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Top Wyoming Road Trip Destinations: Places You Must Explore

Wyoming is known as the ‘Cowboy State’ because its state symbol is a Cowboy riding a horse, so you get the picture of what kind of attractions the state can offer. It is a mix of mountains and plains so it’s interesting to take a road trip across the state and find out what all it can present to ebb our wanderlust. There are spectacular landscapes including thermal geezers and jagged mountain peaks. One of the most famous regions of the state is the Yellowstone National Park, which was the first national park in the entire US and probably the first in the entire world. So let’s look at a few must-explore Wyoming road trip destinations. 

Yellowstone National Park & Nearby Wyoming Road Trip Destinations… 

The national park is a huge expanse spread over an area of 2,219,791 acres and falls in three states, Wyoming, Montana & Idaho. It attracts close to 4,115,000 visitors annually so no visit to Wyoming can be complete without having a look at what it entails…

1. Jackson Hole: Home of Grand Teton

You can start your trip from Jackson Hole. It is a skier’s paradise with as many as three ski resorts and multiple mountain peaks offering different difficulty levels. You may even take the cable car to the peak of the mountains. Jackson Hole is the home to Grand Teton National Park, It offers at least 100 miles of trails for hiking or biking and you may even go mountain-climbing in summers.

Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

2. Jenny Lake: Water Sports Attraction

If you love to participate in water sports, you may go to Jenny Lake. You can kayak or canoe here or even go swimming, pedaling, or boating. You can just sit around the lake and enjoy the view or even paint it on a canvass, if you want to nurture the artist in you. This lake has had many painters over the decades. Short on time? No worries! You can just take your car and drive through the park along the Teton Park Road, the 21-mile scenic drive amid mountains and picturesque scenery. 

Kayaking & Water Sports at the Jenny Lake, Wyoming

3. Yellowstone National Park: Needs No Introduction

Just drive for close to 1.5 hours and you will reach the crown jewel of the state, the Yellowstone National Park. It is a wilderness recreational area situated in a volcanic region of the state. Therefore, there are multiple hot geysers and volcanoes here. The Grand Prismatic Spring is one of the most beautiful hot springs here and presents a panoramic photo opportunity. It is lined by a rainbow of colors around its perimeter including bright orange, looking as if lava is spewing out of the spring. Also, there are blues and yellows and amid this brilliant mix of hues is the hot bubbling water of the spring! You can even see smoke coming out of it! Phew! what a brilliant site it presents! 

Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Old Faithful Geyser: Park’s major attraction

What’s the fun in visiting a dormant volcano? Well, you are in for a treat because the Yellowstone Caldera is a super active volcano. It has erupted as recent as 0.65 million years ago, which in terms of volcanic eruptions is considered pretty recent! Apart from this, the Old Faithful Cone Geyser has erupted every 44 minutes since the year 2000! Not so much of a volcano fan? You may enjoy the most beautiful sunset at the Yellowstone lake. The view is breath-taking with a mix of reds, purples, yellows, and oranges. Your heart might skip a beat seeing this beautiful sight! Last but certainly not the least is the 24-mile long Yellowstone Grand Canyon is as deep as 1,200ft with Yellowstone river flowing through it. Gosh! The more you hear about this place the sooner you would want to head to it! I won’t blame you for it. The place has a charm that draws you towards it. 

Old Faithful Cone Geyser, Yellowstone National park, Wyoming

4. Cody: The Cowboy town of the Cowboy State

No time is sufficient for Yellowstone but travelers gotta keep moving! So the next stop is the city of Cody. It will take you close to a 2-hour drive from Yellowstone. Cody is known for its Cowboy heritage and rightly so! Say Howdy to the Old trail town once you reach the city. It will take you to the setting of an old western movie where cowboys are about to enter into a pistol-fight! The city has recreated the frontier buildings and log cabins and also sports bullock carts as they used to be in 1895. It is a unique experience. There are other city attractions too, so don’t hesitate in staying here overnight. 

Cowboy Heritage, Cody, Wyoming Road Trip Destinations

5. State parks trips: Best Outdoor Adventure

After an overnight stay at Cody, you can take a 3-hour drive to Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area towards the north or a 1.5-hour trip to Hot Springs State Park towards the south-east. Bighorn is as amazing as Yellowstone with its canyons, rock formations, and beautiful landscapes. You can go boating, camping, fishing or hiking. There are Historic Ranches and guided tours through them which tells you about the profession of ranching. You may even go horseback riding here. Family travelers can picnic or go wildlife watching and spot the very obvious Bighorn Sheep. You may enjoy the Bison Herd at Hot Springs or in winters go skiing, snowmobiling, sleigh-riding, ice-skating, ice-fishing, and whatnot! All summer activities are also available here but in winter the snow-covered landscape is breath-taking. 

