Medicine Bow Peak Sept 8, 2012

The hike to the top of Medicine Bow Peak Saturday was a success! Incredible weather, not a cloud in the sky all day and hardly any wind to speak of. From the Lewis Lake trailhead its only 2 miles to the summit, with lots of switchbacks across the face and very steep hike in some areas but well worth it in the end! Just think of it as nature’s stair climber and get that great lower body workout. There is a small bit of scrambling to be done near the summit, but nothing to fear. If you’re a photo hound like myself, be sure to bring your camera!

Medicine Bow Peak was the sight of a fatal airline crash back in 1955. United Airlines flight 409 crashed on October 6 several feet below the 12013 foot summit, demolishing the aircraft and killing all 66 onboard. The accident report reads that the crash was on the most vertical rock cliff of the mountain’s most eastern slope that some refer to as Disaster Wall. You can read a copy of the accident report here. Debris is said to be still found within the area and although I wasnt looking for any and I would guess that there is probably not a whole lot left, but there is always a possibility. None the less, a tragic incident, the most tragic airline accident in the U.S. at that time.

The easier hike seems to be from the Lake Marie trailhead, though longer (5 miles), it doesnt appear to have the same amount of steepness as starting from Lewis Lake. Maybe on another trip I might have to reach Medicine Bow Peak starting from there. Oh yea as for any wildlife, I saw nothing more than the usual pika or marmot. Unless you want to count the numerous herds of antelope seen along the drive on Interstate 80 and Wyoming highway 130.

Not in any hurry this day on the hike or to get back to Denver, we grabbed dinner and stayed the night at the Old Corral Hotel and Steakhouse there in Centennial. I recommend it.

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