Best Places to Visit in Wyoming
The Wild West comes to life in Wyoming. It is one of the most sparsely populated states in the United States, with its rugged terrains, rich tribal legends, rodeos, ranches, cowboy towns, and some wonderful wilderness areas in the world. Along with the magnificent Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park and its geothermal wonders form one of the largest intact temperate ecosystems in the world.
Both parks are home to a wide variety of wildlife, from grizzly bears and golden eagles to wolves, elk, elk, bison and black bears. These stunning national parks attract the largest crowds in the state. Further afield, you can explore Red Wall Canyon, hot springs, historic country towns, the Pioneer Museum, and historic sites in Wyoming’s capital, Cheyenne.
Outdoor adventure abounds in this wilderness and open space. Wyoming offers some of the best skiing in North America, along with world-class hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, climbing, and fishing. Discover the best places to visit in this rugged western state with our list of the Best Places to Visit in Wyoming and make your trip enjoyable.
10 Best Places to Visit in Wyoming
Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Wyoming:
Nestled in a wide valley at the foot of the majestic Teton Mountains, Jackson, Wyoming exudes the spirit of the Wild West. Rustic wooden buildings and boardwalks, quirky shops, galleries and restaurants add to the charm of this quaint town. The town square framed by the Elkhorn Arch is not to be missed.
Jackson is also the gateway to beautiful Grand Teton National Park and a popular stop for Yellowstone excursions. Adjacent to the town, the National Elk Refuge protects the world’s largest overwintering deer herd. In season, you can take a sleigh ride into the sanctuary to see these tame creatures up close.
Hidden on a rocky hillside south of town, the National Museum of Wildlife Art is another major attraction, with over 4,000 paintings and many rotating exhibits. Other Jackson highlights include a scenic float ride along the Snake River, a mirror wagon picnic, popular summer rodeos, and downhill skiing on Snow King Mountain. Jackson Hole is also one of Wyoming’s top fly fishing destinations.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Teton Village, 20 minutes’ drive from Jackson, offers some of the best skiing in North America, as well as a variety of summer mountain sports and outdoor concerts.
2. West Buffalo Bill Center
The Buffalo Bill Center of the West traces important episodes of American history in a complex of five fascinating museums. At the Buffalo Bill Museum, you can see artifacts from the life of the legendary American soldier and actor Buffalo Bill Cody.
The Cody Gun Museum houses an extensive collection of firearms from around the world. Wyoming’s wildlife and geology are the main themes at the Draper Museum of Natural History, and you can learn about the culture of the early inhabitants of the prairie through exhibits and multimedia performances at the Plains Indian Museum.
In addition to all these historical exhibitions and artifacts, the center offers a feast for art lovers. Works by Frederick Remington, Charles Russell and George Catlin at the Whitney Western Art Gallery continue the Wild West theme. Near the center is the rodeo venue, where some of the Wild West’s best cowboys perform in the summer.
3. Flame Gorge National Recreation Area
Named after the region’s stunning red sandstone cliffs, Flame Gorge National Recreation Area stretches south from the Green River in Wyoming to Utah. Fed by the waters of the Green River, the Flaming Gorge Reservoir is a popular spot for boating, fishing, swimming, camping and canoeing. Adventurers can also raft in the Green River area downstream of the Fire Canyon Dam.
The Red Canyon Vista and Visitor Center is located above the canyon and offers stunning views of the canyon. From the visitor center, the Canyon Rim Trail winds up along the canyon rim with lookout points along the way. In addition to the colorful rock formations, petroglyphs are found on some rock faces, and prehistoric fossils are often found in the area.
4. The Wind River Range
Looking for stunning mountain scenery in Grand Teton National Park or Yellowstone National Park without the crowds? Head to the Wind River Mountains in western Wyoming. Its 2.25 million acres are the seven largest glaciers in the lower 48 US states; its lush meadows dotted with wildflowers; valleys carved by glaciers; snow-capped peaks; and thousands of bright trout waterways, including the source of the Green River. No wonder it’s a paradise for hiking, hunting, fishing, camping and mountaineering.
Especially for hikers, this place will be heaven. More than 600 miles of trails span the area, including part of the Continental Divide Scenic National Trail from Canada to Mexico. The 80-mile stretch of the area rises to an elevation of 11,000 feet and is during August and September when the best hiking trail is likely to be snowless. Keep an eye out for wildlife. This is a land of grizzly bears, but you can also see deer, mountain lions, elk, elk, wolves, and hundreds of different birds.
The Wind River Mountains are also one of the top fly fishing destinations in Wyoming. Anglers can catch many species of trout, as well as grayling and mackinaw, in crystal clear streams and rivers.
Looking for a dose of culture and history? You will also find it here. At the Wind River Indian Reservation, you can attend a powwow, visit a museum, or explore the area along the scenic 70-mile drive of the Wind River Indian Reservation Trail. Get a self-guided tour map of Wyoming from your local Chamber of Commerce.
The rustic town of Pinedale is the gateway to this remote area of Bridger Wilderness and is a great base for stocking up on supplies. From here you can pack your backpack, lace up your boots, pack your fly cane and head away from the crowds to one of the country’s breathtakingly beautiful wilderness areas.
5. Yellowstone National Park
Established in 1872, Yellowstone is the world’s first and oldest national park. It is home to one of the most awe-inspiring wilderness areas in the world. Huge herds of bison still roam the valley freely, and the rich wildlife includes grizzly and black bears, gray wolves, elk, antelopes, trumpeter swans, and majestic bald eagles.
