Park County scenic landscape with mountains in the background, Wyoming

Things to do in  Wyoming

The spirit of the American West

Welcome to Wyoming, where the values of the American West still reign, and you’ll feel it in most of the state as cowboy culture is interwoven in its heart. But fear not—if chili cookouts, bull-riding rodeos, and dude ranches aren’t your thing, there are still plenty of things to do in Wyoming. From Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park to the beautiful mountain scenery at Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole, the state attracts outdoor enthusiasts from all over. Plus, fishing, rafting, and skiing are all supreme, depending on the time of year.

Top 15 attractions in Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park

Established in 1872, Yellowstone is the first US National Park. Famous for its wildlife and geothermal activity, the park covers almost 3,500 square miles (9,000 square kilometers) stretching over parts of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. The park boasts one of the largest high-altitude lakes in North America (Yellowstone Lake), the longest undammed river in the contiguous United States (Yellowstone River), and even its own “Grand Canyon”.More

Old Faithful Geyser

Named for its frequent and predictable eruptions, Old Faithful Geyser is the gold standard of geysers and the star attraction of Yellowstone National Park. The steaming, multicolored pool puts on a show every 60 to 120 minutes, when it shoots boiling water up to 180 feet (55 meters) into the air.More

Hayden Valley

Hayden Valley—named after Dr. Ferdinand Hayden, whose geological survey helped Yellowstone become a national park in 1872—is one of the best places in Yellowstone to spot wildlife. It’s also one of the most popular, though the traffic isn’t always entirely human-caused: Herds of bison sometimes crowd the road, letting you know whose territory you’re on.More

Jackson Lake

The largest of the glacial lakes in Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Lake sets the scene for some of the park’s best sailing, windsurfing, fishing, and paddling opportunities, all against the backdrop of the towering Teton Range. The Jackson Lake Lodge, a National Historic Landmark, stands on the lake’s eastern shore.More

Grand Prismatic Spring

Grand Prismatic Spring is not only the largest hot spring in Yellowstone National Park, but one of the largest in all of North America. More than its size though, the spring is famous for its colors that radiate from a deep-blue center out to green, yellow, and red. It’s a spectacular sight unlike anything else in the park.More

Fountain Paint Pot

Fountain Paint Pot is one of several mud pots found within Yellowstone National Park that bursts and pops as the mud thickens throughout summer. The surrounding Fountain Paint Pot area is known for its pools of thermophiles (heat-loving bacteria) that gather to form multihued puddles in the earth, as well as mini-geysers and fumaroles.More

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park protects the jagged, snowcapped peaks of Wyoming's Teton Range along with glacial lakes, dense forests, 200 miles (322 kilometers) of hiking trails, and a stretch of the Snake River. The park also provides excellent opportunities to spot resident elk, black bears, grizzly bears, bald eagles, gray wolves, and moose.More

Lamar Valley

Yellowstone is home to one of the largest concentrations of mammals in the lower 48 states, and the spectacular Lamar Valley ranks among the best locations in the park to spot wildlife—black and grizzly bears, elk, bison, wolves, bighorn sheep, mule deer, and several types of birds. It’s easy to see why it’s nicknamed America’s Serengeti.More

Mammoth Hot Springs

At Mammoth Hot Springs, geothermal waters heated in Yellowstone’s caldera valley emerge through cracks and fissures, depositing minerals to create terraced travertine formations. Visitors traverse boardwalks above the steaming hydrothermal features, taking in one of Yellowstone National Park’s most impressive natural wonders.More

Jenny Lake Trail

A highlight of Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, the Jenny Lake area is characterized by thundering waterfalls, canyons, mountain vistas, and the crystalline expanse of Jenny Lake itself. The lake trail runs 7.1 miles (11.4 kilometers) around the water’s edge and passes by Hidden Falls, Cascade Canyon, and Inspiration Point.More

Mormon Row Historic District

The historic log cabins and barns that make up Mormon Row were constructed by Mormon settlers in the 1980s and still stand against the backdrop of the Teton Mountains in Grand Tetons National Park. Visitors to the site can photograph the historic structures, hike, bike, or snowshoe in the area, and spot the park’s wildlife in the open fields.More

Mud Volcano Area

The landscape comes alive with the sound of bubbling mud pits and steaming fumaroles at this geothermal hotspot inside Yellowstone National Park. Natural features with names like Dragon’s Mouth Spring lend the formerly active volcano an otherworldly feel and make it one of Yellowstone’s most intriguing places to visit.More

Oxbow Bend

If you’ve seen a photo of Grand Teton National Park, you’ve likely seen Oxbow Bend. Without a doubt, this curved section of the Snake River is the park’s most photographed site, with the river meandering in the foreground reflecting the rugged peaks of Mount Moran. It’s a beautiful setting, and a great place to spot wildlife.More

