Its unspoiled natural beauty makes Wyoming a joy for nature lovers to behold. Here are travel tips on seven of the state’s best places to enjoy an outdoor adventure.
1. Yellowstone National Park
U.S. News and World Report described Yellowstone as an “outdoor enthusiast’s paradise,”
writing enthusiastically of its forests, trails, geysers, hot springs, and wildlife-viewing opportunities. The site said the park sees 3 million visitors a year. It added that tourists — unless they visit the popular geyser known as Old Faithful — likely won’t see many other people, as the park’s 2.2 million acres offer “plenty of untouched territory to explore.”
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2. Old Faithful
But, no trip to Yellowstone would be complete without a visit to the one and only Old Faithful. Destination360 calls it most predictable geyser on Earth
, which got its name in 1870, erupts on average every 92 minutes, expelling between 4,000 and 8,000 gallons of heated water into the sky at an average height of about 145 feet.
3. Devils Tower
Devils Tower National Monument rises 867 feet from its base and is famous for its role in the 1977 movie, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” The tower was declared the nation’s first national monument in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt, according to the National Park Service
. That site described Devils Tower as being a place “where nature and science come together
.” It said the area offers a rich diversity of animals and plants, featuring ponderosa pine forests that play host to mule deer, white deer and porcupine, as well as cottonwood-dotted floodplain fields that support the prairie dog, turkey, and rattlesnake. “These rich ecosystems support whole communities of plants and animals that enrich our experience here,” the site said.
4. Grand Teton National Park
Sixty species of mammals, more than 300 species of birds and a half-dozen types of game fish live within Grand Teton National Park in the Jackson Hole area of northwestern Wyoming, according to WyomingTourism.org
The site said: “During summer, wildflowers paint meadows in vivid colors. Crystalline alpine lakes fill glacial cirques, and noisy streams cascade down rocky canyons to larger lakes at the foot of the range. These lakes, impounded by glacial debris, mirror the mountains on calm days.”
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5. Fossil Butte National Monument
Wyoming’s newest national monument, Fossil Butte, encompasses 8,198 acres and protects a portion of the largest freshwater fish fossils in the world, according to WyomingTourism.org
. “Situated about 10 miles west of Kemmerer, Fossil Butte is a ruggedly impressive topographic feature that rises sharply some 1,000 feet above Twin Creek Valley to an elevation of more than 7,500 feet above sea level,” the site said. It said visitors may explore the area on two hiking trails or learn more about the butte at the visitors center, where more than 300 fossils are on display, including a 13-foot crocodile, the oldest articulated bat and a mass mortality of 356 fish.
6. Beartooth Scenic Byway
The traveling journalist Charles Kuralt once called Beartooth Scenic Byway in northwest Wyoming “the most beautiful drive in America.” The two-lane byway, which crests at 10,947 feet in Beartooth Pass, is Wyoming’s highest paved road and the only national scenic byway in Wyoming.
7. Hot Springs State Park
Hot Springs State Park at the edge of Thermopolis was built around the world’s largest mineral hot spring. The spring pours forth millions of gallons of mineral water every 24 hours at a constant temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit while the perpetual fountain forms “a seething cauldron” from which some of the water is channeled into pools to be cooled and then piped into bathhouses for public use.
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