WYOMING OUTDOOR TRAVEL GUIDE
Over 3 million people travel yearly to Wyoming to visit our nation’s first National Park, Yellowstone. Wyoming is the 10th biggest state in the United States and is the 2nd least densely populated US State behind Alaska. It is abundant with mountains, meadows and streams that are thriving with wildlife, and it’s an incredibly year-round.
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT WYOMING
Wyoming is a state that you have to visit more to really get a feel for true Wyoming life. Wyoming is very cold in the winter with lots of snow. If you’re visiting in winter or early spring, Jackson Hole and Grand Targhee are the places to be with awesome skiing and thousands of acres of snowmobiling and backcountry terrain. If you want to visit Yellowstone or hike in the Tetons, you’ll have to wait until the snow melts (most of Yellowstone’s roads are closed until May). Keep in mind summer is very busy in Yellowstone and Grand Teton, so we suggest visiting in fall after school is back in session.
TOP OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IN WYOMING
Fly Fishing – Wyoming boasts hundreds of miles of rivers with world-class fishing. From trout to salmon to walleye to bass, it is an awesome place to grab a reel and learn or join a fishing tournament for pros!
Dude Ranches – Looking to get off the grid? Wyoming is known for true “dude ranch” vacations where you can experience ranching life at its fullest. Check out my review of Triangle X Ranch in Wyoming.
Biking – From single track mountain biking trails to leisurely bike trails, bike paths are everywhere in Wyoming. Antelope Flats is an incredible area of Grand Tetons National Park to rent a bike and explore.
River Rafting – From scenic floats to whitewater rapids, Wyoming offers it all. Best places to raft are near Cody, WY and Jackson Hole, WY.
Snowmobiling – The area around the Continental Divide and Togwotee Pass north of Jackson Hole have hundreds of miles of trails and ungroomed terrain to rip around on a snowmobile. Check out my awesome experience backcountry snowmobiling at Togwotee Mountain Lodge.
Summer Music Festivals – The Grand Targhee Resort in Teton National Forest (on the other side of the mountain from Grand Tetons National Park) is famous for their summer music festivals that bring together incredible artists in a laid back mountain atmosphere. Check out the famous Grand Targhee Fest and Bluegrass Festival which take place in July and August.
Skiing – Skiing is big in Wyoming, and there is terrain for all levels. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is the most famous with more than 3,000 acres and their tram that takes you to the very top of the mountain. There are also smaller local ski resorts all over the state. If cross-country is your thing, the road to Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park is closed and groomed for cross-country skiers during the winter.
Hiking – Yellowstone National Park has over 900 miles of hiking trails to be explored and some of the best backcountry backpacking in the United States. The long distance Continental Divide hiking trail covers 600 miles in Wyoming as well.
Climbing – There are tons of unique rock formations that offer impeccable climbing in Wyoming. Ten Sleep Canyon in the Bighorn Mountains offers over 800 sport-climbing routes alone. You can also climb in Grand Teton National Park–make sure to check out the Grand
Teton Climber’s Ranch for a budget friendly place to stay and make some climbing friends. If you are visiting in July definitely check out the International Climbers’ Fest in Lander, WY every year.
GETTING TO WYOMING
Wyoming is a big state. It has numerous regional airports that can be very pricey. The largest airports in Wyoming are in Cody and Jackson Hole. Your best budget deals will be flying into Salt Lake City, UT or Bozeman, MT and renting a car. Trains are not common in Wyoming but bus service can be reliable depending on where you want to go.
MUST-SEE ADVENTURE DESTINATIONS IN WYOMING
Wyoming is a large state and can easily be divided into four regions; North, Northeast, Southwest and Southeast.
- Bighorn Mountains & Canyon sits along the northern Wyoming border with Montana, right in the middle of the state. It is two hours from Yellowstone, with far fewer people, and offers camping, hiking, fishing, climbing and so much more.
- Devil’s Tower National Monument stands out prominently amidst the prairie meadows of the Black Hills. It’s a great place for stargazing and crack climbing.
- Yellowstone National Park is a must-see with it’s diverse landscape ranging from geysers to deep canyons to meadows of bison. Definitely don’t miss the Grand Loop Road, a 140 mile scenic drive through Yellowstone, and make sure to check out our 7 day Yellowstone/Grand Teton itinerary.
- Shoshone National Forest, is hands-down one of the best places to see wildlife in Wyoming. It’s home to the largest population of bighorn sheep in the US and tens of thousands of elk.
- Grand Teton National Park has over 200 miles of trails, the Snake River, canyons, and the famous Grand Teton peak. You can travel along the scenic John D. Rockefeller Jr. highway to connect to Yellowstone National Park.
- Teton National Forest boasts even more trails and beautiful mountain scenery if you want to beat the crowds at Grand Teton National Park.
- Hot Springs State Park, in Thermopolis, WY, is the most visited state park in Wyoming.
- Fossil Butte National Monument, in Kemmerer, WY, has some of the best preserved fossils in the world.
- Killpecker Sand Dunes is the second largest sand dune field in the world, and you can rent an off-road vehicle to explore it. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of wild horses running free in the Leucite Hills.
TOP WYOMING TOWNS TO EXPLORE
Jackson Hole, in western Wyoming is right next to Wyoming’s border with Idaho and is the gateway city for Grand Tetons National Park. It is a must stop city that has a little bit of everything. From art galleries, to tours on the Snake River, to skiing, and fine dining there is something for everyone. Don’t miss the famous town square with antler arches on all four corners built by the local Boy Scout troops, as well as the National Elk Refuge that sits right on the north edge of town. For those looking for unique accommodations, check out the Fireside Resort which offers really cool tiny house vacation cabins.
Cody, WY, in northwest Wyoming is about equidistant between Yellowstone National Park and the Bighorn National Forest. The town was founded by William “Buffalo Bill” Cody himself and is known as the “Wild West Way” into Yellowstone since it is only 50 miles from the east entrance of the park. Cody is full of western history. Check out the Buffalo Bill Center, the Dug-Up Gun Museum, and the Old Trail Town Museum to see what Wyoming was like back in the day.
Cheyenne, Wyoming’s capital, is in the northeast corner near Wyoming’s border with Colorado & Nebraska. Cheyenne Frontier Days, a yearly celebration held in late July, celebrates all things western and features the world’s largest outdoor rodeo. Totally digging on Wyoming? Check out the State Museum. The Southeast Welcome Center is also a great place to stop for all planning purposes. Not into checking the city out? Head to Curt Gowdy State Park to hit some trails.
Casper, WY is just a little bit east of central Wyoming and rounds out our list of top towns in Wyoming. It is the “adventure capital” of Wyoming with year-round mountain biking, fishing in the North Platte River, and hiking in Fremont Canyon Make sure to check out the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center to learn more about national historic trails in the United States, such as the Oregon Trail and the Pony Express Trail.