Bison Herd in winters at Bighorn Canyon. Wyoming

6. Wind River Country: Unique Travel Attraction

The last stop on this trip is the Wind River Country known for snow covered mountains, casinos, and the Native American Powwows! Do you feel the drumbeat? Well you should, because entering the country, you are amid the amazing celebration of Powwow. Natives dancing in the handmade regalias with feathers and resplendent hues is a sight in itself. Enjoy the fun and games or dance with the natives. You may even catch a Rodeo show while you are there, because what better represents cowboys than Rodeo? History buffs, there is an end to your misery, as you can enjoy the ancient Petroglyphs of the Shoshone Tribe depicting tales from the past. 

Native American Powwows, Wind River Country, Wyoming

This is a long road trip so make sure you have enough time. It can take close to two weeks if you wish to explore each and every site… 

Capital City & Adjoining Wyoming Road Trip Destinations… 

Cheyenne is the Capital of Wyoming and there can be two road trips around this city, one towards the north and the other towards the west…

Explore the Western Cheyenne Attractions

1. Cheyenne’s Boot Tour: One of its kind experience

8ft tall Cheyenne Outdoor Boot Exhibits, Unique Wyoming Itinerary.
Cheyenne Boot Source: Cheyenne.org

Ever heard of talking boots? Well at Cheyenne everyone has a voice. The city is full of 25 cowboy-style boot statues. These are 8 feet tall, hand-painted, each telling a different story. You can take an audio boot tour and listen to these stories. You will never find another such experience!

2. Cheyenne’s Train Tour: A Time Capsule

Another attraction is the Train legacy of the city, once known as “America’s Railroad Capital.” You can find the Big boy steam engine, and the Engine 1242, the oldest in Wyoming. 

America's Railroad Capital, Cheyenne, Wyoming Road Trip

3. Flaming Gorge: Adventure & Fun

Heading on the western route from Cheyenne, you will take close to 6 hours to reach the Flaming Gorge Recreation Area, but you can stop at many en-route destinations if you wish. Laramie city presents a great photo opportunity with the 13-foot Lincoln Statue at the Summit Information Center and Rawlins is good to visit breweries and wineries among others. Leaving early in the morning and having a meal here would keep you in high spirits until you reach the Recreation area. Flaming Gorge is the largest reservoir in Wyoming at the banks of the Green River. The dam can store 3,788,900 acre-feet of water. You may go hiking, camping, fishing, jet-skiing, mountain biking or just simply strolling around the wilderness away from the hustle and bustle of the city. 

Flaming Gorge Recreation Area, Wyoming Road Trip Destination

4. Historic Fish Aquarium: Fossil Uniqueness

Having spent at least a day at the Gorge, you can take a 2.5-hour drive to Fossil Butte National Monument, known as the ‘Aquarium in stone.’ You may find the fossilized remains of fish buried in the rocks here. As the area was not inhabited by scavengers, the fossils are in intact form making it highly attractive. There are fossils of fish, mammals, reptiles, plants, and birds among others, preserved over millions of years. 

Fossil Butte National Monument, Wyoming Itinerary.

The western road trip ends here, hope you have a wonderful time, let’s move on to the northern road trip… 

Northern Cheyenne Road Trip Attractions

Wyoming Road Trip Destinations on this route are not many, but the one that is there is worth the while. There are small stops to explore en-route.

5. Devils Tower: Enchanting View

The most important attraction on this route is the Devils Tower. It takes close to 4.5 hours by car to reach here from Cheyenne. However, on your way, you may stop at any of the 3 cities, Torrington, Wheatland, or Casper. You may hit the restaurant and grab a bite or play golf at the Wheatland Golf club, or find out the history of oil production in Casper. These are only small stops.

Devil Tower, 1200 feet, Top Wyoming travel destination

Once you have reached Devils Tower, you will find out why this is a must-go place. It is a single rock, 1200 feet tall in the middle of the wilderness. It is a natural creation formed from millions and millions of years of erosion of the Belle Fourche River. A lot is owed to the changing weather conditions too. Some say it is the cone remains of what once used to be an active volcano. This presents an amazing rock climbing destination. It also attracts hikers and obviously presents a brilliant photo opportunity. Many tribes consider the great spiritual significance of this tower. 

Wrapping it up

Although the road will never come to an end, the trip has to, at some point. So this is where we end our suggestions, but the Cowboy State awaits your arrival. Enjoy a unique vacation, Visit Wyoming!

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