hikes in Wyoming
Hiking In Wyoming
Hiking in Wyoming, the least populous state in the US, is a bucket list activity for many adventure travelers. Known for its vast, open wilderness and distinctive national parks, Wyoming’s landscapes will take your breath away. To really experience the best of this top hiking destination, get off the main highways and explore the national parks on foot. Scale rugged mountains, admire steaming geysers, go nature spotting and horseback riding – there’s no end to the incredible outdoor activities on offer in this wild, unspoiled region.
The best places to go hiking in Wyoming are the national parks, where you’ll find some of the most mind-blowing trails in the whole of the US. Grand Teton National Park is a delight for hikers, featuring distinctive craggy peaks reflected in the serene waters of alpine lakes. This is the place to come for adventure travel – you can choose from backpacking, hiking, horse riding, snow sports, canoeing or rock climbing! However, the most iconic destination for hiking in Wyoming has to be Yellowstone National Park, a natural wonderland filled with geysers and hot springs, with rugged mountains and expansive valleys simply teeming with wildlife.
Hiking in Wyoming is such a popular activity that it’s easy to plan a trip here. We’ve put together all the information you’ll need, including route recommendations, travel tips, and advice on when to visit. What are you waiting for? Pull on your hiking boots and start exploring this incredible state today!
Types Of Hiking In Wyoming
There are many different types of hiking in Wyoming, with something to please all tastes and fitness levels. If you’re traveling with young children or looking for some easy hikes, Yellowstone offers plenty of boardwalks through areas of thermal activity, allowing you to experience the wonder and majesty of the park without struggling over rocky trails. There are also a number of easy gorge walks that will get you up close to the spectacular rivers and waterfalls without expending too much energy. These trails are well maintained, easily accessible by road, and offer a wonderful way to see the parks, even if you’re a beginner hiker.
On the other hand, if challenging day treks are on your hiking bucket list, both Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks offer some of the most impressive and exciting hikes in the region. You’ll find demanding ridge walks, impressive canyons, and tranquil mountain lakes perched up among the highest peaks. Wyoming is the place to come if you want a challenge, leave the world behind and escape into the wilderness.
Whatever your preference or hiking ability, Wyoming has something for you. And one thing’s for sure – once you’ve had a taste of all that this marvelous state has to offer, you’ll soon be back for more!
Easy Hikes In Wyoming
South Rim Hike: This relatively short hike offers spectacular views of the Yellowstone Falls and is one of our favorite easy hikes in Wyoming. You’ll descend via the steep Uncle Tom’s Trail, down to an incredible viewing point close to the base of the falls. The views all along this trail are out of this world, and this easy hike will provide you with a truly memorable day out.
Norris Geyser Hike: If you want to escape the crowds at Artist Point and head out for a pleasant, easy walk, this trail is the one for you! Head down to Porcelain Basin on a relatively flat route, for fabulous views of some of the park’s most famous geysers: Pinwheel Geyser, Ledge Geyser, and the Black Growler Steam Vent. Don’t miss the excellent Norris Geyser Basin Museum and bookstore – a great place to visit with kids.
Family Hikes In Wyoming
Colter Bay Hike: One of the best family hikes in Wyoming, this pretty, gentle trail is perfect if you’re traveling with younger kids. The route traces the shores of Jackson Lake close to Colter Bay, providing wonderful views of the Teton Range. The mountains form a spectacular backdrop for the pretty harbor, and the trail offers plenty of photo opportunities, picnic spots, and places to skim stones on the lake. The perfect family hike!
Phelps Lake Hike: This family-friendly hike is a great way to spend an afternoon out of doors with the kids! The trail is accessible and reasonably flat, so it’s a good option if you’re traveling with small children or don’t want a hike that’s too strenuous. Phelps Lake boasts a beautiful white sandy beach, which makes for an ideal swimming spot and an excellent place for a picnic! You’ll also be able to enjoy spectacular views over Prospectors Mountain and Death Canyon.
Day Hikes In Wyoming
Paintbrush Divide Hike: This phenomenal hike in the Grand Teton National Park has to be one of our favorite day hikes in Wyoming. Starting with a steady climb from String Lake, the trail passes through forests filled with huckleberries before reaching the wide, gentle plateau of Paintbrush Divide. Here you’ll have magnificent views over the Paintbrush Canyon, filled with wildflowers, and a spectacular vista of the peaks in the Teton Range. This hike offers some mind-blowing scenery and a fantastic day out in the Grand Teton National Park.
Amphitheater Lake Hike: If you’re searching for one of the best challenging day hikes in Wyoming, look no further than this hike up to Amphitheater Lake. Featuring incredible views of Grand Teton and other neighboring peaks, and a series of stunning alpine lakes, this trail is one of the best in the Grand Teton National Park. It’s also a great trek for wildlife fans – look out for chipmunks, squirrels, grouse, and marmots.
