The Headquarters Trail near Laramie, Wyoming was first blazed in 1868 by William Lovett, and today, this 3.6-mile moderately difficult trail is used by hikers, horseback riders, and trail runners. You'll also see plenty of people who bring their dogs along on the path, but pets are meant to be kept on a leash.
To begin your hike, you can park at the Summit Trailhead in Medicine Bow National Forest for $5. If you'd like to park for free, there's a rest area located 0.2 miles before the trailhead where you can park without charge. Regardless of where you begin your hike, you and your dog are in for a great time!
Your hike will begin with a climb through a rustic and wild looking area before you reach the rocky ridge of the mountain. After about a mile, you'll come to a gorgeous lookout area with great views of the park. When you continue on, you'll come to an area known as Browns Landing, named for an outlaw road agent who hid out in the area in the 1860s. There are other trails connecting to this area, so be sure to follow a trail map on your trek -- some visitors note the entire trail isn't well-marked.
Other parts of your hike will take you through breathtaking pine trees, aspen glades, and spacious meadows. Toward the end of your walk, you'll drop 480 feet in just three-quarters of a mile, and this steep plunge takes you to the south trailhead. This is where you can find the Pole Mountain Military Reservation Area, a 55,000-acre area that was used for war training until 1959. There are plenty of picnic and campground sites here, and during the winter, it's also a common spot for sledding, cross-country skiing, and snow-shoeing.
The Headquarters National Recreation Trail is a furrific way to spend a day with your dog, and the two of you will love getting to explore the Medicine Bow National Forest together!