STARS: 4.5 out of 5
LAKE HATTIE PUBLIC ACCESS AREA, DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE, BLM, LARAMIE, WY: GPS 41.2375, -105.9014
This place would get 5 stars except for the mosquitos. When there was no wind, the mosquitos would swarm. When the wind came up (which was often... daily), the mosquitos would disappear. So we just timed our outdoor activities accordingly.
This may be our dog's favorite place to camp. She loved Flathead Lake, too, (see review of Big Arm Campground in Montana) but there definitely was something really special about this lake for her.
The entrance to the water was sloped gradually yet steep enough that she spent most of her time swimming instead of galloping through the water. The water was crystal clear with a sandy/pebbly bottom. It was really beautiful.
If the water was a tad warmer I would have swam instead of waded. But it was lovely no matter what.
We were lucky that it was mostly empty the entire time we were there, and the area is large enough that when others were there, you really still had lots of space to yourself. When we got here there were two other campers, but they only hung around for 2 days. After that we had 3 days with no other campers. Then a couple came for the weekend. But it was really very private.
Smaller, lighter rigs can camp right down on the sandy beach, but we are too heavy for that. However, we could still camp cliff-side and have a spectacular view of the water from inside our rig.
The road in was easy. It was paved until the turn off and probably only a quarter mile (if that) was dirt up until where we parked. The dirt road was easy.
The drop toilet was pretty bad, though, so we didn't use it.
If for some reason it is too packed here when you come, you can go boondock at Twin Buttes which is within 3 miles of Lake Hattie. I didn't think it was as beautiful, but it was still quite nice and would be a good back up. The road was a bit more washboard-y when we traveled it, but again it is a short dirt road to the camping area.
You can dump and get potable water for $10 at the Laramie Historic Prison.
The town of Laramie is cute and worth checking out. It is a college town, so there are plenty of good restaurants.
Verizon was okay but not great. AT&T was about the same, although our internet router which works off AT&T towers picked up signal just fine. We had a few TV channels off our antenna, but mostly PBS.