We took the long way home via the Snowy Range Scenic Byway which was well worth the 200 mile detour. The 29 miles of twisting roads devoid of cars through the Medicine Bow National Forest provided stunning vistas with plenty of geological and historical information along the way.
The quartzite ridge atop the range gives rise to the Snowy Range’s moniker, although the it is covered with snow from October to late June and was glaciated until recently. Geologists estimate that the peaks were formed over two billion years ago and are distinct from the rest of the Medicine Bow mountains.
But there was more to our drive than the Snowy Range. The following photos show just a few of the magnificent landscapes across southern and central Wyoming (without ever stepping foot in Yellowstone!).
And then there’s the wildlife. We were captivated by the marmots (also known as rock chucks) we saw near Mirror Lake. Their masked face reminded us of raccoons, but they are so much cuter.
The pronghorn is the fastest mammal in the western hemisphere, which made capturing them on the camera a bit tough. We must have stopped 15-20 times in the course of our drive to try and get some good shots.
Then, just as we entered Grand Teton National Park, we encountered a large herd of bison, grazing peacefully in the setting sun.
We ended the day full of gratitude for the natural beauty that surrounds us and our ability to enjoy it.