17 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Wyoming

Jul 22, 2021

When visiting the US, people often flock to the big cities, like New York and San Francisco, but Wyoming is a true hidden gem, filled with vast open spaces and stunning mountain scenery. This large, sparsely populated state is ideal for travelers who want to get away from it all, but still find some sort of modern-day culture, as well as stunning natural sites and remarkable wildlife.

Wyoming is home to a top notch arts scene and a lively city that's known for a little something of everything.

Unlike many US states, Wyoming has been virtually untouched by the onslaught of visitors who flood the other popular destinations. The little-touristed state offers a refreshing chance to get away from it all. For visitors to plan a fantastic getaway to Wyoming, consult our travel itinerary for the best places to visit and things to do in Wyoming.

Grand Teton National Park

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Grand Teton National Park: en.wikipedia.org

Spanning 1,260 square miles of pristine land in Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park is one of America's largest wildlife refuges and home to some of the best scenery in the US. With over 300 miles of trails, including a network of jeep roads connecting all the smaller peaks, some of the park's highlights include the world's most accessible Yellowstone River and its namesake, Grand Teton, a 14,000-foot peak that forms the centerpiece of the park. The mountain's sheer granite cliffs were formed over a long period of geologic time, making it an ideal spot to watch wildlife like bears and bighorn sheep as well as observe rock climbers and other hikers scaling the trail of Mt. Moran to the west and Taggart Lake to the east.

Yellowstone National Park

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Yellowstone National Park: en.wikipedia.org

The world's first National Park was originally the world's largest natural volcanic wonderland. It was here that the world's first forest fire occurred in 1815, resulting in a massive underground landslide that opened the entire volcanic system and started the park's spectacular geysers, hot springs, mudpots, and waterfalls. While some of these have since dried up, the park is home to a wide array of species including bears, bison, elk, moose, wolves, deer, and caribou. The 2,000-plus-square-mile park can be divided into three areas: the lower, geothermal area includes some of the park's major sights, including Hayden Valley, where one can take a hike through the scenic wonderland of volcanic pastures and through-the-rock meadows, and Old Faithful Geyser, where one can see hot springs, mudpots, geysers, and blowholes erupt. The largest section of the park is where the geothermal features have dried up, creating the barren landscape that prompted early travelers and pioneers to note the beauty of Yellowstone as an example of a "great piece of the world." Geyserland is home to Big Spring, where one can see the fumaroles of boiling water where water is heated by underground gases. It is in the geyserland area where one can see the world's greatest concentration of free-roaming bison herds and wildlife. The park is also famous for its colorful spas.

Rocky Mountain National Park

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Rocky Mountain National Park: en.wikipedia.org

Standing in stark contrast to the expansive beauty of the Rockies, this tiny park occupies a large area in northwestern Wyoming. Established in 1899, the park preserves a little known biological and geological legacy in the form of thousands of years old petrified logs and petroglyphs, as well as a series of natural arches, called petrified forests. The more interesting formations are in the side of the mountains where stream valleys carved out of the limestone formations. There are a number of paved hiking and biking trails that can be enjoyed by visitors.

National Museum of Wildlife Art

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National Museum of Wildlife Art: en.wikipedia.org

The National Museum of Wildlife Art is the only museum in the world devoted entirely to wildlife art. Located on Elk Mountain in the Rocky Mountains of western Wyoming, the museum features a collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, and other works depicting animals that includes paintings of dinosaurs, images of birds, large cats, bison, elk, and polar bears. Many of the works of art in this unusual museum originated as trophies, as prizes won at annual contests held by various hunting clubs. To promote interest in hunting, the museum's collection includes works by top artists as well as the paintings of unlicensed "amateurs," the people who entered the contests. Another highlight of a visit is the opportunity to see and touch the various animals, from bears to elk and turtles to bighorn sheep, that inspired the artworks. The museum is open daily, except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day, when it closes at 2 PM.

Jackson Hole

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Jackson Hole: en.wikipedia.org

In the heart of the Grand Teton National Park lies Jackson Hole, a colorful and bustling town famous for its restaurants and resorts, as well as the National Elk Refuge, a beautiful wildlife preserve with natural rock amphitheaters, waterfalls, and fenced trails. During the summer months, Jackson is packed with tourists who head out to the Teton Village area, an almost exclusive enclave set on the shores of Jackson Lake, which is also the winter playground for locals skiing in all four Teton mountains and more. In contrast to the high-end resorts, day trips out from Jackson can include snowshoeing, ice climbing, rafting, and white-water kayaking.

