Wyoming is the home of the best natural wonders in the United States. Everyone is familiar with Old Faithful and Yellowstone National Park, but there is so much more to the state than those famous attractions. Wander around the natural landscape of Wyoming and explore some of the most breathtaking sights in the country.
If you are looking for a summer road trip with the kids or want to rough it for a weekend, Wyoming has you covered. Here are some of the eight places to experience the natural beauty of Wyoming.
#8: Devils Tower National Monument
Located on Wyoming’s eastern plains, Devils Tower National Monument looms over the landscape. It is also known as Bear Lodge Butte, which is a part of the Black Hills. This natural wonder rises 1,267 feet above the plains and the nearby Belle Fourche River. This spot was the first United States National Monument designed by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. The laccolithic butte consists of igneous rock with a flat-top formed by volcanic activity from millions of years ago. While you are there, make sure to explore the spectacular scenery of the nearby area. For the real adventurous travelers, grab your climbing gear and try to scale Devils Tower.
#7: Wind River Canyon and Thermopolis
Thermopolis is the home of Wind River Canyon. This natural wonder is located right in the middle of Wyoming. If you love the outdoors, this is the place for you. Try your hand at fly fishing, white-water rafting, or take a hike in the hills. The awe-inspiring scenery features rock walls that rise 2,500 feet over both sides of the rock ridge tops. You can find some of the oldest rock formations in the country, and even the world, in this canyon. These rocks date back to over 2.9 billion years. You don’t even have to worry about leaving your car to see them. Most of these billion-year-old pink and black rocks are visible from the highway.
If you are curious about the surrounding area, there are many interactive signs that mark the geological and historical significance of the rock formations. Once you get back into town, make sure to check out the famous hot springs. Thermopolis Hot Springs is the largest mineral hot springs in the entire world.
#6: Oregon Buttes and South Pass
The Continental Divide includes two mountain passes collectively known as the South Pass. These spots helped thousands of travelers cross the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Wyoming. This area was the lowest point on the Continental Divide, and it was a natural crossing point for those traveling on the Oregon, Mormon, and California trails in the 19th century.
The historical significance of the area is the main reason it became a U.S. National Historic Landmark. You can see the open prairie lined with sagebrush as this route follows the natural watershed of the eastern and western sides of the United States. The Oregon Buttes become a major landmark for many of these travelers. Wyoming Highway 28 travels along the same path as the Oregon Trail and passes through the South Pass. You can explore the same regions as those brave pioneers traveled during the days of the Western expansion of the United States.
#5: The Flaming Gorge
The spectacular Flaming Gorge lies along the banks of the Green River. This southwest Wyoming landmark is known for its brightly colored sandstone cliffs that skirt the edge of the river. You will want to set out and get a closer look at the landscape.
There are water activities, such as windsurfing and boating, located in the area. You can also grab a backpack and set off on the trails for some hiking, biking, or camping fun. During the last days of June, the Flaming Gorge is home to a music festival. Enjoy some great tunes as you are surrounded by this natural wonder.
#4: Old Faithful
A trip to Wyoming is not complete without a stop at Old Faithful. This natural wonder has become an icon of the Old West. It is one of the most recognizable geysers in the world. In 1870, the geyser got its name because of the consistency of water gushing from the ground. Old Faithful erupts every 92 minutes, and the bursts can reach a height of 130 feet in the air.
The National Historic Landmark Old Faithful Inn is located nearby and has become a popular spot for visitors between eruptions. Architect Robert C. Reamer designed the Inn in 1904. You can see many of the natural landscape elements in the design of the building. The stone and timber combine to create a grandiose lobby that welcomes visitors from all over the world.
#3: Yellowstone National Park
While Old Faithful is a major attraction in the park, there are other reasons to visit this famous National Park. Yellowstone is home to some of the best examples of native animals in the country. On any given day, you can see elk, bison, bears, moose, wolves, bighorn sheep, and deer antelope.
This area has remained untouched since 1872. You will want to check out the park restrictions before you go. These limitations are in place to protect the wildlife that roam and call the area their home. One thing you should not forget – make sure to have plenty of space on your camera for some amazing pictures.
#2: Grand Teton National Park
Wyoming is home to another important National Park. The Grand Teton National Park is a mountainous landscape where the jagged peaks line the area around the Jackson Hole Valley. This area has been a popular spot for many outdoor travelers and explorers. The mountain range is a great spot for you to take a hike and snap a few spectacular shots. The peaks are also a place to challenge your climbing skills as well. The Teton Range rises 7,000 feet over the Jackson Hole valley. It is not too far from Yellowstone Park, which is located in the northwestern region of Wyoming.
#1: Grand Prismatic Spring
Wyoming is home to another hot spring. Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest in the state and the third largest in the world. This might be the most colorful hot spring in the country.
Different species of bacteria and refracted light combine to create an incredible sight. You can witness the stunning colors shining in the waters. The water stays at 160 degrees, so don’t think about jumping in for a swim. However, you can get close for that once in a lifetime photo. Grand Prismatic Spring is near the Yellowstone National Park area. If you want to mark a few natural wonders off your bucket list, this is the perfect part of Wyoming to visit.