Wyoming is often overlooked on outdoor adventures, but what many people who’ve never been there don’t realize is that the state is full of incredible scenery and wildlife. Wyoming is home to two national parks, 14 wilderness areas, and four national monuments, making it a great place to stop for hikers wanting to explore more of this amazing country.
Not sure where to start? Some of the best day hikes in Wyoming are listed below, in no particular order.
Inspiration Point via North Rim Trail
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park was the first national park in the United States, so it stands that some of the amazing trails would be listed here. While most of the park is in Wyoming, there are some parts that are in Idaho and Montana. These trails can all be accessed more easily in the Wyoming portion. For those looking for a nice half-day hike, Inspiration Point comes in at just under eight miles from the Yellowstone Canyon North Rim trail. The trail runs alongside the canyon before reaching Yellowstone Falls.
Those wanting to see more of the falls can also hike to Artist Point for a breathtaking overlook view. While at Yellowstone, another must-do hike in the park is the short one-mile trip to the Grand Prismatic Spring Overlook, an extremely beautiful, but deadly, natural hot spring.
When driving through Yellowstone National Park, plan on adding more time to your drive and gas up before you enter the park. You will more than likely be stopped at least once by a bison traffic jam. Especially in shoulder seasons, keep an eye both on weather forecasts and road closures, as conditions in the park can change by the hour. You don’t want to get stranded in Yellowstone National Park.
Cascade Canyon Trail
Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park is known for sweeping views of large, jagged peaks from afar, but getting to check these peaks out up close is a treat hikers will be sure to enjoy. Those looking to make the Cascade Canyon trail shorter can start off by taking the shuttle boat across Jenny Lake. This cuts off a couple of miles from the 10-mile hike, but I recommend doing the hike around the lake to get the full views of the lake and Grand Teton National Park.
From the meet up with the boat’s drop off point, hikers will head back into the canyon past Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point (not to be confused with Yellowstone’s Inspiration Point above). Though many people choose to stop here, hikers can continue up. This turns the hike into a long day-hike loop or an overnight trip. Those who would like to climb the Tetons should! You can do so either with the proper gear and knowledge or by hiring a guide nearby in the town of Jackson.
Cirque of the Towers Overlook
Wind River Range
The Wind River Range is one of the more remote areas on this list and also one of Wyoming’s hidden gems, though it has started gaining some popularity in recent years. This amazing area is home to stunning glaciers, jagged peaks, and blue lakes. It is also home to some of the best hiking trails and backpacking trails in the state.
Cirque of the Towers leads hikers through some of the amazing sites of the Wind River, beneath the iconic peaks. At over 16 miles round trip though, this is a long one, and many opt to do the full 30-mile loop into a three-day backpacking trip. Those looking for even more of a challenge should check out the classic Titcomb Basin trail. Obviously, this is not a beginner’s hike.
Looking for a shorter trail? The Lower Green River Lake hike shows off some impressive scenery without the milage, clocking in at 6.5 miles roundtrip.
Medicine Bow Peak Trail
The Medicine Bow Mountains are in the southern part of Wyoming, so travelers coming from Colorado may enjoy stopping here first before checking out other parts of the state. Many who come to the Snowy Range choose to do the entire seven-mile loop, which leads to the top of Medicine Bow Peak. It provides stunning views of the basin and lake below. Hiking through, visitors may encounter wildlife such as bighorn sheep.
Those looking for a shorter hike can hike to the lakes from below. Hikers looking to do a long day, or an overnight trip, can continue on towards Browns Peak. From here, multiple trails make a circuit around Browns Peak, showing off even more of the beautiful landscape.