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    Wyoming tour: what to see and how to organize a trip

    Who I am
    Lluis Enric Mayans
    @lluisenricmayans
    SOURCES CONSULTED:

    wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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    Every state in America has its own symbolism and just as it is impossible not to associate Florida with the sunny beaches and tropical climate, in the same way one cannot avoid identifying the Wyoming with those iconic elements typical of the country of the cowboys: rodeos, dance halls, boundless pastures ... it is true in this state there is much more, but the most authentic spirit has its roots right here: in the myth of the Far West and the American frontier, which are placed in a unique setting : that of the vertiginous peaks of the Rocky Mountains.



    In this article we will therefore try to deepen some important information for those who want to organize a tour in Wyoming: what to see, how to prepare the trip, the most important attractions and the various places of interest, the time spent, etc ... let's go!

    Index

    • What to see in Wyoming?
    • Wyoming: Landmarks and Attractions
      • National parks
      • Unusual and little known natural beauties
      • I canyon del Wyoming
      • Crystal clear lakes, lush valleys, green forests and wildlife
      • The most interesting towns
      • Sites of historical interest
      • Bizarre attractions
      • Cowboy life? Rodeos and country dances
    • Wyoming tour: how to organize the trip?
      • How to search for flights to Wyoming? What are the airports to select?
      • How many days to stay in Wyoming?
      • Car rental, insurance license and ESTA
      • How to choose accommodation?

    What to see in Wyoming?

    The state is quite large (the ninth in terms of size of all the USA) and from the point of view of tourist attractions the most traveled area is undoubtedly the North-West, which can boast 2 natural wonders that are the envy of any other state. : Grand Teton National Park and, above all, Yellowstone National Park, what for many represents the US national park par excellence. However, as we will see, there is much more to explore, such as pleasant western-style cities like Cody and Buffalo, the Bighorn Mountains, the unprecedented lost monolith of Devils Tower, some of the best scenic drives in the United States, and a “cowboy” lifestyle to be enjoyed, with the opportunity to participate in Rodei or, why not, sleep on the ranch!



    Wyoming: Landmarks and Attractions

    We come therefore to the essence of what is the preparation of the travel itinerary, the choice of attractions to visit during a tour del Wyoming. I have broken down the things to see and places of interest by category to make planning easier. As for the geographic coordinates, please refer to the interactive map below:

    National parks

    Grand Prismatic Spring a Yellowstone

    Wyoming's 2 national parks (Yellowstone and Grand Teton) are also the state's 2 top attractions and tourist destinations. I would say that they represent 2 mandatory stops, as well as for their beauty also for their neighboring position, which makes it easy to insert them in the many possible on the road itineraries. We have dedicated specific insights to both, which you can find below:

    • How to visit Yellowstone National Park
    • How to visit Grand Teton National Park

    Unusual and little known natural beauties

    Red Desert overview

    Although it is true that the most unusual natural beauties are found in Yellowstone (the Grand Prismatic Spring above all), Wyoming can reserve many surprises even outside its magnificent park, especially for those in search of the most unlikely shapes and colors that nature is able to exhibit. Here are 5 stages that will leave you speechless:

    Devils Tower

    It is an evocative monolith protagonist of the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, a rocky tower that stands alone on an immense prairie, one of the most iconic iconic landscapes in all of Wyoming.


    For information on how to get there and visit it, take a look at our article on Devils Tower.

    Hole in the Wall – Red Wall Country

    Red Wall Country

    At a certain point, wandering with your car along the prairies of Wyoming, you might be surprised to find a landscape made of red rock typical of states such as Arizona or Utah. Red Wall Country, an area of ​​Johnson County characterized by an immense red wall. Particularly well-known in this area is Hole in the wall, an escarpment that Butch Cassidy and his gang usually used to secretly transport horses and cattle.


