5 National Parks in Wyoming

March 10, 2023

national parks in Wyoming

Wyoming is home to some of the world’s most pristine landscapes. From bubbling hot springs and erupting geysers to soaring mountains, deep canyons, and historic trails.

The National Park Service operates several sites in the state. These include two national parks, two national monuments, and one national recreation area.

Grand Teton National Park

The stunning mountain scenery of Grand Teton National Park is a visual feast for all who see it. The imposing, 40-mile-long Teton Range looms above the valley, towering to 13,770 feet above the plain and reflecting a multitude of colors in summer wildflower meadows.

In the backcountry, rugged, glacier-carved summits of the massif frame crystalline alpine lakes. The park’s flora and fauna thrive in the same conditions, as do more than a dozen species of mammals, including bison (buffalo), elk, moose and bald eagles.

As an outdoor destination, Grand Teton offers a broad array of activities to enjoy, from hiking through fragrant forests to climbing to the top of a glacier-carved peak. It is also home to an incredible variety of wildlife, which can be spotted when following best practices and safety rules.

Visitation in the park can be very high in summer and fall, so it is recommended to plan your trip well ahead of time to avoid crowds. Similarly, winter is the perfect time to visit for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts.

Fossil Butte National Monument

The world's most well-preserved fossils are preserved in the 50 million-year-old lake bed that formed at Fossil Butte National Monument. The Green River Formation contains the largest fossil record of freshwater fish in North America, along with turtles, crocodiles, bats, small horses, insects and plant life.

In addition to the rich fossils, visitors will find a beautiful semi-arid landscape of flat-topped buttes and ridges covered by sagebrush. The park also offers several activities, such as a scenic drive, picnic areas and ranger programs.

Start your visit in the visitor center, where you'll find hundreds of impeccably preserved fossils of fish, turtles, crocodiles, mammals, reptiles and plants. Throughout the museum, interpretive signs and displays take you back in time.

Devils Tower National Monument

Located in northeastern Wyoming, Devils Tower National Monument is known for its unique rock monolith, the remnant of an ancient volcanic intrusion. It also features a diverse ecosystem of pine forests, prairies and birds.

The mountain’s odd shape and several scientific theories about how it got its form are a source of wonder for many visitors. In addition to the natural beauty, it is a popular destination for hiking and rock climbing.

For Native American tribal communities, the Tower has long been a sacred location for vision quests, prayer offerings and other ceremonies. It is often visited during June, when it is considered a holy month for Plains Indians.

Those who enjoy outdoor adventures can hike Devils Tower Trail, which begins at the visitor center and loops around the base of the tower. The park also offers a number of other trails, including the Red Beds Trail and Joyner Ridge Trail.

Yellowstone National Park

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Yellowstone National Park is home to a diverse collection of features, including geysers, hot springs, and more. It also boasts a spectacular Grand Canyon, as well as dramatic rock colors and contrasting landscapes.

A popular attraction is Old Faithful, a geyser that erupts regularly and shoots large volumes of water into the air. Other highlights include the Upper Geyser Basin, where many more geysers can be found.

In this region, groundwater seeps through cracks in the earth’s crust and into underlying magma. The resulting superheated fluid returns to the surface as mud cauldrons, paint pots, geothermal pools and springs, steam vents, fumaroles and other hydrothermal features.

To see the best of these natural attractions, it’s important to plan your itinerary properly. You can do so by following the Grand Loop tour, which starts at Old Faithful and continues to the far north end of the park.


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