The untamed spirit of the West and some of America’s most breathtaking scenery thrive side by side in Wyoming — offering access to incredible outdoor pursuits and opportunities to experience sights and landscapes that have remained unchanged for centuries.
1. VISIT A NATIONAL PARK
The unspoiled natural beauty of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks is something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. Yellowstone offers the world’s largest concentration of geothermal features, colossal waterfalls and hundreds of species of wildlife. Grand Teton is dominated by the majestic Teton Range, sparkling alpine lakes and more than 370 kilometres of hiking trails.
2. WATCH WILDLIFE
Bison, elk, wild horses and more than 400 species of birds are just a few free-roaming creatures you might encounter whilst hiking, camping or cruising scenic byways. See bison sunning themselves next to geysers at Yellowstone National Park; look for the U.S.’ largest migratory herd of pronghorn in southwestern Wyoming’s Red Desert; or catch glimpses of bald eagles, foxes and deer at Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge near Green River.
3. TAKE A SCENIC DRIVE
Scenic byways connect stop-worthy historic sites and quaint little towns and lead to sights of skyscraping peaks, dense woodlands, deep canyons and sprawling grasslands. Choose from many routes, including Beartooth Scenic Byway, an All-American Road that winds past vast high-alpine landscapes and wildflower-peppered meadows, and Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway, which takes motorists through the beautiful Wapiti Valley to Yellowstone National Park.
4. VISIT A WYOMING DUDE OR GUEST RANCH
Wyoming dude ranches offer incredible getaways for all kinds of travellers, from families travelling with children to adventurers seeking activities like fishing, hunting or horseback riding. The establishments, many of which have been family owned for generations, also offer cosy accommodations, hearty meals and chances to pitch in on the ranch. Find the right experience for you at TravelWyoming.com/places-to-stay.
5. SEE A RODEO
Nearly every town hosts a rodeo during the summertime, and there’s no better place to soak up a Wyoming — nicknamed the Cowboy State — way of life. Animated announcers, cowboys and cowgirls showing off their riding and roping talents, and other riotous entertainment make evenings at the arena unforgettable. Attend Cheyenne Frontier Days, the world’s largest outdoor rodeo and Western celebration, in the capital city each July; or choose from a wide array of rodeo events statewide.
6. HIT THE SLOPES
Wyoming’s powdery slopes cater to skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. Head to legendary Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, where 1,219 metres of vertical terrain and one of the country’s highest average snowfall totals keep snow lovers satisfied all winter long. Or try more intimate locales like White Pine Resort near Pinedale, with 350 acres of family-friendly terrain, or Grand Targhee Resort, featuring 2,602 skiable acres.
7. UNCOVER STORIES OF THE AMERICAN FRONTIER
The state’s rich past is saturated with stories of Native Americans, pioneers and gold-seekers — and their legends live on at museums, cultural centres and historic sites. Investigate the history of 1800s-era frontier trails traversed by settlers, miners and others pursuing a better life at the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center in Casper; or visit the Wind River Indian Reservation in late June to experience one of the West’s largest powwows and Native American rodeos.
8. TRY WHITEWATER RAFTING
Whether you prefer scenic floats or challenging rapids, Wyoming’s waterways have whitewater adventures for every traveller. The rafting season runs from mid-May to late September, and the state’s wealth of outfitters offer half and full-day and overnight excursions, which include expert instruction and all the gear you need. Perfect for families, float trips are also a great way to experience beautiful landscapes and spot wildlife.
9. GO HIKING & FISHING
Wyoming’s diverse habitats host endless outdoor pursuits — and hiking and fishing are ideal ways to take in the splendid backdrops. There are hundreds of hiking trails within the state’s seven national forests, two national parks, 12 state parks and 18 million acres of public lands. Wyoming is also a fisherman’s dream, with 4,200 glistening lakes and 43,500 kilometres of streams with excellent chances to catch trout, salmon, bass and more.
10. SPEND A NIGHT UNDER THE STARS
Camping is a cherished summer ritual in Wyoming, where the nighttime sky is filled with more twinkling stars than you ever imagined and access to the pristine wilderness is unparalleled. Quiet lakeside retreats, campsites with kid-pleasing amenities like pools and playgrounds, and out-of-the-way backcountry gems — the state has an extensive roster of campgrounds and RV parks.
Some call it a view. Others, perspective.
Wyoming’s visual splendor will indeed overwhelm you. What will stay with you, however, is the effect it has on how you look at everything else. Find your Zen amongst epic National Parks and 98,000 square miles of possibility.