    Red Desert

    Red Desert

    In the south-western area of ​​the state, in the rift valley of Great Basin Divide, you will find one of the few high-altitude deserts in the world, characterized by sandstone towers, constantly moving dunes (Killpecker Dunes) labyrinthine canyons, hoodoos (if you don't know what they are take a look at our article on Bryce Canyon) and fossil remains. One of the most unusual yet least explored regions in the whole of Wyoming.

    Intermittent Spring

    Intermittent Spring

    Located at the foot of a mountain just outside Afton, on the Wyoming-Idaho border, Intermittent Spring (also known as Periodic Intermittent Spring), it is an authentic rarity, one of only three springs in the world that start and stop their water flow every few minutes. The reasons for this strange intermittence are still unknown.


    Hell’s Half Acre

    Hell’s Half Acre

    This half-acre of devil's land near the town of Casper is larger than the name implies (a whopping 300 acres!) And looks like a geological landscape from another planet, characterized by jutting rocks, pinnacles, caves and valleys of bizarre and layered colors, similar to what can be seen at Badlands National Park or the Artist Palette of Death Valley. To find out more, you can read our tips on how to visit Hell's Half Acre

    I canyon del Wyoming

    Big Horn Canyon

    Wyoming also has its own Grand Canyon and it is the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, but scattered here and there along the state there are also other fascinating chasms, to give you goosebumps. It is about Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, on the border with Utah, Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, north of the state, not far from the Montana border, e Wind River Canyon, in the central area of ​​the state, close to the town of Thermopolis.


    Crystal clear lakes, lush valleys, green forests and wildlife

    Dan Neville's photo

    The most distinctive feature of Wyoming's nature is that of being able to alternate green and lush valleys with its elevated peaks, such as Star Valley, on which stands the Mormon Church known as the Star Valley Temple. The most beautiful lakes in the state, on the other hand, in addition to those that you can find in national parks, are Seneca Lake e Green River Lakes, while near Grand Teton you will find the beautiful forest of Bridger-Teton National Forest. These are ideal places to admire the Wyoming fauna, which is made up of many animal species, especially bison, elk, deer, antelos and bears.

    Star Valley Temple

    The most interesting towns

    Cody: Old Trail Town

    In Wyoming forget the big cities, you will find mostly small towns, each with clear references to the era of the Far West. Among these, a particular mention is due to Cody, where do you find the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, the largest national collection of Old West objects, with 5 distinct museums attached: the first dedicated to Buffalo Bill, the second to Native American life, the third to art, the fourth to firearms and the fifth to fauna and geology of the area. But even more interesting is theOld Trail Town, an open-air museum that reconstructs a western town using only original buildings, imported from various parts of America.

    picture
    Dan Neville

    The other important town in the western region is Jackson, located close to the mountains and an ideal outpost for visiting Grand Teton. Its symbol is the Town Square arch, made entirely of elk antlers. For a rural West, Jackson is home to a surprising number of galleries, boutiques and posh hotels. To find out more, read our article on visiting Jackson.

    Moving east we find Thermopolis, the host town Hot Springs State Park, a thermal spring where you can immerse yourself in a nice bath without paying a cent, the pleasant Buffalo, whose Main Street still recalls the city's western past, and Cheyenne, the capital, where you will find some interesting museums, such as the Wyoming State Museum (on the Wild West) and the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum (on the history of the railway and the myth of the border).

    Sites of historical interest

    Fort Laramie

    Things to see in Wyoming are not limited to natural beauty but also to some historically interesting sites, such as the Fort Laramie National Historic Site, a trading post of some importance during the XNUMXth century, the Wyoming Frontier Prison, a 1901 prison open to guided visits and tours, the Medicine Wheel, mysterious primitive monument in the Big Horn Mountains made of flat stones arranged in a circle to form a wheel of 28 spokes, the Fossil Butte National Monument, where you will find some of the best preserved fossils in the world (including fish, insects, plants, reptiles, birds and mammals).

