Glendo State Park

Location: One of Wyoming’s most accessible reservoirs is located at Glendo State Park.

Approximately mid-way between Cheyenne and Casper, its location right off I-25 makes it easy for anyone towing a boat to get in the water with very little effort, with only a few miles of secondary roads to navigate.

History

Glendo Dam was completed in 1957. It was designed for water storage and hydro electric power generation. The power station produces almost 56 million KWH annually. The dam itself is constructed of concrete with earth fill; it is just under 2100 feet long, and is 167 feet high. The average water surface is 12,365 acres. This average has wide variances. In 2010, flooding reduced the number of available camping spots by about half, and in dry periods, boat ramps toward the upstream side of the reservoir can be high and dry.

Archaeological evidence of aboriginal settlement and artifacts of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Oglala and Sioux can be observed at Glendo State Park and the immediate vicinity.

Activities

Glendo reservoir is big enough to accommodate sail boats and power boats. Water skiing is very popular, with early mornings before the water gets choppy being ideal. There are areas that are good for wind surfing, and others that are good for canoeing and other small vessels. People using any wind powered craft should be aware that Wyoming in general, and Glendo’s location in particular, can produce some extremely high velocity winds that seem to come out of nowhere. Generally speaking, winds are calmer in the mornings, peak in the afternoons, then subside toward night fall. There are six boat launching ramps, and a full service marina.

The nature of the topography at Glendo provides for some very appealing features to the reservoir. There are three main bodies of water, and numerous coves. One particularly unique feature is Red Canyon, a long, narrow channel that connects the northernmost section of the lake to the main body. The red rock formations that line this channel are well worth exploring.

Fishing is often described as spectacular. Wyoming’s lowest in the nation population, and the somewhat distant location of Glendo, means that fishing pressure is light. Species available are walleye, yellow perch, as well as stocked channel catfish. The North Platte River that was dammed to create Glendo provides excellent trout fishing above and below the dam.

There are abundant and varied types of camping opportunities. Everything from motel rooms and cabins to RV and primitive tent sites are available. In total, there are a little over 400 camp sites available, most on a first-come-first-served basis, but other than a major holiday like the Fourth of July, Wyoming’s low population means that it’s usually no problem to secure a site. Shade and protection from the wind can be an issue. If possible, secure a site with trees, and remember that the prevailing winds will be from the West, so that any trees, cliffs, or other geographical features that can break the wind can be used to advantage.

There are three interpretive nature trails for hikers: The Glendo Dam Wetlands Trail running along the river just below the dam, The Muddy Bay Wetlands Interpretive nature Trail on the east side of Muddy Bay, and the Glendo Dam Overlook Trail located near the dam on the Southern end of the reservoir.

Horses can be ridden throughout the park, and dogs are welcome, but must be leashed.

All kinds of aquatic and terrestrial birds and wildlife can be observed on the reservoir and around the park.

Hunting is also available during Wyoming hunting seasons.

There are some reservable shelters for group picnics and activities.

Glendo State Park is open year-round. Winter activities include snowmobiling, cross country skiing, and snow shoeing, along with winter versions of summertime activities. Those unaccustomed to harsh winter conditions are strongly urged to go in the company of someone experienced in such conditions.

Park Fees

Wyoming Resident: $4/day, $10 – overnight camping, Annual Day Use Permit – $33.00, Annual Overnight Camping Permit – $44.00
Non-Wyoming Resident: $6/day, $17 – overnight camping, Annual Day Use Permit – $55.00, Annual Overnight Camping Permit – Not Available.

Contact Information

Mail: Glendo State Park
P.O. Box 398
Glendo, WY 82213

Phone: 307-735-4433

URLs: http://wyoparks.state.wy.us/Site/SiteInfo.asp?siteID=6
http://wyoparks.state.wy.us/Site/Brochure/Glendo.pdf