Devils Tower National Monument

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Devils Tower: en.wikipedia.org

Wyoming's tallest natural sandstone formation stands 11,750 feet above the flatlands. Visitors travel from as far away as California to see the rocky cliffs, which appear to hover above a sheer drop-off of about 2,000 feet. In spite of the beauty, it is the unusual geology that really makes this remarkable area stand out. Between 1870 and 1870, a wave of solidified volcanic lava in the Earth's mantle broke free to the surface and surged up through Wyoming's salt beds. The resulting enormous seam of salt left behind when the underlying salt beds dissolved covered the same area as the protruding lava, thus leaving Devils Tower as the only significant chunk of rock, which looks like the image of a human footprint in the solidified lava. People travel from around the world to visit Devils Tower National Monument. It's not an easy hike to the summit and not all visitors are physically capable of going up the stairs; however, hiking along the ridge to the summit provides a great view of the layered landscape. At the summit, visitors are left with a feeling of exhilaration. The overwhelming sense of wonder is extraordinary, especially as it is interrupted only by the occasional sound of wind as it whistles through the hollow canyons and caverns created by the erosion of the surrounding rock.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Photo of Sheridan, Wyoming
Sheridan, Wyoming: en.wikipedia.org

Although it was not the first or even the largest scale American monument of its kind, the 200-meter-high granite monument to the presidents of the United States of America still stands to this day. It's especially poignant as it was built during a difficult period in US history, when there were both questions and strong opinions about the nation's history. About 30 kilometers north of the town of Keystone on the eastern side of the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore sits atop the sixth largest and most imposing of the 48 continental mountain peaks. The enormous rock-and-granite sculpture can be seen from various places along the road, and to reach it, you pass through miles of the area's geological and environmental wonders, including Three Rivers Canyon, Crazy Horse Castle, and the unique rock formations.

Cody Ghost Town

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Park County, Wyoming: en.wikipedia.org

On a rugged volcanic ridge overlooking the South Platte River, about 15 miles northwest of the famous Battle of the Little Big Horn battlefield, stands an assortment of well-preserved wooden buildings, so diverse that they can be best described as "the architecture of the frontier, circa 1880." Even though it has been destroyed and rebuilt many times since, and is currently a ghost town, this destination still remains one of the most intriguing in the United States. You can take self-guided tours of the area's old buildings, including the large blacksmith shop, smoke house, and school.

Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo

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Cheyenne Frontier Days: en.wikipedia.org

The six-day event that is the nation's largest rodeo is held every year at the Pine Hills Rodeo Grounds, 200 miles west of the Cowboy Capital of the World, Cheyenne. It's a memorable experience, in part because of the beauty of the landscape. The backdrop is the Flint Hills, a vast prairie landscape that surrounds the rolling hills that form a ten-mile horseshoe. A maze of cowboys and riders strutting their stuff, and expertly timed events over more than 100 days of the year, are the mainstay of the event. Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo, which kicked off on April 21, is usually staged in April. Pine Hills is not only a great place to see rodeos but also offers an experience of the early days of the west as it is one of the last places in the US to have an old west feel. This is best seen on Monument Hill, the first square mile where the city was built in 1872.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

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Jackson, Wyoming: en.wikipedia.org

Jackson Hole is an unspoiled, natural mecca located deep in the heart of the Beartooth Mountains, 115 miles north of the bustling town of Jackson. The world-class National Elk Refuge is a 10-mile drive from town, and an excellent base for snowmobiling and fishing as well as hiking and horseback riding. Great Divide Basin Wilderness offers some of the most expansive backcountry skiing and snowboarding terrain in the U.S., with 14 lifts, over 2,000 acres of terrain, and an alpine-style village. If you don't want to hit the slopes, try fishing and horseback riding, including horse shows and riding lessons, or explore nearby wilderness areas. For those visiting during the summer, a visit to Jackson is a quintessential Americana experience. In the heart of town, the Beartooth Mountain Ranch is a 70,000-acre ranch owned by the Nature Conservancy. Here, guests can enjoy hunting, fishing, and mountain biking. Farther out, the land in nearby Beartooth Mountain National Monument can be explored on horseback or by mountain biking or hiking, or by searching for critters including elk, bighorn sheep, and even grizzly bears.

Bighorn Basin National Recreation Area

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Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area: en.wikipedia.org

Located in Yellowstone National Park, Bighorn Basin is an important natural area with more than 1,400 species of plants and 500 species of animals. The 2.3 million acres of mountains, foothills and wetlands are home to wild bighorn sheep, mountain goats, elk, bison and black bears. The Basin is best explored by means of a tour in a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Popular activities include hiking and boating, and permits are required for fishing and hiking to the mountain peaks.