    Medicine Wheel, Big Horn Mountains, Wyoming

    Bizarre attractions

    Smith Mansion

    In the US, the bizarre never fails, and Wyoming is certainly no exception! The list of weird and wacky places of interest would be really long, but if you are interested in these kinds of attractions try not to miss the ghost towns of Lost Springs (3 inhabitants) and Buford (1 inhabitant, with Tree in the Rock), The Smith Mansion, a rather abstruse and improbable construction, the Greater Green River Intergalactic Spaceport, interesting only if you are passionate about UFOs or conspiracies about it, Ames Brothers Pyramid, a pyramidal monument reflecting the ego of the Ames brothers, who funded the construction of the first transcontinental railroad.

    Keep in mind that in many of these sites there isn't much to see, so I suggest you visit them if you find them on the street, just out of curiosity; driving miles and miles to see an abandoned house or a road sign in the middle of nowhere could leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.

    Cowboy life? Rodeos and country dances

    Million Dollar Cowboy Bar a Jackson

    If you want to unleash the cowboy in you and are not satisfied with sleeping on a ranch, you can choose to attend a rodeo. How to do? On this page you will find all the appointments to see a rodeo in Wyoming. Do not miss the opportunity to listen to a concert of country music or bluegrass live, just enter one of the many saloons that you will find in the towns on your path and participate in the local cowboy dances. For a list of the state's historic saloons check out this article.

    Wyoming tour: how to organize the trip?

    The beautiful nature of Wyoming

    Distances are not to be underestimated. I advise you to use the interactive map you find above to calculate the routes between the main ones things to see in Wyoming, it can be a good starting point for organizing your itinerary. We now come to a series of concrete indications:

    How to search for flights to Wyoming? What are the airports to select?

    Bird's-eye view of Devils Tower

    In Wyoming there are some airports in the main towns, one of which is also international (Natrona County International Airport in Casper), however, to reach them, you will need to prepare for flights with 2 stopovers of at least 20 hours (but probably even more). For this reason, the best thing to do is often to opt for an airport in the 2 neighboring states:

    • Salt Lake City Airport, Utah (near the Southwestern area of ​​the state), particularly suitable for those visiting Yellowstone and Grand Teton.

    Search for flights to Salt Lake City

    • Denver Airport, Colorado (near the South East area of ​​the state), which I especially recommend to those who, in addition to Wyoming, want to visit the beauties of South Dakota, above all Badlands National Park and Mount Rushmore.

    Search for Denver

    How many days to stay in Wyoming?

    Map of airports in Wyoming

    The question is not easy to answer, especially given the fact that, when planning the tour, you will probably be enticed by the possibility of exploring the beauties of the neighboring states (for example Idaho Falls, Scottsbluff in Nebraska, the aforementioned attractions of South Dakota or some places of interest in Montana, from Bannack to Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument). Given the size of the state, the km to go and the many things to see, I would say that at least ten days should be put in the budget, even if personally I also recommend 15.

    Car rental, insurance license and ESTA

    drive in wyoming. Entrance to the town of Afton

    As far as traffic is concerned, the State of Wyoming requires that the driving license of our country be accompanied by an international license, while as regards the other bureaucratic procedures to be completed, these do not differ from those also suitable for other states, therefore there is I refer to the general guidelines we have suggested in the following articles:

    • Tips for a car rental in the USA
    • How to fill in the Esta form
    • USA health insurance: how it works and how to choose it

    How to choose accommodation?

    You'll find all kinds of accommodations in Wyoming, from hotels to motels to B & Bs to hostels, however to fully experience the atmosphere and lifestyle of this state you can consider spending at least one night in a Wyoming hotel. ranch or at least in a lodge, typical rustic mountain accommodation, with wooden structure and the inevitable stuffed animals. For a list of these types of properties across the state you can take a look at This Page.

    To save a little, here is a list of hotels between 2 and 3 stars with excellent ratings by guests, so you can realize what prices you are getting: list of cheap accommodations in Wyoming.

    However, I recommend that you also read our specific advice for individual cities, which you can find for example in the article on where to sleep in Yellowstone and on Grand Teton.

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