Northwest Wyoming is world-famous for Yellowstone, but you can discover countless other must-see sights and attractions around this iconic corner of the state. So, hop in the driver’s seat and hit up the lesser-known — yet equally scenic and fun — spots on this amazing four-day road trip.
After taking in Yellowstone, catch the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway southbound down through Grand Teton National Park, where you can stop at a viewing area a few miles before Jackson to take in the breathtaking iconic peaks. Once in Jackson after the 82-mile trek, climb aboard the bright-red Jackson Hole Aerial Tram for an awe-inspiring ride to the top of Rendezvous Mountain in nearby Teton Village. Or, take a break from the outdoors at the unique and bizarre Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum.
Make your way north on U.S. 26 out of Jackson and then east toward Dubois, an 85-mile span that will take you over the scenic Togwotee Pass (9,520 feet in elevation) in the Absaroka Mountains and along the Wyoming Centennial Scenic Byway, where you’ll cross the Continental Divide and wind through two national forests on the curvy road. Be sure to stop by the National Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center in Dubois to see life-size dioramas and interactive exhibits. Bunker down for the night at one of the many area lodges or campgrounds.
Start off your morning in the historic downtown area of Lander, about 75 miles southeast at the base of Wind River Mountain Range. Here you can explore history at the new Pioneer Museum and the Museum of the American West. Or, plan for an eight-mile detour south to Sinks Canyon State Park to see the massive sandstone cliffs and the geological phenomenon of the disappearing Popo Agie River.
Then head just north to Riverton, where you can try your luck at the Wind River Casino or check out the fascinating American Indian petroglyphs at Castle Garden. Enjoy the 55-mile stunning drive from there to Thermopolis along the Wind River Canyon Scenic Byway, where the road follows a river cut through a beautiful landscape of red rock and sagebrush. If you’re traveling with kids, don’t miss the Wyoming Dinosaur Center to see Stan the T. Rex or the 106-foot-long Supersaurus, Jimbo.Unwind after a day on the road with a steamy soak at Hot Springs State Park near the edge of Thermopolis.
Music in the Mountains: Ten Sleep is home to Jalan Crossland,
an irreverent singer and masterful picker. When not on the road, Jalan
can often be heard at a local bar. And, if you're in the area in August,
he is a common headliner at the Nowoodstock Festival.
Continue north to Greybull for a visit to the Bighorn Basin GeoScience Center or just head straight to Lovell, about 100 miles from Thermopolis near the Montana border. Stop in the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center to learn about Wyoming’s wild horses and even find out where to track down a herd.
Culture and commerce: Don’t miss Greybull’s Days of ‘49 Festival, a weekend of rodeos and parades that’s held annually during the second weekend of June.
To get to the old Western town of Cody, drive 46 miles southwest through the rich Native American history and culture of Wyoming on US 14A, otherwise known as the Medicine Wheel Passage. If time allows, stop midway in Powell to see the new interpretive museum Heart Mountain Relocation Center, which held 14,000 internees at the camp during WWII. Spend the night in nearby Cody, where you can find a tasty, locally raised steak and plenty of lodging options.
Before heading back to Yellowstone, enjoy the sites in Cody, which was founded in 1896 by Colonel William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody and is home to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center’s five museums. For an entertaining one-hour tour of the city, take a ride on the Cody Trolley Tours, and you’ll hear colorful local lore.
Culture and commerce: Every night all summer long in the Rodeo Capital of the World, you can catch the Cody Nite Rodeo.
Headed West out of Cody, the Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway meanders through the Shoshone Forest and past Buffalo Bill State Park, where you can spot elk, moose, bighorn sheep and other wildlife along the last 75-mile leg of your journey.