Get Out of the House! Vedauwoo

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Daniel Gage
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
One of the more unique geological points of interest in southeast Wyoming is located roughly 25 miles west of F. E. Warren Air Force Base.

Veduawoo, pronounced VEE-da-voo, is an Arapaho term meaning "earth-born," and the name of the area residing in the eastern part of Medicine Bow National Forest.

The towering rocks of Vedauwoo are visible from I-80, making it difficult to miss as you approach exit 329, the ramp that takes you to some of the best rock climbing, hiking and camping in the state.

According to the Laramie Area Visitor Center, the giant rock formations were created 1.4 billion years ago, originating from magma under the ground, and being formed over the centuries by erosion.

Spanning more than 10 square miles of land, these rock structures made up of mostly Sherman Granite rise 500 feet above the ground in some places. Some giant rocks almost seem to defy gravity while others almost resemble other objects, such as mushrooms or even faces.

While Vedauwoo is a favorite among rock climbers both locally and abroad, many people may get their first experience among the rock formations by hiking through the numerous maintained trail systems in the area.

The trails in Vedauwoo are also connected with a large system of trails spanning the summit and Happy Jack areas.

While some trails in the area may span miles, the trails in Vedauwoo range between 3/10 mile and just under three miles.

The difficulty among the trails also varies, though the best views can be found by climbing some of the steeper trails.

While breathtaking views may require some serious hiking, all the trails in the area offer a scenic atmosphere, from wildlife to vegetation that thrives at the 8,200-foot altitude.

Camping is also available at Vedauwoo, with 11 campsites to choose from, accessible with campers up to 32 feet long.

While many of the attractions at Vedauwoo are more easily enjoyed in the summer months, the area is open year-round offering winter activities as well. Those interested in snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling will find the area a great place to visit even in the colder months in Wyoming.

Being part of the Medicine Bow National Forest, military members holding a National Parks Annual pass, which they may receive by showing their active duty identification card, can enjoy free access with their families to explore the area.

Another attraction in the area people may want to explore while out west is the Ames Monument.

Standing 60 feet tall, the limestone pyramid located just south of I-80 seems out of place.

The pyramid, built in 1881, is one of the few visible structures in the area, and the only thing left where a former rail town named Sherman used to be.

The Ames Monument was built in honor of two influential members who played a part in building the transcontinental railroad, brothers Oliver and Oakes Ames.

For more information on these and other areas of interest in the Happy Jack area and Medicine Bow National Park, please visit the Laramie Area Visitor Center, their website,, or call 800-445-5303.