, see page 37).

Continuing north on W-91, you pass by LaPrele Reservoir and at mile #11 you go through Hazenville Pass. As the road begins to drop down Nine-mile Hill, Sheep Mountain is to the south.

At mile #7 the Bedtick Road (C-8) turns southeast to W-94, and at mile #6 you pass by the Chalk Buttes Road (C-9) also going east to W-94. Stay on W-91 and the road climbs a small hill to a junction at mile #3. Here W-96 goes west to I-25 at exit #151. Turn east for three miles to I-25 at Douglas.

I once had a girl friend who said she thought the Laramie plains looked like the moon. I think the fact that she meant this in a derogatory way had something to do with why she is now an old girl friend.