Editors' Picks: 20 of the Best Things to Do in Wyoming!
There are plenty of reasons to be impressed with the state of Wyoming: its the home to Yellowstone, America's first national park and our first National Monument, Devil's Tower. Long before the 19th amendment, ratified in 1920 Wyoming gave women the right to vote, and in 1925, elected the first woman governor in the U.S.
The state has been home to cowboys like Buffalo Bill Cody, and entrepreneurs like the founder of the J.C. Penney stores. Although it's the least populated state, it makes up for it with impressive populations of wildlife, from elk to bison.
Ready to see some other impressive things in the Cowboy State? Here are 20 places to start.
It's really five museums in one, covering everything from Buffalo Bill's life to Native American culture, firearms of the west and more. It gets huge raves for its artifacts and thorough depiction of life in the American West. (Cody)
2. Fort Laramie
This former fur-trading post became a critical military post during the Plains Indian Wars. Today, you can explore uniforms and weapons from those days. The grounds are beautiful - and there are even a few ghost stories associated with the place.
It was made famous in the movie, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," but this unique formation has been part of Native American culture for eons. It's a truly magical place. (Devil's Tower)
4. Grand Teton National Park
The breathtaking Teton Mountain Range offers hundreds of miles of hiking. Abundant wildlife and incredible scenery also makes it a favorite destination for photographers.
As settlers moved westward in the mid-19th century, their wagons cut ruts deep into the land. These ruts are a pretty impressive testament to the number of wagons that made the trek; note the many people who stopped to carve their names into the rock on their long journey. (Guernsey)
Since 1897, folks have been drawn to this incredible celebration of cowboy life. There are rodeo events, pony races, steer roping, cook-offs and much more.
The state's largest reservoir, part of the Green River, is a popular place for boating, windsurfing, hiking and camping. It's also known as a great spot for trophy fishing. A nearby Scenic Byway makes for a lovely drive, too. (Rock Springs)
This National Historic Landmark, comprised of rocks laid out in a specific form, is estimated to have been built by Native Americans about 800 years ago. It's still in use as an (accurate) predictor of astronomical events. (Lovell)
The Bar J Chuckwagon Supper and Western Music Show is a fun way to mingle with real cowboys on an actual ranch. Old-fashioned Western music adds extra flavor to the authentic frontier grub. (Jackson Hole)
America's first national park is filled with natural wonders, not the least of which is the geyser known as "Old Faithful." You can also explore more of this wilderness area, which includes rivers, canyons, forests and amazing amounts of wildlife.
11. Old Trail Town
This authentic Old West town is made up of historic buildings that were moved and reassembled here, including cabins used by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. There are also numerous artifacts that will make you feel like you stepped back in time. (Cody)
The world's largest hot springs is also Wyoming's first state park. The waters, which remain a constant 135 degrees F, have long been known for their healing powers. If they don't cure your aches and pains, at least it will feel pretty sweet. (Thermopolis)
Thousands of elk move into the area as the weather starts to change; it's a pretty spectacular sight. You can also spot bison grazing against the backdrop of the mountains. (Jackson)
It's one of the most scenic - and challenging - drives in the state. Be prepared for high altitudes and sharp turns, but that just makes the slow going a bonus: the views are astounding. (Sheridan)
15. Wildlife Spotting
Grand Teton's Inner Park Loop Road is considered one of the best driving routes in the state for spotting everything from pronghorn elk to bears, moose, fox and more. (Jackson Hole)
16. Jackson Hole
It's long been known as a fantastic destination for winter activities, ranging from skiing, dog sledding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and more.
This incredible facility showcases wildlife artwork ranging from prehistoric times to depictions by Georgia O'Keefe, John James Audubon and Andy Warhol. The setting, overlooking the National Elk Refuge, is also pretty amazing. (Jackson)
The Geological Museum at the University of Wyoming features some spectacular "Jurassic Park"-worthy dinosaurs from the state's prehistoric days. Start with the 75-foot Brontosaurus in the exhibit hall. (Laramie)
If you ever wanted to try your hand(s) at ice climbing - or are already experienced on the frozen falls - this festival is worth checking out. Not only is there instruction at all levels, but plenty of demonstrations by world-class climbers.
There was a time before the interstate and rest stops - and anyone wishing to move around the country had to use a rugged, unforgiving trail. Learn more about the Oregon Trail, Gold Rush Trail, Mormon Trail and many more harrowing routes to a better life. (Casper)