CHEYENNE, Wyoming – The state of Wyoming offers travelers an abundance of options for memorable road trips with breathtaking views and some of the most scenic highways in the U.S. While the state is best known for the nation’s first national park, Yellowstone, there are countless opportunities to explore other parts of the state including the Grand Tetons, Devils Tower, the Bighorn Mountains, the Sierra Madre range, the Red Desert, Thunder Basin National Grassland and the Wind River Range. Whether traveling by car, motorcycle or RV, visitors can take in scenic stretches of the West while exploring the numerous national and state parks, museums and cowboy culture along the way. You’re also bound to see the states abundant wildlife as you roam free in Wyoming.
Following are four iconic Wyoming road trips awaiting visitors this summer. Check WyomingTourism.org today for other great Wyoming travel ideas, discounts, festivals and events.
Explore the ‘Firsts’ – America’s First National Monument, National Forest and National Park
Devils Tower to Yellowstone National Park
Key spots: Gillette, Buffalo, Sheridan, Bighorn Mountains, Shoshone National Forest, Cody and Yellowstone National Park
Trip length: Approximately 360 miles, 6-7 hours of driving
Start your trip along the northern corridor of Wyoming by visiting the country’s first national monument, Devils Tower. Located in the Northeast corner of the state, Devils Tower offers travelers great hiking trails and some of the best rock climbing in the state.
Make your way west along I-90 for stops in Gillette, Buffalo and Sheridan. For summer visitors, join one of the free coal mine tours in Gillette before heading north to Sheridan. Home to one of the highest concentrations of Indian War battle sites in the country, Sheridan offers a unique mix of cowboy culture and Native American history. Consider staying overnight at the newly renovated Historic Sheridan Inn, once the old stomping grounds of Buffalo Bill and his legendary Wild West Show.
Continue heading west into one of the oldest federally protected forest areas in the country – the Bighorn Mountain range. The Bighorn Mountain range offers unlimited and easy-to-access recreation activities including hiking, camping, fishing, boating, rock climbing and photographing the vast wildlife and scenery.
Once you’ve had a chance to stretch your legs exploring the Bighorns, continue on to Cody, home to Buffalo Bill, for a visit to the Irma Hotel and catch one of the nightly rodeos or visit the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. From there, you’re a short one-hour drive through the Shoshone National Forest to the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park.
Discover the Enchanting East to the Wondrous West
Cheyenne to Yellowstone National Park
Key spots: Cheyenne, Laramie, Wind River Reservation, Thermopolis, Meeteetse, Cody and Yellowstone National Park
Trip length: Approximately 460 miles, 7-8 hours of driving
Whether you’ve flown into Cheyenne or Denver, grab a car or RV and make your way from the southeast corner of the state to the northeast corner ending in Yellowstone National Park. Mid-summer visitors can start a road trip with Cheyenne Frontier Days in late-July. Catch rodeo activities, parades and more as the town comes together celebrating its western heritage.
Upon leaving Cheyenne, head east via Interstate 80 to enjoy the vast landscape of the Vedauwoo Recreational Area. Picnic, climb, hike and just bask in the other-wordly panorama of rock formations. End your day toasting friends or family with an award-winning microbrew in Laramie, home of the University of Wyoming.
Continue heading northwest leaving I-80 for US-287 and take some time to appreciate the Wind River Reservation as you head up to US-20, the Wind River Canyon Scenic Byway. The byway will take travelers through to Thermopolis for a day of relaxation in the area’s natural hot springs.
Continue on WY-120 to Meeteetse and grab delicious chocolates from the Meeteetse Chocolatier and continue onto Cody on the Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway to the east entrance of Yellowstone National Park.
Cowboy Culture and Captivating Devils Tower
Devils Tower National Monument to Cheyenne, WY
Key spots: Devils Tower, Gillette, Casper and Cheyenne
Trip length: Approximately 360 miles, 5-6 hours of driving
From cowboys in Cheyenne to the wonders of Devils Tower, this road trip will allow travelers to explore the eastern part of Wyoming. After a couple days of rock climbing and hiking Devils Tower, head to Gillette and explore the Rockpile Museum with various collections of rifles, saddles, fossils, quilts and Native American artifacts.
After touring museums in Gillette, head south to the town of Casper. Travelers can visit the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center and learn about the many trails that passed through Wyoming including the Oregon Trail, the Mormon Trail, the California Trail and the Pony Express.
On the way south, stop by Ayres Natural Bridge near Douglas to view the rare natural phenomenon. Stop in the towns of Wheatland and Chugwater to see how the old west lives on in these predominantly ranching communities. End your trip in Cheyenne stopping by the new interpretive center at nearby Curt Gowdy State Park.
Live Forever West
Cheyenne to Jackson, WY
Key spots: Cheyenne, Laramie, Rawlins, Rock Springs, Pinedale and Jackson
Trip length: Approximately 430 miles, 6-7 hours of driving
Start your trip visiting the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum and stop at Curt Gowdy State Park, near the crossroads of I-80 and I-25, for picnic grounds, fishing and plenty of water sports. Follow I-80 to Laramie on the Snowy Range Scenic Byway – a 28-mile stretch of highway taking visitors near Medicine Bow National Forest and on to Saratoga to soak in the Hobo Hot Springs. From there it’s on to Rawlins where you can visit the haunted Wyoming Frontier Prison.
The next stop is Rock Springs where visitors can enjoy a day at Flaming Gorge National Recreational Area. Following an overnight in Rock Springs, head north to Pinedale to visit beautiful exhibits at the Museum of the Mountain Man. By now, visitors are only a short 90-minute drive from Jackson Hole where countless outdoor activities and shopping awaits. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort celebrates its 50th Anniversary during the 2015-16 ski season, so take a ride on the tram and enjoy the view.