Sparsely populated Wyoming offers unlimited opportunities to enjoy natural beauty and participate in year-round outdoor activities.
Yellowstone is the country’s first national park, established in 1872. Millions have visited to marvel at its geothermal features and wildlife. See the Old Faithful geyser shoot 130 feet (40 meters) into the air roughly every 90 minutes. Drive through the park to explore more of its 10,000 thermal features of mud pots, geysers, hot springs and fumaroles.
Look for the Yellowstone River’s colorful walls. Bring your camera or paintbrush and canvas to capture the red, yellow, pink and white stains from minerals dissolved and released from the rock by thermal activity. See the travertine terraces of crystallized limestone from the slowly bubbling Mammoth Hot Springs. Several elk and bison have made this protected area their home; watch them put on a show near the warm refuge.
Drive through Lamar Valley where more wildlife graze. The National Park Service has provided numerous convenient stopping points along the road to enable safe animal observation and photography.
South of Yellowstone is Grand Teton National Park. See its towering peaks reflected in the pools of the Snake River. Watch an early morning sunrise over Moulton Barn or spreading light down the mountain walls while elk and bison graze below.
Cheyenne, the state’s capital and largest city, offers authentic Old West attractions, ranging from rodeo to chuckwagon cooking. Attend the 10-day Frontier Days July festival to join the fun.
Jackson, the town, and Jackson Hole, the ski area, welcome visitors for winter skiing and year-round camping and hiking. Bike along the many trails through the 45-mile (72-kilometer) long park. Hike to waterfalls and to the foot of melting glaciers. Breathe in fresh pine scents. Be sure to heed bear warnings.
Visit Wyoming in September; many tourists are gone and cold weather usually holds off for a few weeks, providing a great window to enjoy the national parks with twinkling yellow aspen, active wildlife and no crowds.