When people think of items for their “bucket list” they often think of seeing the Sistine Chapel in Italy or Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.
However, bucket list items don’t have halfway around the world or cost as much as a semester in college. For most Americans, Wyoming is a short flight away and the breathtaking beauty you will find there costs you absolutely nothing.
Here are a few reasons visiting Wyoming should be on your bucket list, if it isn’t already.
Yellowstone National Park
Courtesy of Yellowstone National Park
Obviously, going to Yellowstone National Park should already be on your bucket list. There’s so much more to Yellowstone, however, than just seeing Old Faithful and Mammoth Hot Springs. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy biking, boating, fishing and horseback riding. Social media mavens will find the park has no shortage of scenery for pictures and there’s even glamping available for those who want to get close to nature without ‘roughing it.’
Unofficially referred to as Jackson Hole because of its surrounding by the skyscraping Teton Mountains, Jackson offers a quaint break from the wilderness. With many unique shops and restaurants, Jackson gives weary travelers a chance to treat themselves or pick up a souvenir. The luxury cabins at Fireside Resort are some of the best accommodations in the state.
Grand Teton National Park
Located between Yellowstone and Jackson, Grand Teton National Park may not have the name recognition of Yellowstone, but that doesn’t mean it has less to offer. At Menor’s Ferry Historic District, visitors can see a Snake River crossing that vital for early settlers of Jackson Hole. Death Canyon is less intimidating than the name implies and perfect for a day hike. Colter Bay pairs modern amenities with breathtaking views.
Old Trail Town
The days of the old Wild West live on in Old Trail Town, a clutch of historic buildings and artifacts, dating from 1879 to 1901. Visitors can see cabins where Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid and other desperados met up. They can also see the grave of infamous mountain man Liver-Eating Johnson. This gem is located near Cody, Wyo.
There are two big reasons to visit the town of Thermopolis: hot springs and dinosaurs. Most dinosaur museums don’t have actual excavation sites within driving distance; Wyoming Dinosaur Center does. The museum has the only fossil of the bird-dinosaur Archaeopteryx available for viewing in North America.
Hot Springs State Park draws visitors with its thermal pools, cascade terraces, free family bath house and a swinging bridge with great views.
Devils Tower National Monument
Famously recreated in the medium of mashed potatoes in the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Devils Tower is a geologic wonder and considered sacred by many of the local native peoples. The site has a number of rock climbing options, from family-friendly to experts-only. The Visitors Center is a great place to stop to take in the rich and deep history surrounding this magnificent natural wonder.