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Mud Wrestling the Libby Flats

A summertime trip to Wyoming brought another awesome trail experience as my Jeep grappled admirably through muddy Libby Flats and up Pole Mountain to camp.

In late July, friends asked us to join them on a camping/wheeling trip to Pole Mountain and Libby Flats (Carbon County, Wyoming). So, on July 31, we caravanned up to Laramie and set up [dispersed] camp in the Pole Mountain area, near which one of our friends was riding the Laramie Enduro bike race on August 1. This camping area was actually more comfortable than some we’ve been to, with less rocks and more pine needles. However, Wyoming was much dustier than we anticipated and when we returned our faces were crusted with dirt, we had dust in our noses, and everything we drank was gritty. This was not a trip for the faint at heart, but it was definitely worth it!

On Saturday, August 1, after the bike race started those of us with Jeeps headed to Laramie, and then about 40 miles west on WY-130, to the Libby Flats observation area. Much of what we thought at first was snow turned out to be white marble.

After observing the view and giving the dogs a much needed walk we backtracked slightly to the start of Libby Flats trail. The trail started out pretty mild, and we picnicked by a picturesque lake at about 10,000 feet. We then continued along the trail, which alternated between woods and meadows. It was rocky, but nothing large and no need for rock crawling. At about 5 miles into the trail we reached a meadow and some old cabins.

We pulled over for photos but didn’t stay long because we could see the next bit of fun ahead – a huge mud pit! Some quads passed us and were stirring things up (this muddy area was the result of a stream crossing the trail), and I couldn’t wait to go through it myself. And so, we did!

This was the deepest, 'stankiest' mud pit I had found to date and I could feel my tires slipping, sliding, grabbing, so I just kept going and made it through. Talk about an adrenaline rush!! [Full disclosure: my 15-seconds of fun resulted in $34 at the car wash upon returning home]. Further down the trail, we crossed another stream. The water here was clear, and I attempted to clean my muddy Jeep, Mother Nature style. I mean, I prefer my Jeep muddy but splashing through the water is fun too! (Video by friend E.).

Soon we were off the trail and heading back to Pole Mountain and camp. As always when camping, dinner tasted fantastic and bedtime came with the setting of the sun. The following day we packed up at a leisurely pace, then headed back home.

If you’re ever in the Laramie area, it’s worth the 40-mile drive to Libby Flats. It’s a fun trail, and one I’d do more often if it were closer. Happy Trails!

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