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Wyoming is a land of wide-open spaces and natural beauty, with endless outdoor recreation and captivating destinations. This is a place where wildlife can be wild, where you can really get off the grid, and where cowboy culture still exists. Tucked into the heart of the American West, Wyoming often gets overlooked as a travel destination, but that makes its rugged vibe even more magical for those who choose to explore it. Here are a few of the best things to see and do in Wyoming.
Hike Around Devils Tower
Devils Tower is an impressive national monument that rises above the Black Hills and is considered sacred to indigenous people. This was the first national monument to be designated in America, and you can hike around the geological formation via the 1.3-mile Tower Trail, the 2.8-mile Red Beds Trail, the 1.5-mile Joyner Ridge Trail, and the 1.5-mile South Side/Valley View Trails. Camping is available at the Belle Fourche River Campground, and rock climbing is popular here with technical difficulty ratings from 5.7 to 5.13.
Visit Yellowstone National Park
The epic Yellowstone National Park extends through Montana and Idaho too, but much of the park is located in Wyoming. With over 1,000 miles of trails, this is one of the most popular places in America to hike. Just be aware that with many trails over 7,000 feet of elevation, snow remains on many trails until June and even July. Yellowstone is a popular place for fishing, boating, wildlife watching, camping, horseback riding, skiing, snowshoeing, and guided snowmobile tours. There are 12 campgrounds here with more than 2,000 sites, as well as nine lodges that have over 2,000 rooms for your extended stay in the park.
Snow Sports at Jackson Hole
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is one of the best places to ski and snowboard in the U.S., and the resort has the longest continuous vertical rise in the U.S. at 4,139 feet. The resort is 12 miles northwest of Jackson, is typically open for skiing between late-November and early-April, and has 2,5000 acres of in-bounds terrain on its two mountains. In the summer, families come here for kids’ camps, rafting, horseback riding, hiking, biking, the Grand Adventure Park, outdoor concerts, bowling, and other activities.
Pitch a Tent in the Great Outdoors
Camping is a popular activity throughout the state of Wyoming because of how beautiful the natural scenery is here. In addition to Devils Tower National Monument and Yellowstone National Park, camping is also available at Grand Teton National Park, Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, Boysen State Park, and Keyhole State Park. Meanwhile, private campgrounds offer convenient amenities and many of the comforts of home in Wyoming, including the Jackson Hole/Snake River KOA, Cody KOA Holiday, and Cheyenne KOA Journey.
Take a Dip in Some Hot Springs
Wyoming is also home to geothermal activity that creates natural hot springs that you can visit and take a dip in. Check out Hot Springs State Park in the town of Thermopolis, which has a bathhouse with 104-degree soothing waters. There are also hot springs pools at Granite Hot Springs south of Jackson, at the Saratoga Hot Springs Resort in Saratoga, and the popular Boiling River Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park. There’s no better way to warm up on a cold, snowy day in Wyoming!
Get Off the Grid in a Wilderness Cabin
If pitching a tent isn’t your style, Wyoming is also an excellent place to embrace the rustic lifestyle in an off-the-grid rental cabin. You can find some amazing wilderness cabins on Airbnb, VRBO, and other similar booking sites. Many of these cabins come with wood stoves, fireplaces, and bedding to create a cozy vacation setting that’s fun and romantic.
Go Hiking in Grand Teton National Park
For big mountain views in Wyoming, head to Grand Teton National Park, which has over 200 miles of trails to explore, as well as the Snake River to float down. This national park is an ideal place to go climbing and mountaineering, go birdwatching, go fishing, bike along the multi-use pathway between South Jenny Lake and Jackson, and try cross-country skiing. Open all year long, the park is also lovely to see on scenic drives and home to a variety of wildlife species.
Explore Wyoming’s Small Towns
With a statewide population of only about 577,737, Wyoming has lots of small towns that are fun and charming to visit. Some small towns to check out for yourself include Lander, Meeteetse, Ten Sleep, and Hulett. Other great small towns in Wyoming include Hartville, Centennial, and Douglas.
Experience Wildlife in the Wild
Wyoming is a great place for wildlife watching, as animals can roam around without as many threats as they face in many other parts of the U.S. This is a place where you can see bison, elk, bighorn sheep, and deer up-close and personal. There are over 100 species of mammals and at least 400 bird spies in the state, many of which you can see while visiting the national and state parks here. Some other wild residents here include grizzly bears, black bears, bobcats, mountain lions, moose, and wild horses.
See Some Native Petroglyphs
Petroglyphs are ancient rock carvings made by indigenous people, and you can see some for yourself in Wyoming. One popular viewing area is west of Thermopolis at the Legend Rock Petroglyph Site. Here there are at least 283 petroglyphs on 92 sandstone panels, representing rock art that dates back at least 10,000 years. Other top petroglyph sites are the Medicine Lodge Archaeological Site near the Big Horn Mountains, Castle Gardens Site in Wind River Area east of Riverton, and the White Mountain Petroglyphs near Rock Springs.
Experience a Real Wyoming Dude Ranch
Wyoming is also one of the few places in the world where you can experience a real, authentic dude ranch. These dude ranches in Wyoming offer lodging, delicious food, and opportunities to ride horses, hunt, fish, and have a wild west adventure. Some dude ranch options here include Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch in the Wind River Mountains, Vee Bar Guest Ranch near Laramie, and Paradise Guest Ranch near the town of Buffalo.