Fall can be fleeting in the American Rockies but when it cools the day and colors the leaves there is little that compares to filling your lungs with the fresh air of a Wyoming short hike in autumn. For those who seek simple trails not far from a parking area here are a couple of paths to fall glory...
Lake Marie Falls, Snowy Range Mountains –west of Laramie in the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest. Elevation is just over 10,000 feet and the quarter-mile hike is easy. Take Wyoming Highway 130 from Laramie. The Snowy Range Scenic Byway is well-maintained and not difficult to navigate. Trailhead is situated across the road from the Lake Marie parking area. The trail follows the outlet of Lake Marie as it tumbles and pools along its streambed. This short loop trail includes granite rock steps and a bridge over the outlet. Season traditionally runs through October. More information about the forest’s recreational pursuits can be gleaned by going to: www.fs.fed.us/r2/mbr
Intermittent Spring, Star Valley – five miles east of Afton.
The largest of only three such springs in the world. Sometimes referred to as “Periodic Springs,” the water slows to a trickle and returns to full fall at regular 15-minute intervals through the fall season. Fluctuations are caused be a siphon effect in the canyon. Good hiking shoes are recommended. The 20-minute hike is relatively easy up a well-maintained, aptly-named, Swift Creek trail. http://www.starvalleywy.com/