Scenic drive thru Pole Mountain Recreation Area (RA) - Medicine Bow National Forest (WY)

The Pole Moutain Recreation Area (RA) is located between Cheyenne and Laramie, WY off I-80. It offers visitors opportunities to fish, hunt, camp, hike, climb rocks and go off-roading. Long before Pole Mountain RA was established, Native Americans roamed the landscape and described the tumble of boulders as having been left there by playful spirits. It is still great for playing.
A roadside map of Pole Mountain Recreation Area only hints at the size and diversity of the area. The adventure starts at the entrance to Medicine Bow National Forest's Vedauwoo campground. Forest Route 700 is a wide single lane over a rolling high desert prarie.  This is the landscape pioneers on the Overland Trail  saw. Ramrod straight pines line some stretches of the route.  Such trees were used to build telegraph lines across the nation.
Monumental scrulptures painted by green, orange, and black lichen can be seen all over the Pole Mountain Recreation Area.  These scrulptures, like Poland Hill, Devil's Playground and Eagle Rock (seen here) may have fanciful names but each are important landmarks for navigating the area. With views like this and  hideouts close by, it is little wonder the Recreation Area has legends about playful spirits and ferocious outlaws.  This is the view from Forest Rt. 705 heading into Hidden Valley. Middle Crow Creek, hidden by shrubs, parallels Route 705. A bull Moose ambles toward a willow-lined creek unconcerned by passing vehicles.  You might also spy a busy beaver, a graceful antelope, or timid deer while exploring.
The Recreation Area is dotted with groves of twisted Aspen and cottonwoods. It seems like there is always something new to discover about Pole Mountain Recreation Area and that might be its best feature.