Rock Springs

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Rock Springs, Wyoming: en.wikipedia.org

Also known as the Rabbit Ears Range, the giant spires and buttes of Rock Springs are the result of the uplift of the range during the Laramide Orogeny some 100 million years ago, pushing the Laramide Mountains upwards by some two miles. A popular mountain biking destination for visitors, Rock Springs is a very popular climbing destination as well, so make sure to wear a helmet for the area's steep drop-offs and arched rock faces. Hikers also enjoy this area and several trails can be found leading from the visitors center to see the wonders of Rock Springs. The visitors center, set beside the parking lot, houses an interpretive museum with interactive displays that explain the local geology and history of the area. The community is home to a number of restaurants, gift shops, and many nice hotels and lodging options.

Buffalo Bill Center of the West

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Buffalo Bill Center of the West: en.wikipedia.org

Buffalo Bill Center of the West (BBQ) is a museum dedicated to the life of Buffalo Bill Cody, the renowned showman who became famous in America for popularizing Native American and western culture. Cody became rich with the American Civil War, and gave a million acres of Wyoming land, known as the Fort Starke Indian Reservation, to the Santee Sioux Tribe, which he called โ€œTortoise Island.โ€ Cody became famous for his Wild West shows, which took place on the plains of Wyoming, Colorado and other states. These shows were entertaining and well-attended, with people flocking to watch Buffalo Bill performing feats of daring and danger. He invented Wild West shows and introduced the trapeze, which is still used in many theaters. In later years, Cody bought 100,000 acres in the northeast part of Wyoming to live his last years in peace. Travelers can spend the day visiting the museum, which is stuffed with the equipment of the Wild West and Native American culture. The interior is all about Cody himself: the American Indians who helped him make his shows, the Wild West times of horseracing and rodeos, and Cody's inventions, such as the planer and western bicycle. Cody's personal belongings, including his homes, a steamboat, train, coach, wagon, and personal belongings are also exhibited.

Salt Lake City, Utah

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Salt Lake City: en.wikipedia.org

America's second most populous city, Salt Lake City is home to the Mormon Temple Quarter, which, while not as well-known as the spectacular Golden Gates, offers something for everyone with unique attractions of its own. The visitor center on Temple Square in front of the temple hosts a small exhibition with a film and artifacts, and organizes walking tours of historic downtown. On the temple grounds there are theaters, play areas for kids, and a zoo. And on the edge of downtown sits beautiful Zionsville Park with a superb music pavilion and striking mountain backdrop. Salt Lake City, a small city of over 200,000, is easily accessible by air, rail, and highway. The two main stations are Temple Square Station and UT Station. The latter has the largest selection of bars, clubs, and restaurants in Utah, with views across the city. A short drive from there is The Avenues, a more recently developed area, which hosts a number of gourmet restaurants, and some unique shopping.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

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Jackson Hole Mountain Resort: en.wikipedia.org

Jackson Hole is a village in the shadow of the vast Teton Range in Wyoming. The town and nearby national park feature a mix of old-fashioned resorts such as Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, less quaint Bighorn Mountain Ranch, and wilderness areas. Mountain bikers and hikers come to Jackson Hole to explore the various outdoor activities available, especially in the winter. In summer it is possible to play golf and take in sightseeing trips from the Valley of the Sun. The Jackson Hole Cowboy Festival, the Little Buddy rodeo, and the annual Winter Days Parade, are the most popular events, but the whole year sees a plethora of horse shows, rodeos, and concerts throughout the town and at the resort.

Natural Bridge State Park

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Ayres Natural Bridge Park: en.wikipedia.org

A 120-foot tall column of rock known as a "bridge" hangs over the beautiful confluence of the Snake and Green Rivers on the edge of the Wyoming badlands. According to legends, the rock, which is formed of sandstone and shale, was dragged from a hole in the ground by a giant that was tunneling beneath the earth at a rate of a ton a second until it could block the natural tunnel. On one side of the bridge, the Narrows overlooks a deep canyon leading to dozens of waterfalls that can't be seen from the viewing platform. As you walk the trails that wind through the grasslands, cottonwoods and pines that make up the park, you'll see the confluence of the Snake and Green Rivers. These rivers create lush meadows, while a variety of wildflowers and wildlife can be observed. Wyoming is known for its rock formations, most notably its much-photographed Grand Tetons in Jackson Hole, so it's fitting that it is the host of the USA's only publicly-accessible land bridge.

Arches National Park

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Arches National Park: en.wikipedia.org

National Park This canyons in the Rocky Mountains is mostly in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, and is easily accessible from Grand Teton National Park. You can drive into Arches National Park or ride the Arches Auto Tour that takes you up the park's 50-mile-long main canyon to several lookout points. Some visitors prefer to hike along the North and South Arches trails, which begin near the Narrows parking lot, which is just below the road. Hiking The trails in Arches National Park are easy to hike. You can take the 0.3-mile hike along Main Avenue, in a paved road, or you can choose one of the longer trails through the canyon.