Section 2: Trip Five

The Palmer Canyon Road from Wheatland west to Rock River

 

Open Google Map at GPS Coordinates:

 
Beginning: 42.045518, -104.982660
     Ending: 41.784708, -105.983173
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This trip begins by taking W-312 west from Wheatland (I-25, exit #78). After one mile, the road turns south to a junction on top of a hill. Here you can continue south to W-34.Turn west on the Palmer Canyon Road. As the road heads west past several side roads, you can see Laramie Peak to the northwest, Collins Peak and Britania Mountain to the west, and Squaw Mountain to the southwest.

Two miles after passing by the Hightower Road running east and west, the road crosses Sybille Creek and you can see the Cooney Hills to the near south. After four more miles, you cross the Laramie River and begin following Luman Creek toward Green Mountain. The road then crosses Luman Creek and you begin climbing above Palmer Canyon and traveling past ponderosa pine trees.

The pavement ends as you enter Albany County (A-721) and you continue to climb above the canyon for two more miles. You then drop down into a small canyon that travels between Collins Peak (The Notch) and Britania. Along here you see a few cottonwood and aspen trees. The road climbs again for about two miles and you can see Split Rock and Reese Mountain to the south.

The road drops down a bit to Ashley Creek and then climbs up again. Here you begin traveling along the open country on top where you have a great view of Collins Peak and the cut where Ashley Creek passes between Split Rock and Reese Mountain. After three miles you come to a junction. Here you can take the Cottonwood Park Road (A-71) north toward Laramie Peak. On this road, you drop down into a beautiful canyon along Sturgeon Creek and follow it to the North Laramie River. That road then cross the river and climbs up a bit to Cottonwood Park. There you can either go east to Wheatland or continue north to Esterbrook and Douglas (see page 34).

Continue southwest toward Rock River on A-721. The road travels nine miles across the Davidson Flats and part of the Laramie Peak Big Game Winter Range to another junction. Here you can take the Garrett Road (A-713) north to the Bear Creek Road going through Friend Park, the Fetterman Road going to either Douglas or Rock River, or the Medicine Bow Road going to either Douglas or Medicine Bow (see page 30 and page 32). The small 2-track going south at this junction connects with the Tunnel Road.

Continue southwest toward Rock River on A-721 to the next junction (two miles). Here you can take the Tunnel Road (A-727) east across Dodge Creek (four miles). After four more miles, that road then drops down past Elmers Rock to the Laramie River. After crossing the river, it travels southeast for about 12 miles to W-34 at mile #36.

Continue southwest on A-721. After about two miles the road drops over a small divide where you can see Wheatland #3 ahead of you. The road heads toward the Snowy Range Mountains and Elk Mountain for nine miles to another junction where A-721 ends. Here you can take the Fetterman Road A-61 north through Downy Park to Douglas (see page 30). Along this route, you can also take the Garrett Road toward Wheatland, or the Mule Creek Road to Marshall and then to Rock River, Medicine Bow, or Douglas.

Turn southwest on the Fetterman Road (A-61) and after four miles, you pass Rock Creek Lake off to the north. After about four more miles, you pass a small road turning northwest toward the Freezeout and Shirley Mountains.

Stay to the southwest and the road begins following along Rock Creek and then crosses it in four miles. You continue to follow the creek for about two miles and the road swings to the west. Here you can see the Snowy Range to the south, Elk Mountain to the southwest, and Laramie Peak to the northeast. After two more miles, you hit US-30 at mile #287 north of Rock River.