Headed to Wyoming and wondering what you can do aside from the national parks? Here are the BEST things to do in Wyoming during your visit!
I think if we weren’t about to relocate to be closer to family, we’d be relocating to Wyoming. And starting a ranch with lots of land and going on adventures every weekend. We spent almost a week in Wyoming and every other day we said to each other “should we move here?” Of course, Wyoming is a popular state because it holds both Yellowstone National Park AND Grand Teton National Park but it’s so much more than that! The state of Wyoming is large and boasts varied geological landscapes. It’s hard to be bored in a state like that. So without further ado, here are the best things to do in Wyoming (other than national parks!)
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Float down the Snake River
The Snake River might be the most beautiful river I’ve ever seen. It’s the most gorgeous shade of green, surrounding by towering mountains and lush greenery. The Snake River runs 1,078 miles through the Pacific Northwest through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Wyoming. Obvious, we are focused on the Wyoming portion… the river is winding and has several tributaries so I would suggest going with a tour unless you’re local to the area. The Snake River does go through Grand Teton National Park as well, so this would be good to pair with a trip to my favorite national park! Plan to leave from the Jackson Hole area.
Tours I recommend:
Visit a State Park
When you boast two of the best and most beautiful national parks in your home state, the state parks can be easily overlooked. Wyoming is home to some of the most gorgeous land in all of USA so you’d be remiss to skip over these state parks. If you’re looking to see wildlife, check out the Bison and elk at Bear River State Park. If you can’t get enough of the beautiful mountain range scenery, head over to Boysen State Park or Buffalo Bill State Park.
Hot outside and looking to swim? Visit the old quarry at Edness K. Wilkins State Park or Guernsey State Park. Cold outside? Visit the Hot Springs State Park to dip in the therapeutic baths kept at a toasty 104 degrees. All the history buffs (or just buffs interested in cool things) should visit the Medicine Lodge Archaeological Site to see over 10,000 years of rich Native American history. Stretch your legs and get in some epic hikes at Sink Canyon State Park! Ugh, I think I need to plan a month-long road trip just to visit all these state parks?!
If you’ve ever heard of the state of Wyoming, you’ve probably also heard of the town of Jackson. Jackson is an adorable Western town that oozes with charm. It’s also the gateway to Jackson Hole (epic skiing) and Grand Teton National Park. The town is small enough you could explore it in a day or two. We loved walking down the Main Street to see all the cute shops. Make sure you take a picture with the antler arch! Grab a beer at Snake River Brewery–and trust us, try the bison chili. This little town is definitely one of the best things to do in Wyoming.
Old Trail Town
Venture over to Cody, Wyoming and then get ready to take a step back in time at the Old Trail Town. Only open for the summer, this town is perfectly preserved like it’s 1895. Old Trail Town will give you a taste of the Frontier West and you can visit many shops, buildings, and lands to become a Frontier Woman. (Or man! Hi!)
Grand Targhee Ski Resort
I feel like Targhee National Forest and Grand Targhee is overlooked because of its proximity to Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole. Grand Targhee Resort is only 42 miles from Jackson Hole and provides top notch powder and amazing ski slopes. It’s also open year-round for hiking and biking, and is a great launch pad for national park and surrounding area adventures!
Fossil Butte National Monument
Head to Kemmerer for one of the best Wyoming things to do… to see some of the best preserved fossils in the country (and maybe world!). Called “America’s Aquarium in Stone,” Wyoming’s sage brush desert is the perfect place to see fish, insects, plants, and various wildlife perfectly fossilized into the stone. The area also provides hiking trails, Ham’s Fork River, and the JC Penney house (who knew?!).
Devil’s Tower is a 1,267 foot high granite formation in the Belle Fourche River Valley. The tower is a butte that used to be below the earth’s surface, but now rises high above the ground due to erosion. There is a 1.25 mile hike around the butte or a longer 3 mile loop that surrounds much of the area. You’re also a stone’s throw from Thunder Basin National Grasslands and Badlands National Park! Badlands is actually in South Dakota but if you’re in the area, you might as well.
Take a scenic drive
Can I just say WYOMING IS GORGEOUS?! One of my favorite states to explore. When we drove through, we just kept stopping to see the beautiful views right outside our car windows. Make sure you take the time to drive through a scenic route during your time in Wyoming.
Some Road Trip Suggestions:
- Happy Jack Road: 50 miles from Cheyenne to Laramie that boasts beautiful ranch land and large populations of moose (meese?)
- Snowy Ridge and Woods Landing: 223 miles through the beautiful Snowy Mountain Range and the Medicine Bow National Forest
- Wind River Canyon: 32 miles from Shoshoni to Thermopolis through a beautiful canyon changing elevation from 2500 feet throughout the drive. Who doesn’t love a good canyon?!!? And Thermopolis is where the hot springs are, so once you make it, relax and take a soak!
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