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Wyoming is one of the least populated states, but it’s also one of the largest, with diverse terrain that includes soaring mountains, glistening lakes, and nearly endless ranch land. From iconic national parks to picture-perfect mountain towns, Wyoming is full of exploration-worthy travel destinations. If you’re looking for a weekend getaway in Wyoming, you’ll have a wealth of options to choose from.
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Jackson Hole is surrounded by some of the most breathtaking scenery in the entire nation, as well as being home to an abundance of wildlife and opportunities for adventure all year round. While it’s world-famous for its ski resorts when all that snow melts there is a myriad of hikes available in nearby Grand Teton National Park and throughout the Snake River Valley. Take the aerial tram that leads from Teton Village to the top of Rendezvous Mountain for especially amazing vistas. Once there, you can even take a paragliding flight from the tram’s peak, the largest vertical drop in the country. Other activities include whitewater rafting in Snake River Canyon, horseback riding, mountain biking, and more. In the town of Jackson, you’ll find numerous world-class restaurants, shops and thriving nightlife.
There’s more than enough to see and do to fill a weekend, and much longer, in Yellowstone. This is one of the world’s most active areas of hydrothermal activity, famous for its hot springs, mud pots, fumaroles, travertine terraces, and geysers, including the most famous geyser on Earth, Old Faithful. There are thunderous waterfalls, lakes, rivers, and a wide range wildlife, with everything from bison, moose, and bears to the wolves, elk, and even pelicans. Many of its sights can be enjoyed by taking a scenic drive like the Grand Loop Road. It features museums, visitor centers, boardwalks, and some of the park’s most popular attractions.
Buffalo is a historic town in the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains in northern Wyoming surrounded by impressive scenery for outdoor adventures like hiking, fishing, and horseback riding, but it also offers a host of things to do of its own. Its downtown district is lined with historic buildings like the more than 140-year-old Occidental Hotel that’s housed the likes of some rather famous guests, including President Teddy Roosevelt and Butch Cassidy. At the Jim Gatchell Museum, which opened its doors in 1900, you can check out over 15,000 artifacts from the American West.
Green River is Wyoming’s gateway to the Flaming Gorge National Recreation area, which sits in northeastern Utah and Wyoming. Base yourself here and enjoy access to the colorful canyons and nearly 100-mile-long reservoir. There are a number of beautiful beaches and lots of opportunities for getting out on the water, including swimming, fishing, boating, kayaking, and whitewater rafting. On land, you can hike, ride horses, mountain bike or go four-wheeling.
One of the top things to do in Wyoming, Thermopolis hosts the world’s largest mineral hot spring and is known as the state’s “hot spring town.” Enjoy hiking the trails and picnicking at Hot Spring State Park, and then look forward to relaxing and soothing those muscles in the warm mineral waters that remain a constant 104 degrees for free, thanks to a treaty signed with Native American tribes. There are also fee-based water parks that sit adjacent to it which include indoor and outdoor pools, water slides, hot tubs, and steam rooms.
A top-rated attraction in Wyoming, Devils Tower is located in eastern Wyoming just west of the Black Hills. This iconic landmark made famous by Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” is part of a national monument where you can enjoy hiking and climbing, as well as camping close to the base of the tower. In the town of Sundance nearby, there are a number of hotels and restaurants, as well as the Crook Country Museum, where you can see the jail where the Sundance Kid, Butch Cassidy’s cohort, earned his nickname.
The frontier town of Cody is located just an hour east of Yellowstone National Park and offers plenty to do over a weekend or more. Named after William Cody, better known as Buffalo Bill, it’s home to the renowned Buffalo Bill Historical Center, often referred to as the “Smithsonian of the West.” It includes five separate themed museums for one of the most comprehensive looks at the American West there is. This is also the “Rodeo Capital of the World,” with rodeos hosted all year round, and just outside of town is the Old Trail Town, a living museum with 26 historic buildings that date from the late 19th-century, moved here from towns across the state and Montana.
Cheyenne, the largest city and capital of Wyoming, is best known for hosting Cheyenne Frontier Days in late July every year, as it has for nearly a century. It’s held over 10 days and features a rodeo every day as well as big-name concerts, a carnival, and much more. If you’re here during another time, you can get into the spirit of the west by walking through downtown, where there are numerous historic buildings and a number of museums to explore.
Lander lies along the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie River in central Wyoming, and it makes an ideal base for visiting Sinks Canyon State Park, which is just 15 minutes from downtown. Here you can fish, bike, climb and hike, including the easy 3-mile out-and-back trail to Popo Agie Falls, which parallels the river, gently climbing through Indian paintbrush and aspens. But the best part is that on a warm day, you can take a dip in the swimming hole that even has natural water slides.
Pinedale and the surrounding area hosts multiple dude and guest ranches, whether you want to enjoy a day trip or spend the night. All offer the chance to take part in a wide range of excursions, like horseback riding and even llama treks that will allow you to explore the hidden areas of the stunning Wind River Mountains.