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Section 3: Trip Fifteen

Arlington south to Centennial on the Sand Lake Road

 

Open Google Map at GPS Coordinates:

 
Beginning: 41.600295, -106.223971
     Ending: 41.339846, -106.168414
 

This trip begins by taking I-80 exit #272 to Arlington. You head west along the south side of I-80 and go past the Rock Creek Trail to the top of a hill. Here you turn southwest on the Sand Lake Road. The road swings south and you pass below Conical Peak (off to the east) after about two miles. The road (NF-111) travels along West Fork Foote Creek and up a small valley lined with aspen trees. A bit further you begin traveling past lodgepole pine.

One mile after entering the national forest you can see Elk Mountain above White Rock to the west. You now begin seeing limber pine and fir trees. About three miles further is a junction. Here NF-120 turns west and joins the Brush Creek Road (NF-101) near the Bow River Campground.

Continue south on NF-111 toward Sand Lake (seven miles). About one mile from the junction, you can look west across the clear cuts and see Elk Mountain, Coad Mountain, Pennock Mountain, and Kennaday Peak (north to south). To the east is Rock Mountain. As the road travels south, you pass by a road (NF-113) going southeast toward Crater Lake and in two miles you come to another junction. Here you can take NF-101 northwest for eight miles to the Bow River Campground. There you can go to either Stillwater Park, I-80 at Elk Mountain, or W-130 at Ryan Park (see page 59 and page 60).

Turn southeast on NF-101. After passing by the other end of the Crater Lake Road, you come to the Deep Creek Campground and the side road to Sand Lake (15 miles form I-80). Stay on the main road to the east and across Deep Creek.

The road then swings northeast above the Deep Creek drainage, and you can see Lookout Mountain to the north. As the road loops back to the southeast above North Fork Rock Creek, you can see Coyote Hill to the east. After crossing North Fork Rock Creek (five miles from Deep Creek), the road makes another large loop to the northeast and back to the southeast above the Rock Creek drainage. Three miles further you cross Trail Creek.

Four miles after crossing Trail Creek is the North Fork Observation Point. Here you can see Medicine Bow Peak and Browns Peak to the west and to the northwest is Rock Creek Knoll. From this overlook the road drops down to the North Fork Little Laramie River and Campground. You then cross the river and continue down to W-130 (mile #31) west of Centennial.

I wasn't allowed to disclose the identity of these hunters, or the location of this hunting camp in the Snowy Range. (I think a couple of the hunters were married with children.)