Konnichi wa / Great Outdoors
Breathtaking National Parks in Wyoming
The state of Wyoming is one of the most beautiful places in America. Home to breathtaking national parks, this state has it all. From Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park, to Devils Tower and Shoshone National Forest, there are so many amazing places to enjoy in Wyoming. In this post we will explore some of the best national parks in the United States and North America for you!
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is the country’s first national park. Created in 1872, this area has seen major changes over time both to preserve and protect it as well as from natural disasters like the devastating fires of 1988 that destroyed many trees and animal habitats. The park spans across part of Wyoming, Idaho, Montana and Utah for a total size of around 900 miles long by 150 miles wide (53% of which is in Park County) and is cut through by the Continental Divide. The most popular entrance is through West Yellowstone, a small town in southern Montana, and it's even possible to stay in Yellowstone National Park lodges. With so much space there are plenty of areas where visitors can explore without any crowds-even during peak season! You will find amazing geothermal features here that are part of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem, such as Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone Caldera, and Grand Prismatic Spring which you cannot miss exploring while visiting Yellowstone National Park. There are also some incredible wildlife spots with bison herds roaming about or you can even spot a grizzly bear or elk if you’re lucky.
One of the most popular, and thrilling things to do in Yellowstone National Park is to take on a multi-day backcountry hike. You can choose from easy routes such as hiking up Mount Washburn or more challenging hikes like climbing Fremont Peak (or even tackling both!) There are also several day hikes that are available on a limited basis and become great overnight trips if you pack light with some necessities for camping gear and food supplies! And if you're not into walking for extended periods of time, you can enjoy the area by going horseback riding as well.
Hiking isn't your thing? No worries because there are plenty of other ways to explore this park and the Yellowstone region without any physical activity at all! Visit Obsidian Creek which offers guided tours of an uninhabited ghost town where one could imagine themselves living in 1890s America during its heydey. Or visit Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River (to which the Bighorn River is a tributary), Yellowstone Lake, or Norris Geyser Basin home to the world's tallest active geyser. There are also the Yellowstone Art Museum, Norris Historic District and National Elk Refuge to explore if you're looking for monuments or buildings with history!
Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park has an area located in Teton County that is much smaller than Yellowstone but it does have its fair share of amazing features, including wildlife viewing of bighorn sheep and black bears. Most notably, the Grand Teton range near Jackson Hole are a 20-mile long mountain range consisting of 11 peaks with elevations from 9000 to over 13000 feet and the highest point being Mount Owen at more than 14300 feet above sea level. The park also hosts some incredible lakes such as Jackson Lake which holds water year round and offers stunning views all around you when looking out into the distance.
Devils Tower National Monument
Located near the Black Hills in Wyoming, this granite monument is one of the most famous landmarks in America-even appearing on maps as "America's Stonehenge". While there are many Indian legends about what it might be for or represent; some believe that it was formed by volcanic activity while others think its an unusual rock formation. You can hike to the top which will take you around three hours round trip and explore all different areas along the way! One thing visitors should know before exploring Devils Tower National Monument is that they must get a permit ahead of time if they would like to climb up past certain points such as Ranger Joe’s Notch since otherwise hikers may not be able to get back down.
Shoshone National Forest
This is the first national forest in America and was established on March 13, 1897 by a proclamation from President Grover Cleveland. It covers over three million acres of land with diverse ecosystems which includes many different trees, plants and animals-including trout! Fishing for these fish (or any other type you might find) is permitted so if that’s your thing then this park has plenty of places where you can do it. There are also designated areas for hunting deer as well as buffalo during certain seasons, but make sure you check the regulations before entering those spots just in case there are any changes or updates since they tend to change often due to population size in specific regions.
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area is a small but scenic area in central Wyoming. It's about 50 miles south of Worland and was established on April 26th, 1970 by Lyndon Johnson.
The recreation area encompasses the narrow canyon that cuts through Bighorn Mountains and offers some amazing views of wildlife as well as fishing opportunities.
In 1983 this became an official game refuge for bighorn sheep which are native to these mountains! There are currently around 800 wild animals living here.
Open year round; only day use with no camping allowed!
Fossil Butte National Monument
Located in western Wyoming near the town of Kemmerer.
The monument is a fossil-bearing rock unit with exposed layers dating back more than 16 million years! This includes archaeological sites and fossils from early predators and herbivores. Fossil Butte was designated as one of America’s first two national monuments by President Theodore Roosevelt on September 24th 1906 (alongside Devils Tower) because he thought this place deserved to be protected for future generations. It's managed cooperatively between National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Forest Service.
Open year round but only for day use with no camping!
Cataract Canyon National Recreation Area
Cataract Canyon National Recreation Area is also in central Wyoming, about 100 miles south of Bighorn Canyon.
It was established on September 24th 1906 by Theodore Roosevelt and includes the North Fork Cataract Creek which runs through a narrow canyon with many natural features. You can hike to the bottom of this creek for some amazing views as well as visit ancient Indian rock art! There are four campgrounds both within and outside the recreation area.
Open year round; only day use with no camping allowed!
Buffalo Bill State Park
A scenic state park in northeastern Wyoming that was created from a land grant by the U.S. Government to William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody.
It's spread over 21,000 acres and includes many historic buildings such as Buffalo Bill’s Ranch House Museum which features changing exhibits on topics of regional interest.
This is where you will find the world famous Bison Herd! They are just one example of how this national treasure with abundant wildlife showcases our country’s natural resources and history for all visitors through educational programs, guided tours, interpretive signage, and more.
Open year round; camping available during summer months but no day use without a permit during winter season! There are also limited backcountry camping opportunities with a permit.
Final Thoughts on National Parks in Wyoming
These iconic parks are national landmarks and worth a trip if you happen to be in the area...
Looking for more on National Parks in Wyoming and other outdoor adventures? Try these:
- National Parks in California
- Hiking Boots: Why You Don't Need Them and What to Buy Instead
- Kona & the Big Island of Hawaii: Things to Do & See
- Best Backpacking & Camping Tents
- Best Backpacking Backpack: Why Osprey Packs are Superior
- Southern New Mexico: Carlsbad Caverns & White Sands National Monument
- Beartooth Highway: A Montana Road Trip
- Valley of Fire State Park: The Complete Guide
- 17 Best Backpacking Hacks
- Merino Wool: The Best Fabric Known to Man?
- Camping on the Oregon Coast
- Visiting Kyushu, Japan
- Big Sur Camping & Other Lodging Options
- Mastering Your Charcoal Grill