If you’re after a travel destination with a host of outdoor activities and natural landscapes, look no further than Wyoming. It is home to the world’s oldest and largest National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and is one of the few places in the United States of America that you can experience wildlife roaming in the protected National Park. Expect to take part in a range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, kayaking and fishing – but still retire to luxury living options like the luxurious cabins in Jackson Hole. These bring together the best of both worlds.
Wyoming is a great place to visit, and we will explore some of the most unique places to visit during your stay.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is the world’s first and oldest National Park, spanning 2.2 million acres of land. It houses some of the most famous geysers and boiling lakes, and is also home to free-roaming wildlife such as bison, bald eagles, elk and wolves. The geothermal landscape of the Yellowstone National Park creates a temperate ecosystem where lush forests, flowering meadows and looming mountains can be found in one place. Make sure to visit famous destinations such as the Morning Glory Pool, the Old Faithful Geyser and the Grand Prismatic Spring.
Grand Teton National Park
The Grand Teton Mountain Range was formed millions of years ago by a bucked fault. This resulted in 12 peaks that stand as high as 12,000 feet. Like Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Teton National Park is another geothermal landscape which houses the dense Bridger-Teton National Forest. Here, you will find a wide variety of local fauna, including 300 different species of birds, many freshwater fish and around 60 species of mammals. There are many activities to keep you busy here since the diverse landscape allows for various leisure activities such as mountain climbing, rafting and fishing. The picturesque scenery is perfect for any avid photographers looking to practice their landscape or wildlife photography.
The aptly named Hole-in-the-Wall hideout was a popular spot on the outlaw trail during the 19th century. The romanticism of lawlessness was the reason that outlaws were seen as celebrities during this time. Outlaws like Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid and Jesse James made this hideout famous as they used it to hide from authorities. If you manage to make your way to this hideout, the remote nature of the hideout will make realise why it was a popular hideout for outlaws. To reach the hideout, you have to traverse an eroded mesa before making a steep climb on loose rock. The top of the pass sports panoramic views, which outlaws made use of to scout out their surrounds.
The Buffalo Bill Center of the West
Although Wyoming, is known for its natural landscape, it is also a great place to experience what life was like during days of the Wild West. At the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, you can explore an important era in American history by visiting museum galleries. These include:
- Buffalo Bill Museum – a collection of items related to the actor, military leader and folk hero, Buffalo Bill Cody
- Cody Firearms Museum – a collection of firearms from around the world
- Draper Museum of Natural History – a museum that catalogues Wyoming’s unique geology and natural wildlife
- Plains Indian Museum – an exhibit of the rich culture of the original inhabitants of Wyoming
Art enthusiasts will also be in for a treat at the local Whitney Gallery of Western Art. Here works from famous artists such as Charles Russell and George Catlin are on display.
Devil’s Tower National Monument
The Devil’s Tower National Monument was the first declared national monument in the United States. The monument’s summit is 5,112 feet above sea level and 1,200 feet above the Belle Fourche river. The strange appearance of the monument is a mystery and many have their own ideas about how it was formed. One look at this geological marvel will show you why. Volcanic activity created the shape but it looks like the entrance to the underworld! There are 8 miles of trails here that span the rock and the surrounding meadows, which are covered in wildflowers in the spring. If you are new to the area it is recommended that you sign up for a guided hike, so you do not risk getting lost while traversing the natural landscape.
For water lovers the nearby Belle Fourche River is a popular destination for fishing, swimming, kayaking and rafting. There are many fish to catch here for the avid angler, such as Channel Catfish, Smallmouth Bass, Black Bullhead and the Catch Walleye, among others.
Located at the heart of the Wapiti Valley, the Smith Mansion has many dark tales attached to its ominous design. The many winding staircases and balconies have led to stories that it was built by a madman. The truth of the origin of the Mansion is not as interesting as these rumours. Francis Lee Smith was simply building a house for his family. At first it was a regular house, but Smith continued construction on the building, adding more and more floors and balconies to the house. After divorcing his wife, Smith continued to construct additional floors for the house and eventually died at the age of 48 after falling from an upper balcony during construction.
The destinations mentioned here are a tribute to the rich history and vibrant scenery of Wyoming. These are a few sites to see, but there are numerous others. Enjoy exploring Wyoming!