The quite rare Laramie Columbine (Aquilegia larami...
Some areas within this allotment are private. Zones within this management area have seasonal closures.
A Greenland Sales Pitch? Once in a Lifetime!
The Laramie Peak Wildlife Habitat Management Area (LPWHMA) is an almost unknown region of 11,000++ acres in the Laramie Range situated within eastern Albany County and managed by Wyoming Game & Fish with several points of public access. The name for this area is a bit misleading in that the associated landmark within its name, Laramie Peak, is 18 air miles NNW of this region. In addition to the eleven thousand Habitat acres, the northeastern boundary of this region provides the only public access to the Forest Service lands surrounding Reese Mtn and Collins (Notch) Peak.
The central core/uplift of the rock here is the Reese Mountain Archean Granite. It is of less area but distinct and younger than the Laramie Peak Archean Granite. Even so this area offers some of the best, most and longest crack and face climbs in the Wyoming's SE quadrant. There may be as many as 500 pitches here. Within the region you can also find a trove of unclimbed rock walls and boulders. In general the Reese granite offers far more features that the Laramie Peak granite so if you are looking for pure cracks go north.
Surrounding this core of granite are various Archean metamorphic rocks that to the untrained eye are taken for granite. The most visible of the metamorphic rocks is the Split Rock/Sugar Loaf gneiss. The whole area is riddled with peridotite/amphibolite dikes (very black) and many green stone belts are perched here and there with more occuring in the eastern portion. Green stone belts are preserved, exposed rock sections of sequential aged Archean metamorphic rock formations. The greenstone belts of Reese rival those in South Africa and Australia. By any comparison there is large spectrum of Archean metamorphic rocks here. For a geologic map of Reese Mtn and east see
Closure: Within the LPWHMA are zones that closed part of the year to public entry and are marked with signs at the road access points of the closure boundary. Some times the wind breaks the sign post and the sign will be laying on the ground. The posted closed time begins Dec 1st and extends to May 1st. The purpose of the closure is for undisturbed (by people) winter wildlife habit.
Camping: You can camp most places within the LPWHMA except on those that are private land or those that are currently closed for the season. Out of courtesy for the privacy and resources of the landowner I suggest do not camp near the ranch houses, where there are cattle, cattle feeding zones or hay meadows. i.e.the middle of meadow.
Water: Bring some water and/or a water filter. The pipes feeding the big rubber tire cow tanks have safe water when sipping off the inlet pipe. I discourage drinking out of the tank outlet pipe and saying, "Boy this is good water."
In general where there are summits composed of Reese Granite one can find pools of water on the top but not those of metamorphic rocks compositions. The Split Rock and Pine Mtn Complex have almost no pools and the streams go dry soon into summer. Collins Creek, Grizzly Creek, Ashley Creek, Duck Creek, parts of Cherry Creek and Salt Creek are mapped as perennial streams, but in the driest years they may not flow continuously/continually.
Would a 4WD be Better? Yes, Often
From the middle of May through the middle of June stream crossings are muddy on the sides making climb-outs difficult without a 4WD. A high clearance PU can get you most places after the ground dries and sets up. But I have seen a Saturn and a Pinto at the Toni Gulch parking while some Outback drivers walk before they get there.
Access is off Tunnel Rd and off the Palmer Rd. The topo maps of this region use different road naming than Albany County is now using.
When approaching from the west pick up Fetterman/Palmer Road 3 miles north of Rock River on the right off highway 287. After about 25 miles of gravel on Fetterman/Palmer road you will cross a broad ridge and then rapidly descend entering a basin. From the junction at the row of mail boxes taking the left fork is the continuation of the Palmer Rd. and the right fork is the beginning of Tunnel Rd. Choose you direction at this junction for which sub area of the LPWHMA you wish to visit. This junction is about 1.75 miles due west of the western edge of the LPWHMA and is not displayed on the included LPWHMA map.
When approaching form the east take State Highway 34 west of Wheatland to the vicinity of mile marker 36 and turn off right just north of the Bluegrass Creek (35.88)bridge(west) on Tunnel Road along side a row of mailboxes. The first 4 miles of this road are paved and after about 14 miles from #34 you will cross the Laramie River. When at the bridge you are within the southern most portion of the LPWMHA. From here select your local destination in LPWMHA from the map or visit some of the 9 climbing areas within the unit. If your access is on Palmer Road drive 10.5 miles west of the Laramie River bridge on Tunnel Rd to jct Garrett Road then right and travel north 1.6 miles to the Palmer junction then right NE and on to the parking lot you are seeking.
The GPS coordinates given above for the LPWHMA are for Duck Creek Falls which is slightly north of the center of this huge Area. The Falls area is about 35 air miles ENE of Rock River and some 24 air miles WWS of Wheatland. The GPS coordinates for the Main Entrance are 41 57.355 and -105 26.731.
Hiking: There are no maintained trails within the LPWHMA. The two easy to follow ad hoc trails in the Area are along Duck Creek and down Toni Gulch. A less easy to follow trail is the path that begins NE of the Meadow Mound after passing through the wire gate on the closed 2-track which is at the NE end of the meadow of the Kennedy Ranch Rocks.
Dennis,You're a prince for starting to share info on this area. I'd say it's too far out there to worry about the CO hordes that so many WY and UT climbers complain about. Kudos to you for all your hard work putting them routes up.
I'd like to echo what Chris said about posting the Laramie Range crags up for others to enjoy. The people who take the time and devote the energy needed to thrash through miles of backcountry to find the crags, then do all the work and spend the money for the fixed hardware and put up the routes deserve a lot of credit. These areas look great, but are far enough off the beaten path and involve enough walking time to not become overrun. I hope to run into the Laramie crew up there sometime & say thanks in person too.