WHMA / WHMA / Cottonwood Draw


Public Access Area Open: Open year-round Open year round.
Exceptions: Access parking lot not plowed during winter.
Recreation Opportunities: Hunting, Trapping, Camping, Hiking, Wildlife Viewing, Waterfall
Restrictions: Access limited to easement area marked with signs.
Additional Restrictions: No Recreational Shooting, ORV use is prohibited, No off-road travel, No open fires or fireworks.
Total Acres: 699.8

The Cottonwood Draw Wildlife Habitat Management Area is seven miles south of Guernsey and nine miles northeast of Wheatland along the Laramie River. There is a reservoir with a dam along the Laramie River that supplies cooling water for the Laramie River Power Plant. Through a cooperative agreement between the Wyoming Game & Fish Commission and the Missouri Basin Power Project, these lands are being managed for optimum public recreational activities and to maintain or improve present wildlife habitat.
The average elevation of this area is 4,500 feet, with plains, rolling hills, sharp breaks, and cliffs. To the west, the land rises gradually for about five miles to the Laramie Range, which rises abruptly to elevations of 9,000 feet. Laramie Peak, the highest peak in the mountain range, stands at 10,272 feet.
The reservoir provides quality habitat for a variety of wildlife. Many species of ducks and Canada geese use these waters, especially during migration periods and some winter months. Pheasants, doves, wild turkey and sharp-tailed grouse reside here. Squirrels, cottontail rabbits, mule deer, white-tailed deer and pronghorn antelope roam this area. There are big walleyes in this reservoir. White pelicans frequent the waters and are fun to watch soar or fish.
This 1,800-acre reservoir provides opportunities for fishing, boating, swimming and water skiing. Public facilities, including parking areas, vault toilets, and boat ramps, are provided on the south side of the reservoir. Boaters should be cautious because the area is subject to high winds that can make boat navigation difficult. Overnight parking or camping restricted to the major parking areas. The north shore may also be used for overnight camping by boaters.
In addition, public access into the 699-acre Cottonwood Draw area is provided. Cottonwood Draw is managed to provide wildlife habitat and quality wildlife experiences for people. A unique feature of this area is its archaeological site. You are welcome to park, hunt or hike here, but take care not to destroy the site.
Camping limit is 5 days, no ORVs.
Cottonwood Draw is open all year.


For questions about this Public Access Area, please contact:
Laramie Regional Office

1212 S. Adams St.
Laramie, WY
ph: (307) 745-4046
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Last Updated: 6/28/2019
*Some boundary areas are missing and will be updated as soon as possible.
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