The park is a geothermal wonderland. Hissing geysers, bubbling mud basins and steaming hot springs betray the forces that shaped this magnificent landscape millions of years ago. Waterfalls cascade down steep canyons and sparkling lakes and rivers stretch for miles. Yellowstone National Park highlights include the famous Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone Lake, and the jaw-dropping Lower Falls waterfall.
You can drive through the park, but the extensive network of hiking trails is the best way to appreciate the park’s diverse ecosystem. Staying at one of the park’s scenic campgrounds makes it easy to expand the wildlife experience. The park is one of the best places to visit in Wyoming. The landscape is painted in different hues each season, and excursions are excellent year-round, but most tourists visit in the summer.
6. Grand Teton National Park
Perched high above the rugged peaks of the majestic Teton Mountains, Grand Teton National Park is one of Wyoming’s treasures. These mountains in the state’s northwest were formed millions of years ago when a fault in the Earth’s crust bent to form 12 peaks rising more than 12,000 feet. The longest of these is Grand Teton at 13,770 feet. Wildlife abounds. The park is home to more than 300 bird species, 60 mammal species and much freshwater fish. It is not surprising that the park is a paradise for wildlife lovers, photographers, climbers, skiers and hikers.
The best way to explore the stunning scenery is to hike the many trails and spend the night at the campground. Summer is by far the peak season to visit and the only time the mountain hiking trails are completely snow-free, but spring and fall are also good times to visit with fewer crowds. During the winter, some roads and access points are closed.
7. Grand Targhee Ski Resort
If you hate waiting in line and paying exorbitant prices for cable car tickets, Grand Targhee Ski Resort is a popular choice for your next Wyoming ski vacation. About a 90-minute drive from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, this family-friendly Teton West Slope resort is much cheaper and less crowded than its famous sister resort.
Snowfall here is more than 500 inches of light, fluffy powder, averaging over 2,270 feet of vertical elevation and accessed by 5 lifts. You can find trails for all abilities here, but intermediate skiers are particularly well served, with over 70% of the terrain classified as suitable for them. Other amenities include two terrain parks, snowshoeing and Scandinavian trails. Backcountry skiers and snowboarders can also sign up for Wyoming’s only cat skiing, as well as specialty snowcat skiing.
Sure, visibility can be an issue here sometimes, but you can ski in the fog, and the promise of pristine dustbags helps make up for it – Grand Targhee has one of the lowest rates of skiers and untracked dust in the country. Relatively affordable accommodation on the slopes is another advantage of a vacation here.
Summer is also full of events. Soak up the scenery from a cable car ride, attend a concert, cycle the trails, and sample the restaurants and shops of this quaint town. Whatever the season, Grand Targhee makes a great mountain getaway for the whole family.
8. National Historic Trails Interpretive Center
More than a museum, the National Historic Trail Interpretive Center is an interactive experience that recreates the ancient Herald Trail and its important role in American history. The museum is one of the top things to do in Casper, Wyoming and well worth a few hours.
Full dioramas and multimedia presentations tell the stories of Wyoming’s first settlers, mountaineers, and fur hunters, the Oregon Trail, Mormon Trail, California Trail, and Pony Express Route. All the exhibits are arranged in chronological order, which makes visiting this museum feels like a journey through time.
For families who want to learn about the country’s history, this is one of Wyoming’s top attractions. Kids can climb into the back seat of the covered carriage, simulate a river crossing, and watch a movie highlighting the personal stories of the pioneers. Best of all, admission is free!
9. Fort Laramie National Historic Site
Fort Laramie, once a private fur trading post, was Wyoming’s first garrison outpost and became an important outpost serving Mormons who migrated west, pioneers of the Oregon and California roads. The area was also an important military outpost during the Plains Indian War. In 1938, President Roosevelt declared the 214-acre military reservation a national monument. Today, the National Park Service manages the site.
Your first stop should be the visitor center, where a short audio-visual presentation tells the history of the castle. Artifacts such as uniforms and weapons are also exhibited here.
After the visitor center, take a walking tour of the restored buildings that bring the castle’s fascinating history to life. Take a tour of the barracks to learn about the life and food of the troops and visit restored buildings such as the officer’s quarters, the post office, the grocery store, and the health center. Friendly volunteers in period costumes help you recreate the scene as you wander the site.
Most tourists take self-guided tours, but interpretive lessons are offered in the summer. If you’re looking for a way to keep your kids entertained, they can sign up for an educational scavenger hunt.
10. Devil’s Tower National Monument
Located 1,200 feet above the eastern Wyoming plains and the Belle Fourche River, Devils Tower National Monument is a geological treasure. If you’re looking for things to do in Northeast Wyoming, this is the hit. The Devil’s Tower Visitor Center details the geology of this flat-topped volcanic wonder and depicts the history and culture of the area through photographs and exhibits.
After exploring the monument, you can hike on the 8-mile nature trail that wraps around the rocks and through the surrounding forests and meadows. In the spring and early summer, the abundance of wildflowers makes for great photo opportunities. Also, be aware of the prairie dog habitat when you enter the site.
Other popular activities include rock climbing during certain months and fishing for bullhead, catfish and walleye at Belle Fourche. Ranger-led tours are also available in the area.
Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Wyoming. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Wyoming, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.