Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Field Trip Saturday - Snowy Range Hike

Join us on Saturday, July 13 for Laramie Audubon’s fourth annual trip to the Snowy Range to hike to the Gap Lakes with hopes of seeing Brown-capped Rosy-Finch.  We will carpool from Coal Creek Downtown, leaving at 7:30 am to the Sugarloaf Recreation Area. 
Brown-capped Rosy-Finch (courtesy of Brian Waitkus)
 This past winter was an exceptional year of snow in this area, the road into the Lewis and Libby Lakes parking area remains closed to vehicle traffic due to the eight snow drifts still crossing the road.  We will hike in from Highway 130 approximately 2.3 miles to the Gap Lakes area.  As of Monday, Libby Lake is mostly clear of ice, Lewis Lake is 60% open and South Gap lake is completely ice covered. 
The trail from the parking lot is more than 50% still covered with snow and the water in areas is running higher than normal.  It will be interesting to see the yearly weather variations of the Snowy Range and how this affects the local bird life.  The trip to the Gap could take 1.5 hours and with approximately 1 hour near north Gap Lake the total hike could take 4 hours.
Birds seen so far this summer include White-crowned Sparrows, juncos, warblers, American Pipits, and robins.  Marmots are in abundance with fewer numbers of pikas.  The snow has retarded the growth of wildflowers so could give a good show.
Bring binoculars, rain/windproof clothing and layers suitable for cold/windy weather as well as more clement conditions, sunscreen, insect repellent (was not needed this Monday), snacks/lunch, water, and hiking boots for walking on talus, wet ground, and snow. 
If you have questions, please contact the trip leader (Brian) at

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