Autumn in the Snowy Range Mountains

The crispness of fall is starting to creep into the morning and evening air. The mountains are beginning to discard their summer green in favor of warmer autumnal tones. And the elk, deer, pronghorn, and moose are preparing for their courtship season. Autumn in the Snowy Mountains is nearly upon us. Do you need to recharge after a busy summer? Do you crave one more escape to nature before winter sets in? Come to the Snowies this fall.

Fall is that cozy time of year for warm sweaters, hot beverages, beautiful colors, and crackling fires. And autumn in the Snowy Mountains near Centennial, Wyoming will not disappoint. If the end of summer has you wishing for one more getaway before winter, consider planning a retreat to the Snowy Range Area of the Rocky Mountains. 

Autumn in Snowy Range
Libby Creek Photo Credit K. McShane

Stay at the Cozy Mountain View Historic Hotel 

The fall nights may be getting a bit chilly for camping, but The Mountain View Historic Hotel and Cafe in Centennial, Wyoming is the perfect warm hideaway for this season (or any season). Spend the weekend (or week) in one of the hotel’s six rooms and suites. A stay at this beautiful and homey hotel is a great way to enjoy the best of the fall weather, without sacrificing comfort. You can hike, fish, and sightsee by day and enjoy a snug bed with all the modern amenities you could want in the evening. (Read more about this amazing hotel here.)

Autumn in the Snowy Range Mountains
The Mountain View Historic Hotel Photo Credit K. McShane

Feed Your Stomach While You Feed Your Soul

Before venturing into the autumn wilderness for a day of hiking, fishing, or nature-watching, fill your stomach with a delicious and hearty breakfast at the Mountain View Cafe. Hot and fresh omelets, breakfast sandwiches, and waffles are the best fuel for a day spent exploring and reveling in the sights of fall. Not to mention the Mountain View Cafe’s signature house-roasted coffee, which is AMAZING! While you are enjoying your cup of joe and morning meal, you can gaze out the cafe windows at the gorgeous autumn mountains.

The Mountain View Cafe is only open for breakfast this fall (open until 11 Tuesday – Saturday, and noon on Sunday), but the mountain town of Centennial offers several other restaurants to top off your day in the mountains. Dinners at the Old Corral Steakhouse or the Bear Bottom Bar and Grill are always fantastic and filling.

Revel in the Autumn Colors

Autumn in the Snowy Range
Little Laramie Trail Photo credit K. McShane

As the temperatures decrease, the mountains adorn themselves with their autumn raiment. This is, of course, the primary incentive to visit the Snowy Range in fall. Whether you are driving the Snowy Range Scenic Byway, hiking the endless forest trails, or fishing the glassy lakes, you will be awestruck by the stunning vistas. 

In the autumn the aspen turn to gold and the oak trees become ruddy shades of orange and yellow. While the number of deciduous trees may be less than in other areas of the country, the contrast with the deep emerald of pine, spruce, and fir trees makes their colors explode in a way that is truly exceptional. The sweeping slopes of green, gold, and orange juxtaposed against rocky peaks and a brilliant blue sky make for unrivaled photo opportunities.

Hike the Tranquil Trails

Autumn in Snowy Range
Little Laramie River Photo Credit K. McShane

As if the views weren’t enough, hiking in the fall also provides exclusive appeal. The heat of summer has melted away, and the coolness of autumn is a welcome respite. Hiking in the brisk air seems to lend more energy and vitality to a hike. Some higher trails may have early snow, so it is important to wear appropriate layers and adequate footwear. However, the cooler temperatures mean no mosquitoes. (Check out an interactive map of hiking trails in the Snowy Range area here).

What’s more, hiking in the fall is very peaceful compared to the hustle and bustle of the peak summer months. Much like hiking in spring, the trails are less-traveled and crowded and the serenity is palpable. A mountain trail in autumn is the epitome of serenity. 

Watch Wildlife

Autumn Wildlife
Moose Photo Credit K. McShane

Yet another reason to visit the Snowy Range in autumn is the abundance of wildlife viewing opportunities. This is especially true before the hunting season is in full swing. Pronghorn, elk, deer, and moose are in their fall rut (mating season) and are often less shy as they pursue females. They are also trying to add as much additional weight before the scarcity of winter and will spend long hours grazing in the open. Plus, the fact that the mountains see fewer tourists in the fall means that there is less human encroachment to make them scarce.

