Wyoming is one of the most underrated states in the US. The nature is wild, rugged, and teeming with wildlife and unique flora. This is a guide to the best places to visit in Wyoming!
Did we miss any amazing places that should be a shoo-in on a Wyoming bucket list? Let us know in the comments!
Best Places to Visit in Wyoming
The Black Hills are a forested area in the northern Great Plains, home to a Precambrian mountain range. Its highest point is Mount Harney Peak.
Historically, the Black Hills Forest has been home to the Cheyenne and Lakota Native tribes. It is also shared with South Dakota.
During the development of America in 1874, gold was discovered in the Black Hills, which during the Gold Rush, led to the fact that it began to be massively mined by spontaneously arriving miners, and all the Natives in this region were, unfortunately, moved to reservations.
Today, the Black Hills Forest is home to the Crazy Horse Memorial and the Presidents Rock, well known to many Americans.
The nature in the area is stunning and worth a visit… but please do read up on the history prior to visiting this famous Wyoming destination.
Thermopolis is home to the world’s largest mineral hot spring, known as the state’s “hot spring city”. It is one of the best small towns in Wyoming!
Its visitors can enjoy trail walks and picnics at Hot Springs State Park, then look forward to relaxing and soothing their muscles in the warm mineral waters that remain at a constant 104 degrees.
This is a free attraction in Wyoming. You can find water parks, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, water slides, steam baths, and hot tubs nearby (but they are not free).
William Cody, also known as Buffalo Bill, was a legend in his days. He had a hand in planning the city of Cody, Wyoming.
He was said to be proud of the place and made sure there were many museums, such as the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, to help locals remember their past.
Today, it is considered the rodeo capital of the world. Combine that with awe-inspiring scenery, easy access to Yellowstone National Park, and the origins of the Bear Tooth Motorway, and Cody should be on every WY bucket list!
With a population of about 10,000, it is easily considered to be one of the most beautiful places in Wyoming.
Bridger – Teton National Forest
In the beautiful Bridger Teton National Forest, outdoor enthusiasts can explore over 3.4 million acres of Wyoming’s rugged western mountainous desert.
Three wilderness areas lie within the boundaries of the forest. Bridger’s Wildlife in the Wind River Mountains is home to the headwaters of the Green River, some of the world’s largest glaciers, and Wyoming’s highest point, Gannett Peak.
The Teton Desert provides a critical habitat for wildlife such as grizzlies, wolves, and bison and the Gros Ventre Wilderness covers fascinating geological features.
In 1925, the Gros Ventre Slide carved out the mountainside, creating the lower Slide Lake. Visitors can see proof of the slides today!
The entire intersection, traversed by kilometers of trails, the entire region is great for hiking, hunting, fishing, skiing, and mountaineering.
Grand Teton National Park
One of the most beautiful and underrated national parks in the USA is Grand Teton National Park.
While it definitely receives a large number of visitors annually, it still somehow lurks in the shadows of Yellowstone National Park and is usually an itinerary addition.
The Wyoming national park is renowned for its wildlife, over 200 miles of hiking trails, the picturesque Snake River, and more.
The alpine mountains are teeming with pristine lakes and plenty of interesting flora. There are many amazing places to stay near Grand Teton National Park and you will find ranger-led programs there for the young ones.
Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area
Named for the area’s striking red sandy cliffs, the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area stretches from Green River, Wyoming to the south and into Utah.
Fed by the waters of the Green River, the Flaming Reservoir is a popular destination for boating, fishing, swimming, camping, and kayaking.
Adventurous travelers can also take the Green River area downstream of the Flaming Gorge, High on the Canyon, Red Canyon Vista, and the Visitor Center, offering spectacular views of the gorge.
From the Visitor Center, the Canyon Trail strings along the lip of the canyon, with viewpoints along the way. In addition to the colorful rock formations, some of the rock walls show petroglyphs, and prehistoric fossils are often found in the area.
The Bighorn Mountains and National Forest
The red cliffs rise more than 1,000 feet above the curling ribbon of water at the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area on the Wyoming –Montana border.
Photographers love the panoramic views of the Sketch of the Devil’s Canon, and the area offers a lively array of outdoor activities.
Throw a line at the Bighorn trout fishery, boat or swim to Lake Bighorn, camp in the desert, visit historic ranches, and hike over 27 miles of scenic trails.
Animal lovers can see some of the largest herds of wild horses in the United States, as well as golden eagles, bears, and odynophagia. Stop at the Lovell Visitor Center to learn more and get introduced to the area!
National Elk Refuge
The National Elk Refuge is one of the most interesting places to visit in Wyoming. It was created in 1912 to protect the habitat of the largest elk on Earth. About 7,500 moose migrate to the area every winter.
The area that the refuge encompasses are meadows, swamps, and outcrops. In addition to elk, there are animals such as bighorn sheep, mule deer, and swans.
Wolves and grizzlies are rare, and a total of 47 species of mammals and 147 species of birds have been recorded here. Elk hunting in this region is strictly regulated.