National Elk Refuge

Part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, the National Elk Refuge protects a 24,700-acre (10,000-hectare) winter habitat for the Jackson Elk Herd and several other endangered species of mammals, birds, and fish. With Grand Teton National Park as a backdrop, visitors can spot 47 species of mammals and nearly 175 species of birds.More

Norris Geyser Basin

Here in Yellowstone’s Norris Geyser Basin, there’s a notable stench of fresh sulphur that wafts on the crisp mountain air. That’s because the geysers here are some of the hottest within Yellowstone National Park, as well as the oldest, tallest, most acidic, and prone to frequent change. This section of the park is believed to have hot springs that are 115,000 years old, and is also home to Steamboat Geyser—which is the tallest geyser in the world. Unlike the famous Old Faithful, however, Steamboat Geyser has an eruption schedule that’s variable and tough to predict, though when it explodes it can send water upwards of 380 feet in the air. The Echinus Geyser in the Norris Geyser Basin is the largest acidic geyser in the world, and the core temperature of the earth surrounding it is some of the hottest in the park. Given the elevated levels of heat, this geyser basin is also one of the park’s most likely to change, where hot springs can suddenly turn into fumaroles and geysers can spout without warning. For the best way to experience the basin, enjoy the two miles of boardwalk trails that weave past the geysers and hot springs, stopping to take photos, marvel at the view, and sniff the sulphur on the air.More

Top activities in Wyoming

Grand Teton Half Day Tour

Grand Teton Half Day Tour

Snake River Scenic Float Trip with Teton Views in Jackson Hole
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Sunrise 4-Hour Grand Teton Wildlife Adventure
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
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All about Wyoming

When to visit

Unless you want to attend Cheyenne Frontier Days, the city’s annual 10-day outdoor rodeo, complete with country concerts and a carnival (which happens in July), you’ll want to avoid visiting Wyoming in the summertime. The spring and fall are the best times to go because the national parks and other outdoor recreation areas have fewer visitors, and you’ll have a better chance to see wildlife. Winter is key if you want to ski at one of the state’s nine resorts.

Getting around

Having a car is your best bet for getting around Wyoming during your visit. The state features many small towns, most without public transportation options, and even huge attractions, such as Yellowstone National Park, don’t offer any public transport within the park. If you don’t have a car to use in Wyoming, you can check out the Express Arrow Bus, which provides 10 routes within the state for you to take advantage of.

Traveler tips

Chili is king in Wyoming, so it should be no surprise that one of the most impressive chili cook-offs happens here. The annual Chugwater Chili Cook-Off is just a short drive from Cheyenne, and it’s not to be missed—it happens the Saturday of Father’s Day weekend in June. Try the Bunkhouse Bar & Grill in Cheyenne for another family-friendly cowboy atmosphere—they have great food (including Rocky Mountain oysters) and live country music every Friday and Saturday night.

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People Also Ask

What is Wyoming famous for?

Wyoming is famous for its national parks—such as Yellowstone and Grand Teton—and skiing and snowboarding resorts like Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The state is also well known for its cowboy culture, wild-west history, small-town charm, dude ranches, and specialties such as bison burgers and spicy chili.

Why is Wyoming the least populated state?

There are multiple reasons why Wyoming has fewer people than any other US state, but the main reason is the state’s landscape and weather. The state varies from flat prairies to rugged mountain regions, and the winters can drop to freezing at about 11°F (-11°C). Plus, tornadoes and wildfires are a possibility every year.

Does Wyoming get snow?

Yes, Wyoming gets snow—it even has nine ski resorts because of all the snow it gets throughout winter. Snow in Wyoming can fall anytime from October through May, but the months with the heaviest snowfall are March and April. The snowiest part of Wyoming can be found in the town of Moose.

What is Wyoming's favorite food?

Wyoming has many unique dishes to try. Aside from chili, which is loved and made throughout the state with all types of meat—elk, bison, beef, and pork, to be exact—other favorites include cutthroat trout, bison burgers, country-fried steak, rack of lamb, and Rocky Mountain oysters. Chokecherry jam is also a big favorite.

What is the most visited place in Wyoming?

The most visited place in Wyoming is Yellowstone National Park, which should come as no surprise as the park attracts more than three million visitors a year and is home to the Old Faithful geyser. One of the most visited cities in Wyoming is Jackson, where the National Elk Refuge is.

What animals is Wyoming known for?

Wyoming is known mainly for bison, the state’s national animal, but it also serves as a natural habitat for elk, moose, wolves, bears, mule deer, cutthroat trout, mountain lions, and more. You can also see wild horses at the Wind River Wild Horse Sanctuary in Lander.

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