Relax, Renew, and Rejuvenate

Autumn in the Snowy Range
View of Lewis Lake and Sugar Loaf Photo Credit K. McShane

Whatever it is that draws you to the Snowy Range in autumn—whether it be a cozy stay in a historic hotel, breathtaking views, or a quiet and peaceful hike—the mountains promise serenity and rest. Leave behind the busyness of the everyday hubbub and renew yourself in the mountains.

Book any room or suite for 2 guests now through Oct for $88, Call the hotel directly to access this special. Based on Availability. Subject to Blackout Dates.

Leah Veinbergs at Two Little Time

Snowshoeing with Kids!

If you have not tried snowshoeing, it is a fun activity to do with kids. Snowshoeing with kids might sound challenging, but it is similar to hiking with kids, except they will tire out a bit more quickly. The only main difference is practicing the “duck walk” as my family calls it. Your feet have to be spread wider apart than normal when walking so that you do not step on the front or back of your other snowshoe. I have a four and a six-year-old, so we can only go snowshoeing for about two hours or less before my kids get tired.

 

My husband or I bring a backpack with water bottles, extra gloves (one of our kids always finds a way to get his or her gloves wet), an extra hat, etc. The backpack also comes in handy for storing extra clothes as your family sheds layers while snowshoeing. Everyone starts out cold, but by the end of the journey, hats and gloves are off and sometimes coats as well.DSCN2434

One of our favorite spots to go snowshoeing is in the Snowy Range Mountains. The Snowy Range is part of the Medicine Bow Mountains and is located within the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest. This stretch of mountains is a part of the Rocky Mountains. I know that Colorado gets much acclaim for beautiful mountain scenery, but I can safely say that the Medicine Bow Mountains can certainly compare. If you drive west from Laramie on Highway 130 for about 40 minutes, at the base of the Snowy Range Mountains is Centennial. Entering this small town feels like stepping back in time. It seems like everyone waves and is friendly. As we drive through Centennial, my kids get excited as they know we will be entering the National Forest soon.

My family loves going snowshoeing on the Little Laramie Trailhead in the Snowy Range Mountains. This trailhead is not far from Centennial (about 10 minutes), so it is perfect for a short getaway to the mountains or a daytrip. The trailhead is marked from the highway and there is parking along the side of the highway as sometimes the parking lot is inaccessible in the winter.14111581183_01058c4913_k

This trail is fairly flat, so it is perfect for little kids or beginning snowshoers. We start at the trail closest to the information sign. There is a beautiful snow covered bridge overlooking the frozen Little Laramie River. My kids love crossing this bridge and seeing the frozen water covered in snow. There is a chance of seeing deer, moose, rabbits, etc. along the trail, so that also adds to the appeal.

 

 

In the winter, we look for animal tracks in the snow and try to spot the perfect future Christmas tree. The kids wear snow pants, as inevitably they will stop along the way to make snow angels, roll down small hills, and sit in the snow. We have mini snowball fights and the promise of warmth as we head back to the car.

 

If you need more incentive to encourage the kids to continue along the trail or walk a little faster back to the car, in Centennial, hot chocolate and coffee are waiting at Mountain View Hotel, Cafe, and Coffee Roaster. We love to stop for lunch at this beautiful hotel after a snowshoeing trip. While waiting for you food, you can walk around and look at the antique surfaces of the room and furnishings. My kids love looking at the coffee roaster in the corner of one of the dining rooms that gives the hotel a wonderful coffee smell. When lunch arrives, my family eats and talks about our snowshoeing trip, and my kids ask when we will go again.

As our kids get older, we look forward to bigger adventures: longer hikes to Medicine Bow Peak (12013 feet), downhill skiing, or camping.  As April approaches, we will not put the snowshoes too far away as spring snowstorms are guaranteed and we may want to explore some more.

Book 2 or more nights in May or June and receive 20% off base rates based on occupancy when you mention the Code: I read the March Blog!  Subject to availability. Call or Request Online and put the code in the Guest Notes

Written by: Mountain View Blogger Kim Gianakon

Winter Starts and the Adventures Begin

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As the winter solstice approaches this week, we are reminded that midwinter has finally come and longer days are near. To many this means a chance to travel and refresh with the New Year. To those who visit, this means finding a love for the Wyoming Wintertime.

Here are just a few reasons why Wyoming Winters are our favorite:

Spectacular, quiet sunrises with the Rockies

Each of the Mountain View’s 6 guest suites provides a warm welcome to the day and a chance to wake up with the sun almost year-round. With over 200 sunny days a year, nothing beats our beautiful early morning sunrises that lead into warm blue-bird afternoons.

