Laramie Wyoming is situated at an altitude of almost 7500 ft in a large basin valley. The geography of the area means that when summer ends fall is only around for a few weeks before winter takes hold.
TandemBicycling.com riders were in the area during the last week of summer and first week of fall to ride the various roads and trails in the region. For this report our test riders donned mountain biking gear and headed into Medicine Bow National Forest and the Happy Jack cross-country ski trails. Located 2 miles off I80 (where Lincoln’s Statue is located) Happy Jack serves as cross-country ski trails in winter and biking trails in summer.
More aggressive in slope than the cross country trails in West Yellowstone (here) the Happy Jack Trails were also more technically demanding.
The main parking area is along a dirt road well marked off the main highway. Simply follow the signs to “Happy Jack”. There are multiple trail options from the parking lot so follow the wind and randomly pick one (as long as you stay on marked trails you will end up back at the start).
With routes that traverse stream beds, open prairies, and thick woods these trails offered wonderful fall riding conditions (it was 65 degrees during the test runs).
Happy Jack is not far from the popular mountain biking destination at Curt Gowdy State Park. For tandem teams Happy Jack is a safer alternative from the Curt Gowdy trails which are more narrow, twisty, and rocky.
If you find yourself in the Laramie or Cheyenne area a short drive to Happy Jack is worth the trip.