Wyoming destinations, parks and attractions
Are you going on a road trip to Wyoming, looking for tips about the destinations so you and your party can enjoy it, be comfortable and not spend a fortune?
Here are some of the top destinations in Wyoming and tips about visiting them
- Yellowstone National Park - northwest WY, spilling over into Idaho and Montana. On March 1, 1872, Yellowstone became the first national park for all to enjoy the unique hydrothermal and geologic wonders. People from around the world have been drawn to Yellowstone to witness these wonders for themselves. Now, millions of people come to Yellowstone each year.
- Grand Teton National Park - south of Yellowstone, near Jackson and Moose, WY. Rising above a scene rich with extraordinary wildlife, pristine lakes, and alpine terrain, the Teton Range stands as a monument to the people who fought to protect it. These are mountains of the imagination. Mountains that led to the creation of Grand Teton National Park where you can explore over two hundred miles of trails, float the Snake River, and enjoy the serenity of this remarkable place.
- Cody, Wyoming - A great old west town, with nightly authentic rodeos in the summer,
the Buffalo Bill Museum of the west, nightly staged shootouts,
a 100 year old dam with a tour and much more. Cody is SO much better than Jackson Hole!
- Thermopolis, WY - Super fun town... in the middle of nowhere. The main attraction is the natural hot springs with a free public bath house and 2 private springs with water slides. But there also dig dinosaur fossils there with an excellent museum and a trip to the excavation site. Plus a herd of bison, a beautiful river and hot springs.
- Oregon Trail Wagon Wheel Ruts and Register Cliff State Historic Site - See the Oregon trail ruts and pioneer graffiti best in southeast Wyoming, near Guernsey, WY. Also crosses several states, ID,KS,MO,NE,OR,WA,WY. You can imagine yourself an emigrant headed for Oregon: would promises of lush farmlands and a new beginning lure you to leave home and walk for weeks? More than 2,000 miles of trail ruts and traces can still be seen along the Oregon National Historic Trail in six states and serve as reminders of the sacrifices, struggles, and triumphs of early American settlers. Nearby is Scotts Bluff National Monument is located in western Nebraska, landmark for the Pony Express, Oregon, California and Mormon Pioneer national historic trails.
- Bighorn Canyon - Fort Smith, MT,WY. The vast, wild landscape of Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area offers visitors unparalleled opportunities to immerse themselves in the natural world, and experience the wonders of this extraordinary place. With over 120,000 acres, one can find an astounding diversity in ecosystems, wildlife, and more than 10,000 years of human history to explore.
- National Museum of Military Vehicles - Fremont County, Wyoming. So cool! If you have sons, they will love it! Tanks, armour3ed vehicles, howitzers and guns to see up close. So much history! The National Museum of Military Vehicles is a military history museum in Dubois, Wyoming. Established in 2020, the 140,000-square-foot museum was founded by Dan and Cynthia Starks and built between May 2017 and August 2020. More than 475 military vehicles are stored at the museum along with other artifacts.
- California National Historic Trail - crosses CA,CO,ID,KS,MO,NE,NV,OR,UT,WY. You can follow in the footsteps of over 250,000 emigrants who traveled to the gold fields and rich farmlands of California during the 1840s and 1850s: the greatest mass migration in American history. The California National Historic Trail is over 5,000 miles long and covers portions of 10 states. Step into history along more than 1,000 miles of ruts and traces from travelers and their overland wagons.
- Devils Tower - Devil's Tower, WY - Made famous by the movie, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", the Tower is an astounding geologic feature that protrudes out of the prairie surrounding the Black Hills. It is considered sacred by Northern Plains Indians and indigenous people. Hundreds of parallel cracks make it one of the finest crack climbing areas in North America. Devils Tower entices us to learn more, explore more and define our place in the natural and cultural world. There can be absurdly long traffic jams on the road leading to it. There's not much to see up close, so I recommend driving as close as you can until you encounter the dead stopped traffic, take your photos and turn around!
- Fort Laramie - Southeast Wyoming, WY. Originally established as a private fur trading fort in 1834, Fort Laramie evolved into the largest and best known military post on the Northern Plains before its abandonment in 1890. This “grand old post” witnessed the entire sweeping saga of America’s western expansion and Indian resistance to encroachment on their territories.
National parks and monuments in Wyoming
- Fossil Butte - Kemmerer, WY. Some of the world's best preserved fossils are found in the flat-topped ridges of southwestern Wyoming's cold sagebrush desert. Fossilized fishes, insects, plants, reptiles, birds, and mammals are exceptional for their abundance, variety, and detail of preservation. Most remarkable is the story they tell of ancient life in a subtropical landscape.
- Mormon Pioneer Trail - Covers several States IL,IA,NE,UT,WY. The 1,300-mile route was traveled by Mormons who fled Nauvoo, Illinois, to the Great Salt Lake Valley in 1846-1847.
- Pony Express Trail - Various States CA,CO,KS,MO,NE,NV,UT,WY. It is hard to believe that young men once rode horses to carry mail from Missouri to California in the unprecedented time of only 10 days. This relay system along the Pony Express National Historic Trail in eight states was the most direct and practical means of east-west communications before the telegraph.
Wyoming State parks and historic sites
- Bear River State Park
- Boysen State Park
- Buffalo Bill State Park
- Curt Gowdy State Park
- Edness K. Wilkins State Park
- Glendo State Park
- Guernsey State Park
- Hawk Springs State Recreation Area
- Hot Springs State Park
- Keyhole State Park
- Medicine Lodge Archaeological Site
- Seminoe State Park
- Sinks Canyon State Park
- Ames Monument State Historic Site
- Camp Douglas Officers' Club State Historic Site
- Connor Battlefield State Historic Site
- Fort Bridger State Historic Site
- Fort Fetterman State Historic Site
- Fort Fred Steele State Historic Site
- Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site
- Granger Stage Station State Historic Site
- Historic Governors' Mansion State Historic Site
- Independence Rock State Historic Site
- Legend Rock State Petroglyph Site
- Names Hill State Historic Site
- Oregon Trail Ruts State Historic Site
- Piedmont Charcoal Kilns State Historic Site
- Point of Rocks Stage Station State Historic Site
- Quebec 01 Missile Alert Facility
- Register Cliff State Historic Site
- South Pass City State Historic Site
- Trail End State Historic Site
- Wyoming Pioneer Memorial Museum
- Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historical Site
- Fort Bonneville State Historic Site
- Fort Supply State Historic Site
- Fort Reno State Historic Site
- LX Bar Ranch State Historic Site (No public access)
- Platte River Crossing State Historic Site (No public access)
- Wyoming Trails Program
Wyoming Seasons, bugs, topography and climate
Located in the Rockies and at the edge of the plains, Wyoming has both landscapes. In the summer, it tends to be semi-arid, hot during day and cool at night. Winters can be brutally cold. Many roads are closed or impassible in the winter. Bugs are thankfully few!
If you're not from the Rockies, you may not realize that even in the middle of July, the air gets cool at night when you are a mile high, like in Yellowstone and the Tetons, and much of western Wyoming. It will dip to the 50's or 60's most summer nights. Summers tend to be dry with occasional popup evening thunderstorms.
Yellowstone... well camping or lodging in Yellowstone is a topic unto itself. We have a whole page of tips, ticks and info specific to Yellowstone here. And for the Tetons, see this page.
In Cody, WY, an excellent campground is Ponderosa campground, and reservations are not needed for tent camping there!