 

 

Over 25 Feet of Annual Snowfall Each Year

In addition to a lot of sun, our Snowy Range Mountains get a substantial amount of snowfall every winter ranging from 25 feet on top of the range to 100” around Centennial! Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and sledding are just a few activities that the naturally snow packed area has to offer and are only a few minutes away when you need to get some energy out or just want to go on a rejuvenating day adventure.

Did you know there is a ski area near Centennial for downhill skiing and snowboarding? All of these are activities/topics to keep an eye out for in upcoming blogs!

 

Time To Try New Things

With a new season comes new things! We are excited to announce our newest lunch item, The Extreme Grilled Cheese!

Come on in and try it! Lunch is served 5 days a week, Tuesday through Saturday, 11am – 1pm.

 


December Blog Deal:

Receive One FREE Breakfast for each person in your booking at the Mountain View Café when you book your next stay with us!**  Code: December Breakfast Blog

**For future bookings only. Not valid with any other promotions. Must mention blog code to receive deal. Offer valid only during your stay. For more information and to book your room, please call us at (307) 742-3588.

 

Enter For A Chance to Win A Mountain View Hotel & Café T-Shirt! Vote in the poll below to be automatically entered the MVH T-Shirt Giveaway. One (1) winner will be announced on January 6, 2019. One (1) entry per person. U.S. shipping addresses only.

Disclaimer: To vote in this survey, you must provide an active email address – all active email addresses that are submitted will be automatically entered into the MVH T-Shirt Giveaway. This submission will also automatically enter you into occasional email notifications and announcements from the Mountain View Hotel & Cafe. You may opt out of these emails at any time by contacting us at mountainviewhotel@msn.com.

Support Wyoming Small Businesses:

Book with the Mountain View Hotel and receive a 10% discount code (at the time of booking) for shopping at Laramie’s Basecamp, a local outdoor gear and rental shop located in downtown Laramie! We have paired up with this family-owned small business to help provide you affordable gear and rentals whenever you visit our beloved Snowy Range Mountains.

Recently went shopping at Laramie’s Basecamp and are feeling hungry or thirsty? Bring in your receipt within 48 hours of purchase and get 10% off any meal or drink at the Mountain View Café! This offer is not valid with any other promotions.

 

Written by Brianna “Bri” Arnbrecht | http://mountainadventurer307.com/

 

Perfect December Getaway

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Source: Mountain View Management

In 1907, the Mountain View Hotel in beautiful Centennial, WY was known to be the “Pride of Centennial” as well as the “finest and best equipped” hotel in the west. Over 100 years later, guests here still find the hotel to be just as cheerful, comfortable, and homelike as before. Through the past few months, we have closed our doors for remodeling and are excited to announce we will be opening them again on December 8th! We’d like to invite you and your family to join us in Centennial as we celebrate the holidays.

Here’s what’s happening this month at the Mountain View Hotel, Café and Coffee Roaster:

16th Annual Christmas in Centennial Celebration and Breakfast with Santa | Saturday, Dec. 8th, 2018

Plan to head out and join us for this special day-long event of gift and craft shopping, horse drawn wagon rides (weather permitting), Christmas caroling, and more! The day will be beginning with two seatings of Breakfast with Santa (reservation only) at our very own Café starting at 8:30 a.m.  For more information and to secure your family’s reservation, please call us at (307) 742-3588 today!

Mountain View Café Re-Opening! | Sunday, Dec. 9th, 2018| 7:00 am to Noon

We invite you and your family to join us for our re-opening of the Café on Dec. 9th, as well as throughout the winter and upcoming spring, to happily serve you homemade, signature dishes almost each day of the week. You can get your hands on our customer favorite Salmon Omelet or our freshly served-in-a-skillet Cinnamon Rolls again, along with a brand-new lunch menu!

Café Hours of Operation beginning December 14th, 2018:

Open 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday – Saturday and 7 a.m.-Noon on Sundays. Closed Mondays and on Christmas Day. We welcome you to give us a call before heading out to let us know you’re on the way!

New Blog, Exclusive Deals, and More!

We are excited to announce that we have started the Mountain View Hotel Blog back up and want to interact with you, you’ve not only been our guest in the past, but you are also part of the Mountain View Family!   Join us through the coming months to read our blog where we will be talking about great Snowy Range adventure ideas, updates about the hotel and café, and exclusive hotel booking deal offerings!

