We had a short drive from Buffalo to Glendo and as usual it was a hot beautiful summer day with lots of antelope and cattle in the fields to entertain us during the drive. It wasn’t long before we saw the sign to exit to Glendo.
Glendo, Wyoming is a small town of about 200 people and sits close to the entrance of Glendo State Park.
Glendo State Park is one of southern Wyoming’s most popular boating lakes. It offers a full set of camping, fishing, and day use amenities. It is also very historic with tipi rings and artifacts found throughout the area. We entered the main park entrance on the south side of the lake but still had 15 miles to drive to get to our campground.
Glendo Dam was constructed in 1954 along with a power plant completed in 1958. It is an earth filled dam. We had to drive over this dam to get to our campground. There is an overlook parking area which offer great views of the surrounding area.
Sandy Beach Campground is on the east side of the lake and offers campsites along the sandy beach shores of the lake. It is a perfect location for those who want to spend their days swimming in the lake.
Campground: Sandy Beach Dune Campground
Location: Glendo, Wyoming
Site: 1414 – pull-thru
Comments: A somewhat older, neglected campground by the lake with fabulous, I mean fabulous, countryside surrounding us for miles and miles. The entire Glendo State Park has stunning long distance views of the lake and mountains and rolling hills. It is absolutely breath taking scenery.
COVID Awareness: 10 out of 10! This is based on not having to have contact with anyone (mostly). We drove through the first kiosk and they just said keep going to Sandy Beach Campground, about 15 miles further. We proceeded on to Sandy Beach and there at the kiosk they immediately checked us in and in we went. Very minimal contact or talking to anyone.
The beach and lake were about 200 meters from our site. Our row of campsites were nicely spaced and had very little trees and shade. Closer to the water were many more campsites (and obviously the favorites because they were all full) that were inside the trees with lots of shade and direct access to the water. There was lots of sand in that area and along the beach, hence the name Sandy Beach. They did have several group campsites for 3 vehicles put in a circle with a common area (campfire pit) and 3 picnic tables in the center. It was quite cute and very popular.
As I said the beach was very close to our site and had lots of beach area. There is approximately 2 miles of swimming beach on the lake with Sandy Beach offering about 1 mile of beach. We seemed to have hot sunny mornings and by late afternoon the clouds would roll in and put on quite a dramatic display in the sky. It was definitely hot when we were there and we were glad we had electricity for the A/C!
There is a Marina at the state park, an archery range, a dump station with potable water, about 21 campgrounds with about 568 sites spread all around the lake in different types of terrain and vegetation, 6 boat launches, and 45 miles of hiking and biking trails. We loved this place.
The Narrows Bluff trailhead was close to our site so we decided to start with that hike. It took us through sand dunes, open meadows, and high desert pines and shrub all the while we were skirting the lake.
Close to the dam is the requisite Power Plant with a great overlook area. We stopped and explored and realized there were trails down below along the North Platte River. We decided we needed to try out that hike one of the following days.
Another day we took the car and decided to explore the area further north of us along the lake shore after the pavement stops. We took a few dirt, rough roads and discovered quite a few more campgrounds in the bush, along the shore, with no hookups. Some were empty, some had a number of vehicles, all were rather tired but they provided great privacy, isolation, and easy access to the lake. Another time maybe?
Next hike was the Wetlands hike. We drove to the Power Plant area where there is a trailhead and hiked along the North Platte River to the low flow outlet area of the Glendo Dam. There are a variety of trails in that area with some of them right next to the river and others much higher up the side of the hill/mountain. We hiked up the side of the mountain and back down again to get to the dam and returned on the other side of the river. It was a great hike.
Even though the campgrounds are a bit tired we still loved this place. The surrounding scenery, and the quantity, quality, and accessibility of hiking trails cannot be beat.