Sunday, August 12, 2012

Vedauwoo Campground, Buford Wyoming - Finally, some summer camping!

We haven't camped all summer; which is crazy for our family because we love it so much, but July was packed with things to do each weekend and when August rolled around and my 33rd birthday; Josh asked what I wanted to do and I replied "go camping!"
Since this was our first camping trip with Magnolia, we wanted to stay in a campground for conveniences like use of port-o-pots and running water and we  wanted to camp somewhere that it didn't get super cold at night, which meant not camping at 10,000 feet in Guanalla Pass, it meant finding somewhere new.  I can get easily overwhelmed with all the places to choose from while searching online and can spend hours looking at one place after another.  But I don't have time to be indecisive anymore, Magnolia keeps me very busy, so I asked for some suggestions from friends.  My friend Suzy from Hip Mountain Mama (an amazing family owned shop) suggested that we check out Vedauwoo in Buford, Wyoming (pronounced Vee-da-voo); they often frequent the campground and have a great time with their kids.  She sent me her photo album with amazing shots of huge rock formations and big sky; I took one look and decided Vedauwoo was the place to go!  The one thing that I liked about this campground was that every review I found online remarked that each site had lots of privacy from the next and there are views from every site.  Privacy is the main reason we don't often choose campgrounds, we enjoy being far away from everyone, but Vedauwoo provided the best of both worlds; a port-o-pot and running water, combined with secluded sites and great views plus a trailhead which you can pick up from the campground.   All of this meant, staying put and enjoying the weekend hiking, camping and checking out the great views and big sky.  
 Getting there: After years of driving up winding, bumpy and often scary dirt roads to reach secluded sites; it was refreshing to see that Vedauwoo was just off I-80 in Wyoming between Cheyenne and Laramie.  From the Denver Metro area take I-25 North into Cheyenne Wyoming, head west on I-80 and exit 329, follow the 'camping' signs and turn right at the stop sign then turn left onto Vedauwoo Rd. and go 1.2 miles. Turn left at sign and go 0.3 miles to campground.  (its easy, just follow campground signs) (Latitude: 41.1608157   Longitude: -105.3685959)
Specs: $10 per night. The campground has two sections; the first section has 28 sites, some are tent only the rest are for either tent or RV.  There are no hookups here.  All of the sites are well spaced with a lot of seclusion between most sites.  There are no pull through RV sites, just a few back-in sites for RV's and then many of the other sites just have a pull off on the side of the road beside the campsite for RV's.  The tents can be placed anywhere in the site, there are no tent pads or restriction on tent placement.  At least 4 of the campsites are walk-in tent only sites; and are amongst the rocks and look very cool.  When we arrived at the campground by 5:30 on Friday afternoon, there were only a few unoccupied spaces but we managed to grab one with some privacy, views and some shade.  The campground also has potable running water and port-o-pots.  There is an additional overflow type campground farther down the road past the main campground, there is a sign that reads 'no RV's recommended beyond this point', but when we drove down there I wasn't sure why this was a recommendation.  A small camper would be just fine on the paved roads.  There are additional tent sites here which were not completely full on Friday night, I didn't see any RV's in this campground aside from the camp host.  These sites were still fairly well spaced, but with less privacy than the other campground.  Additionally, there are national forest (free, no services) campsites farther down Vedauwoo Road, just don't turn onto the campground road at all, continue straight where the road turns to dirt. 

Our weekend, photos and more info:   Vedauwoo means "land of the Earthborn Spirit" in Arapaho and its comprised of amazing rock formations in the Medicine Bow National Forest.  Its easy to see why this area was a place that Native Americans believe contained spirits of the rocks, and outlaws used the area as a place to hideout from the law.  The land is very interesting and reminds me a little bit of Moab, Utah with lots of grippy rock, great for climbing, hiking and mountain biking.  There is the Turtle Rock Trail which continues for about 3 miles around the Vedauwoo Rock formation, it does not go up onto the rocks, however.  There is a place to hike partway up the rocks within the park, we didn't make it to do this, unfortunately and will save it for next time.  We did hike the Turtle Rock trail and came across a moose mama with her baby, she was pretty close to us and we stayed up on the rock and watched them move past us, while I snapped photos, of course!  

 Magnolia checking out the outdoors from inside our little Chalet. 

A little fun around the campground :)

 Rock and Belle waiting for chipmunks to chase, well Rock doesn't chase them -- but Belle does, which is why she is leashed.  Rock, the old gal, just watches.  
Amazing big skies and beautiful sunsets! 

 Views from the campsite looking toward I-80, which is slightly visible from some of the campsites.  However, it wasn't bothersome. 
Fires were permitted at Vedauwoo, I was pleasantly surprised, but we didn't bring firewood, assuming there was a fire ban.  We did find firewood around the campground on Saturday morning left by other campers and were able to have a fire Saturday night and left some wood for the next people at our site. 

Mama moose and her baby (which is pictured, but obscured some by the stupid branch that I didn't notice being in the picture until later). 

Baby checking us out. 

I love a good campfire, there isn't much better!  

Belle and our campsite and amazing views!  

 Lots to do in the Pole Mountain area!  
We really enjoyed our time here and are busy planning our next trip to Vedauwoo; there is lots to do in the area and we barely scratched the surface.  Now, if we could just figure out how to get Magnolia to nap/sleep while camping - it would be perfect!  We had a rough time which lead to her not sleeping the entire day Saturday, which is hugely rare for her, and being very cranky which isn't much fun for anyone!  She is 9 months old.  Does anyone else have advise on how to camp with a baby, or more information regarding Vedauwoo and great things to do in the area, or a better area map?  Please leave a comment if you have any questions or information regarding this post and click here if you'd like to be updated when a new hike, campground or park is posted! 
Click here if you'd like to check out more about Vedauwoo hiking. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the info about the Vedauwoo campground! It was recommended to us by a friend last week. It's helpful to know about overflow options in case it's full on a Friday. We have a camping weekend planned in CO but may opt for this instead. It looks beautiful! How cool that you saw a baby moose!!