The money from the horns sold at the auctions goes to the development and maintenance of the Wyoming refuge.
Devil’s Tower National Monument
Rising more than 1,200 feet above the eastern plains of Wyoming and the Belle Fourche River, the Devil’s Tower National Monument stands tall and is a geological jewel.
The Devil’s Tower Visitor Center details the geology of this flat-topped volcanic wonder and depicts the history and culture of the area through photographs and artifacts.
After exploring the monument, visitors can hike the 8 miles of nature trails that circle the rock and cut through the surrounding forests and meadows.
During spring and early summer, the abundant wildflowers create fantastic photo opportunities! Rock climbing is a popular thing to do here during certain months and anglers can fish for gobies, catfish, and walleye at Belle Fourche.
There are also a plethora of ranger-led tours are also available at Devil’s Tower. This is one of the most iconic sights in Wyoming!
Sheridan is one of those travel destinations that people fall in love with on their first visit. There, the visitor will find plenty of wide-open spaces as well as stunning mountain views and many of the home comforts you’re used to when traveling.
With a backdrop of dramatic mountains, it has won numerous awards, including the American Hunter’s Top 10 Mountain Cities, one of the Best Western Cities, and one of Outside Magazine’s Top Cities. It is a true nature escape.
People come from all over the state (and nation) for the annual Sheridan Bighorn Festival and Rodeo. Be sure to check out the many ancient geological formations and ceremonial monuments nearby.
With classic western landscapes, breathtaking wildlife, and interesting history, the area around the Green River makes for an interesting family and history lover destination.
The region’s open prairies, winding rivers, sand dunes, and rocky canyons are perfect for taking a Wyoming road trip and cruising along some of the most magical nature in the western US.
Several miles long, the Flaming Gorge Reservoir (mentioned above) is a great playground at any time of the year. The area is home to many interesting historical sites that played an important role in America’s westward migration.
Shoshone National Forest
The Shoshone National Forest is the first federally protected National Forest in the United States.
Initially, the territory was part of the Yellowstone Reserve and the current status of the forest was received in 1891. It is named after the Shoshone tribe, who, along with other Native groups, were the main tribes that European settlers in the region first encountered.
The forest is famous for the fact that in the past it was actively hunted and gold was mined. It is noteworthy that it is possible to mine gold in the forest even today!
The forest is inhabited by cougars, wolves, wolverines, coyotes, lynxes, weasels, martens, beavers, marmots, raccoons, badgers, moose, tiger salamanders, boreal toads, and many other animals.
Sundance is a vibrant city! Named after the sun dances that Natives perform every year in the area, the city has a rich history that couples with a progressive vibe.
Located in the Black Hills, the city embraces and reflects its Native heritage. You can visit Vore Buffalo Jump to learn more about the unique lifestyle of the tribes that call and called this place home over the years.
Fishermen love this town for incredible locations like Keyhole Reservoir and Sand Creek. For more outdoor activities, try horse riding, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and quad biking.
This is one of the best combinations of small-town Wyoming charm with big-city thinking.
Casper is in the center of Wyoming and has been the largest center for the oil industry since 1880. It is surrounded by plains for miles and miles!
This large city was founded in 1860 near Fort Casper, which is a historical landmark. There is also the Fort Casper Museum.
This is where the Oregon Trail ran across the North Platte River in the west of the city; many of the fort’s buildings have been renovated.
The museum has an excellent collection of exhibits that represent this region in Wyoming.
To the north and west of Fort Casper, there are miles of barren desert land with landmarks such as the famous Hole in the Wall, a hideout for criminals such as Butch Cassidy.
Another mysterious and attractive place for tourists is the anomalous “Devil’s Half Acre”, located on the south side of US 20, not too far west of the Wyoming city.
Yellowstone National Park
And, this list of places to visit in WY would not be complete without one of the nation’s most beloved national parks – Yellowstone.
Regardless of whether you visit Yellowstone in winter or summer, you’re in for a real treat! This spacious national park is home to waterfalls, hot springs, geysers, lakes, mountains, and so much more.
You’ll find many places to stay near Yellowstone and the US park spans multiple states.
What are your favorite places to visit in Wyoming? Let us know your top Wyoming destinations in the comments! Thanks!
More Wyoming Travel Guides
- Best small towns in Wyoming
- 2 days in Yellowstone
- Yellowstone in winter
- Places to stay near Yellowstone
- Grand Teton in winter
- Places to stay near Grand Teton
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Megan is a travel blogger and writer with a background in digital marketing. Originally from Richmond, VA, she now splits her time between Frankfurt, Germany and Arctic Finland after also living in Norway, Armenia, and Kazakhstan. She has a passion for winter travel, as well as the Nordic countries, but you can also find her eating her way through Italy, perusing perfume stores in Paris, or taking road trips through the USA. Megan has written for or been featured by National Geographic, Forbes, Lonely Planet, the New York Times, and more. She co-authored Fodor’s Travel ‘Essential Norway’ and has visited 45 US states and 100+ countries.