We are very excited to get this started and hope you will enjoy our content!

 

December Blog Deal Offering:

Receive 10% off 2 nights in our newly remodeled Wild Flower Suite!**

Code: December Blog

** Must book by 12/20/2018. Blackout dates do exist. For more information and to book your room, please call us at (307) 742-3588 and mention this blog’s code

 

Written by Brianna “Bri” Arnbrecht | http://mountainadventurer307.com/

Spring Snow Travel

It is here! Spring Snow and wet roads make for slow travel. However early risers get the fresh powder. And for those of us which use snow shoveling for therapy out early with the snow removal equipment “a shovel”12036669_1049792005066299_5454788957978697424_n.Spring Snow TravelStay with us! Visit SouthEastern Wyoming

Winter Wyoming Traveling

At times it can be very slow moving or stopped due to road closures. Wind in the Winter is even higher, it can gust up to 75mph, in the east this is called a hurricane. We that live in Wyoming learn to plan trips to town around the weather.

If you are a winter sports activist then driving in extreme Winter conditions is a task required to enjoy your activity. Although tough at times the roads, once you arrive to your destination in the mountains, the pain of Wyoming Winter Travel goes away quickly.

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Explore Wyoming

Mike asked me to attempt writing something that  might hold your interest, my first blog.

We take time off in the spring and fall, close the cafe and take in only a few hotel guests so we can make repairs and improvements to the building, relax (which means sleeping in for me) and some travel.  This fall we were invited to the Wyoming Tourism Convention in Riverton Wyoming.  We passed through the area of Lander and Riverton years ago and have always wanted to re-visit.

We drove over the Snowy Range on Highway 130 in a rain and snow mix. Then we jumped on I-80 to Rawlins and north on US-287 turn at Muddy Gap Junction, which has gas and a store. You can also sign your name or draw a picture anywhere inside the store if you bring your own marker or pen. We stopped to stretch our legs at Devil’s Gate, a geographic feature that the Overland Trail and Pony Express used to navigate the land.  The high plain covered in sage, is a grayish-tan, with mountains to the south of us.  As we continued west the land starts to show glimpses of red soil until the land and road in front of you drops and whole hillsides are red with white stripes.  Our next stop was Johnny Behind the Rock, a trail loop close to Lander.  We went our separate ways to explore among the red sandstone formations, large sagebrush and cedars.  Mike choose to climb the right side ridge. I stayed below and took pictures of the 5 foot tall sage bushes then climbed the left formation to explore.

Johnny Behind the Rock - Standing on the left side, Mike had climbed the flatter red side
Johnny Behind the Rock – Standing on the left side, Mike had climbed up the flatter red side

The next morning we left Lander for our first Wyoming State Park, Sinks Canyon S.P.  The sink itself is pretty impressive, the river in the canyon turns sharply and goes under a cliff then disappears…yes disappears into the ground and comes back up a few hundred yards down the canyon.

Sinks Canyon State Park
Sinks Canyon State Park
Sinks Canyon State Park,  where the river turns and goes under ground
Sinks Canyon State Park, where the river turns and goes under ground

It is a place where you want to climb down as far as you can go to see where the hole is.  If only we had super flashlights and wet suits.  Unfortunately the visitor center closed after Labor Day so we missed out, it looked like there were some interesting displays inside.  We were impressed with the signage at the trail head in the state park educating you to be conscious of transferring non-native invasive plant species seeds on your shoes, clothes and pets.  We continued to drive up the canyon then started to climb in a series of switchbacks that gave us views of flat land where Lander sits.  This took us into the Shoshone National Forest(the Wind River Range is here) where we drove 20+ miles on decently graded gravel roads. There was new signs throughout the Forest, which made us jealous because our forest district (Medicine Bow-Routt) needs a lot of TLC.  We saw squirrels, chipmunks a grouse and beaver dams.  We stopped at the largest lake and watched the huts for a while in hopes of seeing a beaver being busy, no sightings or sounds.

The conference that propelled us to the area was definitely worthwhile. We met many new people, and the speakers were informative.  We learned about the State of Wyoming tourism campaign for the coming year, #ThatsWY    And Mike got to meet and speak with our Governor Matt Mead for a few minutes and invited him and his family to visit the cafe soon.

Looking over Shoshone National Forest at the Wind River Range, after driving over and through
Looking over Shoshone National Forest and the Wind River Range, after driving over and through