In southern Wyoming, you’ll discover a string of towns woven together by hot springs, outdoor recreation and a sense of wide-open spaces. Discover our top five reasons to explore the towns between Saratoga and Rawlins.
1. Soak in Hot Springs
In Saratoga, choose between two different hot springs experiences. The Hobo Hot Springs are free mineral pools and open 24 hours a day. At Saratoga Hot Springs Resort, only guests can access the teepee-covered mineral pools and 70-foot mineral hot spring pool.
It’s also home to the country’s only brewery with its own hot springs resort when you go to The Snowy Mountain Brewery. Afterwards, dry off and sip great local microbrews in the Snowy Mountain Biergarten or indoor taproom that serves pub-style food from sandwiches and handmade pizza to grilled steak.
Spend the night in one of the rustic rooms at the on-site Saratoga Springs Resort. In the morning, play golf at the nine-hole public golf course that runs along the North Platte River. Or turn on the adventure by renting a UTV at the resort. Choose from UTVs that accommodate two-to-six passengers for half-day or full-day adventures.
2. Explore the Snowy Range Scenic Byway
Enjoy the stunning views you’ll find on the 29-mile Snowy Range Scenic Byway, which travels along Hwy. 130 through the Medicine Bow National Forest. The mountain range got its name from the sugary-white quartz that reflects the sunlight and looks like snow year-round. (The above photo shows real snow, not the illusion.) This drive is prone to road closures during the winter. Check conditions before you head out. www.wyoroad.info
For spectacular views, hike 5.5 miles to the top of Medicine Bow Peak. Keep an eye out for summer thunderstorms since most of the hike is exposed and aim to be back at the trailhead by mid-day. For equally gorgeous views without the climb, stop at Libby Flats Observation Point.
The surrounding Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest is home to boundless opportunities for recreation including hiking, camping, riding ATVs and in the winter, snowmobiling.
3. Spend the Night in a Historic Hotel
Spend the night at the historic Elk Mountain Hotel in Elk Mountain. Built in 1905, this storied 12-room hotel was a half-way point between Denver and Salt Lake City, welcoming guests like Louis Armstrong and Hank Thompson as they performed at the adjacent dance hall. Today, you’ll find charming rooms, in-house dining and a beautiful garden.
4. Enjoy Local Food
Stop at Bella’s Bistro in Saratoga, which serves classic Italian meals on its outdoor patio or in its cute green house with red shutters. For fine dining, stop by the Aspen House Restaurant, established in 1905 in downtown Rawlins for blackened ribeye or vegetarian dishes. Buck’s Sports Grill and Anong’s Thai Cuisine in Rawlins also are popular among locals.
5. Walk on the Continental Divide Trail
In Rawlins, you can walk a stretch of the Continental Divide Trail, which stretches from Canada to Mexico. Hop on the trail at Rawlins Spring Park at the intersection of West Davis and Bennett Streets.
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