Natural Wonders: The National Parks and Monuments of Wyoming


Wyoming is one of the most popular states in the USA for lovers of the great outdoors. Not only is it home to one of the most famous national parks in the world, Yellowstone, but it also has other national parks and national monuments to discover. Here is a guide to the natural wonders of Wyoming to help you plan your visit.

Yellowstone National Park

Designated a national park in 1872, Yellowstone is one of the most famous national parks in the world. This unspoiled natural area of over 2.2 million acres of wilderness is open throughout the year, and it is the perfect playground for hikers, bikers, campers, and anyone else who loves the outdoors.

Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park by Jim Peaco, National Park Service Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Get out into the wild and spot buffalo, eagles, gray wolves, and bears. See the famous geothermal features including hot springs and over 300 mighty geysers including Old Faithful. Visit the stunning upper and Lower Falls and climb up Mount Washburn, the largest peak in the Washburn Range.

Yellowstone is easy to access. If you are staying in Jackson Hole, go to the south entrance on Highway 89, which is located in Grand Teton National Park. Most roads inside the park open at the end of April, but always check before you arrive.

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park is a vast area of stunning scenery and mighty peaks that is located above the Jackson Hole valley. It is easily accessible when staying in Jackson Hole luxury hotels, and it is the perfect place to start your adventure in Wyoming before a trip to Yellowstone.

Grand Teton National Park
“Oxbow Bend outlook in the Grand Teton National Park” by I, Michael Gäbler. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The park offers a wide range of activities including hiking, climbing, camping, kayaking, boating, mountain biking, and horseback riding. You will also find a wide variety of wildlife here including grizzly bears, moose, elk, and bison.

The Teton Range dominates the landscape, but the whole area is stunning. It is particularly beautiful in the summer months where the colorful meadows are in full bloom, and you will also find streams, canyons, and lakes as well as the Snake River.

Devils Tower National Monument

Devils Tower was the first national monument in the country. It is located in the east of Wyoming, and the unique volcanic formation with a flat top stands high above the plains and is surrounded by beautiful country.

Devils Tower National Monument
Devils Tower – Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Go to the Visitor Center to find out all about its history and geology, and then go on a hike on one of the many nature trails. One of these is a circuit that goes around the formation, while others go through the forests. Alternatively, go on a tour with a ranger and learn about the indigenous people of the area, the geology, and the wildlife. You may even want to climb to the top, but just make sure you register with the authorities before you do so.

Fossil Butte National Monument

Fossil Butte became a national monument in 1972, and it comprises over 8,000 acres of space. It is primarily famous for the huge number of fish fossils that were found here, but there are also fossils of other animals that you can see in the Visitor Center. You may also want to go on a hike on one of the two trails while you are here.

Fossil Butte National Monument
Fossil Butte National Monument Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

See the Best of the Natural Scenery in Wyoming

Wyoming’s natural attractions make it one of the best states to visit if you love to get outside and enjoy stunning scenery. Yellowstone may be the main attraction here, but don’t miss out on Grand Teton National Park and the two national monuments during your time here because they are well worth visiting. So start planning your trip here today and enjoy a fantastic vacation discovering Wyoming.

Peter O’Reilly works at a small travel agency. He loves writing sharing his experiences online. His articles can be found on many travel blogs.

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