We spent a lot of time in Wyoming last year. Between shuttling college students back and forth to Idaho, and viewing the eclipse from the Zone of Totality, I am pretty sure we made no fewer than six trips through Wyoming. If you’ve ever driven across Wyoming, you know that I-80, especially through central and western Wyoming is about as remote and boring a stretch of freeway as they come. Fortunately, Brooks Lake, Wyoming, was anything but boring.
So, when we decided to trek across Wyoming at the end of June to visit our college student and see her perform in a concert, we decided it was time to find a different route across the Cowboy State. We headed up I-25 to Casper, and then west on Highway 26 all the way to Grand Teton National Park. In summer, this is a beautiful drive (I’m not even going to think about what it could be like in winter–I think Wyoming is some scary driving in winter).
Once you get into the Wind River area, the drive is gorgeous, and once we passed DuBois, there were lots of tempting detours. My favorite detour on this trip, though, was Brooks Lake Road. We were cruising down Highway 26, just admiring the scenery, when I saw a little sign, pointing off to the right that said “Brooks Lake 5.” We figured, why not, and headed down a dirt road to find the gem that is Brooks Lake at the end of it.
Brooks Lake isn’t a huge lake but it is beautiful. There are two small campgrounds at Brooks Lake. If I had a trailer, I’d be camping here for sure. You need a hard-sided camper/trailer/RV to camp here, because apparently the bears also find Brooks Lake to be an appealing destination. If you visit, pay attention to the bear warnings. Black bear can be found here, and I think grizzlies as well–but don’t quote me on that. While we were exploring the campground, we did come across the prettiest pit toilet we’ve ever found. I’m not a fan of pit toilets. They don’t smell good and they don’t look good, but they beat finding a bush. This one, however, both smelled and looked good–and it came with a library and decor.
Being almost the last day of June, and despite it being a cold and somewhat snowy day (snow in Wyoming in late June is not unheard of), the wildflowers were starting to poke their pretty heads out.
The beautiful views continue in every direction. Just out of camera on this view, we could see and hear a waterfall, though it was at least a half-mile or more from where we stood at the lake. I might have to go back just to hike to that waterfall.It was too late in the day, and we weren’t prepared for cold weather hiking this trip.
And finally, I am definitely not a videographer, but this scenery called for a quick little phone video to give you a 360-degree view from my spot where the road crosses Brooks Creek as it exits Brooks Lake. If you listen, you’ll hear the water and the birds, and, of course, the wind. It is Wyoming, after all.