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Curt Gowdy State Park

Wonderful state park just 45 minutes from Cheyenne with hiking, biking, boating and fishing. A great base camp for visiting the Snowy Range.

Camping Price: $$36.34 ($22.30 for residents, includes day use, online booking fee and taxes, for a dry site)

Entrance Fee: $12 ($7 for residents) per vehicle

  • Camping
  • Electric Sites
  • Water Sites
  • Sewer Sites
  • Showers
  • Bathrooms
  • Water Available
  • Dump Station
  • Laundry
  • Visitor Center
  • Camp Store
  • Pets

Location: Southeast

Address: 1264 Granite Springs Rd, Cheyenne, WY 82009

Phone: 307-632-7946

Official Website

AT&T: Poor

Verizon: Poor

T-Mobile: Unknown

Starlink: Good

WiFi: Unknown

Curt Gowdy State Park - Every State Park

At A Glance

Curt Gowdy State Park is a wonderful, large park. Its main attraction is fishing on the lake - at any time of year. We have stayed here many times and would stay here again.

This park is close to I-25 and I-80, just 45 minutes from Cheyenne and 30 minutes from Laramie. It's a great jumping off point for exploring southeastern Wyoming, including the Snowy Range of the Medicine Bow Moutains. The park is open year round and ice fishing continues throughout the winter.

Insider Information

View from a kayak on the lake

Curt Gowdy State Park is a great location for a short stop over while traveling I-25 or I-80 or for a longer stay to allow for fishing and hiking.

Note: If you plan to put your boat, kayak, paddle board, blow up inner tube, etc. in the water in Wyoming, you’ll need to have it inspected and you’ll need to purchase an AIS sticker.

The free inspections are usually setup at rest areas near the state borders. AIS stickers can be purchased at Walmart and other sporting goods stores. This is all to stop invasive mussels from infecting the waterways.

Note: There is a 15hp limit on Crystal reservoir and there is no swimming allowed.

Not specific to Curt Gowdy State Park, but Wyoming allows overnight stays at rest areas and there is usually a decent set of services available at the rest areas.

For instance, exit 4 on I-25 has potable water, dump station, space for big rigs and a visitor center with bathrooms.

If you don’t plan to boat or fish, there are enough trails to hike or bike to keep you occupied for a couple days. The hike to Hidden Falls is worth it, especially in the spring.

Cheyenne Frontier Days is held each year in the mid to end of July. It’s a very popular rodeo, parade, concert and carnival type event. Campsites and even hotels are very hard to come by during this time, so plan accordingly.

The weather at Curt Gowdy State Park is pretty seasonally consistent. Summers can be hot with temperatures in the 90s, but mostly in the 70s to 80s. Fall and spring tend to be cool with temperature highs in 40s to 70s. Winters can be very cold, below freezing often with a few weeks below 0.

Since this is the high plains, nights will be much cooler than the day. Expect a 20-30 degree drop in temperatures once the sun goes down. You’ll want to keep a jacket handy for evenings even if the day was warm.

There isn’t a lot of precipitation in this area of Wyoming. You may get some violent afternoon thunderstorms in the spring/summer but it’s unusual for it to rain for entire days.

Along with the lack of precipitation, the air is very dry at Curt Gowdy State Park. Drink more water than you are used to and keep Chapstick on hand. Slight headaches and bloody noses are not uncommon in this area of the country.

Cell service is not available at most camping loops, but Starlink works very well here.

Camping

Campsite view from the trail

Camping at Curt Gowdy State Park is average compared to other state parks we’ve been to. The lack of flush toilets and showers in the camping loops is a drawback for us. It’s also relatively expensive for non-residents compared to other state parks.

On the plus side, almost every campsite has a view of the lake and surrounding hills and the fishing is great.

The campsites are a mix of dry camping and sites with electric so check the site listings carefully when making a reservation.

Those with big rigs will probably want to stick with the sites on the north side of the Granite reservoir since the road between the north and south sides is a bit narrow and steep.

The whole campground is very open, so you won’t get a lot of shade at your site and this area of Wyoming can be very windy, so keep those in mind when choosing a site.

The campsites are dirt lots and they are decently spread out from each other. However, the levelness each site varies a lot.

Reservations here can only be made from May 1 to September 30. From October 1 to April 30 all sites are on a first come, first serve basis.

Camping reservations are done online and have a $4 booking fee. You can find more details about reservations and prices on our Wyoming page.

Amenities

Ice fishing in January

There are flush toilets and showers at the visitor center, but the rest of the park has pit toilets scattered throughout. They are usually clean and well maintained.

If you want to use the facilities at the visitor center you will probably want to drive. It’s a shorter uphill hike from some of the closer loops, but it is a long hike from many other loops.

I believe the showers at the visitor center are the paid type that require quarters but they do have individual locking doors.

The main campground loops have pit toilets available. When we visited they were decently maintained. They are typical pit/vault toilets though and some people prefer not to use them.

There is no dump station at this park. I believe the closest dump station is off exit 4 on I-25. This dump station is free and located in the back of the visitor center where the big trucks park.

There are potable water stations scattered about as well, but you probably want to fill your tanks before coming to the park. The exit 4 visitor center has fresh water available.

Activities

Lake view from hike

There is a lot of wildlife that can be viewed in park, but you’ll mostly see mule deer and birds. The main attraction at the park is the reservoir for boating and fishing.

There are 3 lakes in the park and each has different rules governing what watercraft is allowed.

Hiking all the trails in the park may take a few days and have nice views of the hiils and lake.

The hike to Hidden Falls is worth taking even though it’s one of the longer hikes in the park.

The nature trail behind the visitor center is fairly flat and paved, making it a great trail for all abilities.

For horseback riding, the Aspen Grove camping loop has free corals and there are many horse trails.

Vedauwoo Recreation Area is very close to the park and is another excellent area for hiking, bouldering and rock climbing.

Nearby

Big Boy #4014

Cheyenne is only 45 minutes away and has all the services you would expect from a small city. There are two Walmarts (which allow overnight stays), Home Depot, Lowes and a hospital.

There are also lots of fast food and non-fast food restaurants.

Cheyenne Frontier Days is worth visiting if you are in town in July. It’s a week and a half celebration with concerts, rodeo events, carnival rides and parades.

Cheyenne is a historic Union Pacific city and is home to the only working Big Boy steam locomotive (#4014). You can also visit another Big Boy (#4004) sitting in Holiday Park.

I’d also recommend checking out Cheyenne’s free botanic gardens and free Wyoming State Museum. Other places to visit are the historic governor’s mansion and historic Union Pacific train depot.

Laramie is only 45 minutes away to the west and is a smaller city, but still has great restaurants and services. Laramie is home to the University of Wyoming.

The Snowy Range is close by for some great hiking in the Medicine Bow Mountains.

Fort Collins Colorado is also about an hour away and has a lot more options for dining, shopping, boating and hiking.