For anyone who wants to do more than to just reach the summit, the trail continues and drops around 600 feet down to Crater Lake through a set of switchbacks. There are great photo ops at the rocky point just to the west of the trail where it begins the steep descent. The color of the lake on a sunny day is well worth the whole hike. Hikers might also be treated to views of wildlife in the area. Besides the plentiful deer, there are elk, moose, bears, mountain lions, foxes, bighorn sheep, and pronghorn antelope. For anyone planning to stay at the lake for a while, fishing for brook trout is an option.
Lookout Mountain lies on the west-northwest side of the Deep Creek-Rock Creek canyon, one of the deepest and largest canyon systems in the Snowy Range. The south slope of Lookout Mountain drops sharply over 1,000 feet to Deep Creek, via Crater Lake. There is a trail from Crater Lake that goes down to the Rock Creek Trail. The Rock Creek Trail runs 11 miles from Sand Lake to the trailhead near Arlington.
A word here on maps… There are “VIP” maps everywhere for tourists in this area. That map shows two trails to Lookout Mountain, calling one the Lookout Mountain Trail and the other the Crater Lake Trail. Topo maps only show a trail and an old road. A check with the forest service trail crews in Saratoga, Wyoming revealed that to be the actual case. There is sort of a second trail on the mountain. But, it is not anything they recommend. It is an old 2-track just south of the Crater Lake Trail. It starts at the back of a little campsite a few hundred yards down Road 113. The road is barricaded to traffic, but winds through the forest and some meadow before just ending near the drop down to Crater Lake. You can get good forest service maps from either of their offices in the area.
As always, visitors are reminded to pack out what they pack in.
Camping and Information ResourcesDeep Creek Campground is the closest site to Lookout Mountain, though there is a primitive campsite by Crater Lake.
Brush Creek/Hayden Ranger District (307)326-5258
Laramie Ranger District (307)745-230
Laramie Chamber of Commerce (307) 745-7339 or (866) 876-1012