Challenging Hikes In Wyoming
Hanging Canyon Hike: Although this is a relatively short route, the trek up Hanging Canyon is one of the most challenging hikes in Wyoming, partly because the trail is unofficial so you may have to do a little route finding! However, it’s definitely worth the effort – the trail climbs up the spectacular Hanging Canyon all the way to the gorgeous Lake of the Crags. Possibly the finest mountain lake in the state, the deep blue waters of Lake of the Crags is perfectly offset by the bright green grass and grey ridges of the Grand Teton National Park.
Sky Rim Hike: If you’re looking for one of the most challenging hikes in Wyoming, look no further than this classic Yellowstone trail. It’s a long hike, but the rewards are spectacular, with epic views over the dramatic peaks and wide valleys of the Yellowstone National Park. As you walk along the ridge, you’ll pass rocky bluffs and broad wildflower meadows, and enjoy views over Ramshorn Peak, Fortress Mountain and Lone Indian Peak. This is an exceptional hike, and should not be missed during your trip to Yellowstone!
Best Hikes In Wyoming
Lake Solitude Hike: This classic hike is one of the highlights of Grand Teton National Park, and certainly one of the best hikes in Wyoming. The route begins at Jenny Lake and traces the Cascade Canyon trail. You’ll climb past rocky ridges filled with wildflowers and climbs steadily upwards until you reach the beautiful Lake Solitude. This gorgeous hike boasts some fabulous views and is a must for all keen hikers!
Mystic Falls Hike: For peaceful contemplation, beautiful views, and some classic Yellowstone geysers, try this Mystic Falls hike. You’ll see a series of tumbling waterfalls, stretching 21 meters high, pouring into the Little Firehole River. Don’t miss the geyser at Biscuit Basin, cloaked in steam and surrounded by wildflowers.
Avalanche Peak Hike: The steep trek up to Avalanche Peak is a real hiking challenge, and you may feel your legs shaking by the end! However, the incredible views on this classic trail will more than compensate for your exertions. From the ridge, you’ll have wonderful panoramic views as far as the Yellowstone Lake, and you’ll see plenty of beautiful alpine valleys along the way.
Grand View Point Hike: This hike is short and sweet, and offers some of the finest views in the Grand Teton National Park. After a steep climb through the forest, you’ll emerge on to the ridge and enjoy a magnificent panorama of all the major peaks of the park. Grand Teton and Mount Owen rise up before you, and the route offers a stunning view down to Jackson Lake, which reflects the Teton peaks like a glassy mirror.
Upper Geyser Basin Hike: Kids will love the Upper Geyser Basin Trail, one of the classic things to do in Yellowstone National Park! Beginning at Old Faithful, this exciting trail passes dozens of beautiful geysers and springs. This is a fantastic way to teach kids a little about Yellowstone’s fascinating geology and encourage them to get a taste for hiking. Don’t forget to grab an ice cream from the Old Faithful Inn on the way back!
Garnet Canyon Hike: If you’re looking for a spectacular canyon hike that won’t wear you out, try this beautiful trail in Grand Teton National Park. It’s a relatively easy route, but the views are simply spectacular, with a wonderful vista of Middle Teton, the third highest mountain in the range.
Bunsen Peak Hike: Just south of Mammoth Hot Springs, Bunsen Peak rises like a beacon from the grassy meadows, formed 50 million years ago by volcanic eruptions. Scaling this iconic peak is a real pleasure, not least due to the fabulous views over Cathedral Rock, Terrace Mountain, and the Golden Gate. This is an excellent choice for beginner hikers who want a fresh challenge and a taste of the wonders of Yellowstone National Park.
Inspiration Point Hike: This hike is a good option if you’re looking for a flexible route. You can either stop at Inspiration Point after a short, steep climb and some fabulous views, or continue on up Cascade Canyon, depending on how much energy and time is at your disposal. Either way, you’ll find some fantastic viewpoints, spectacular peaks, and plenty of inspirational photo opportunities.
Mount Washburn Hike: This accessible and popular trail rises up to the top of Mount Washburn, offering fabulous views of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone all along the way. This is a wonderful way to experience the park, with a vista that includes wildflower meadows, plunging canyons, and wild, craggy peaks.
Summit Trail JHMR Hike: If you’re looking for spectacular views without a grueling climb, jump on the aerial tram that ascends up Rendezvous Mountain. This iconic tram in the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort will give you a fabulous panorama over the Teton Range, and there are two enjoyable trails from the arrival point. Choose either the Cirque or the Summit Trail, and you won’t be disappointed – this is a wonderful place for a family hike.
When Is The Best Time To Hike In Wyoming?
The climate in Wyoming is notoriously varied, so if you want to know when is the best time to hike in Wyoming, you’ll need to do your research. The weather varies according to elevation, and in mountainous areas like the Yellowstone National Park, the hiking season is relatively short. The peak season is July and August, although you still may be able to enjoy the trails in June and September – just watch out for early/late snowfall! Despite the snow, it’s still possible to visit some areas of Yellowstone National Park in winter, and the views at this time can be pretty incredible.
The best times to visit Jackson Hole are spring and autumn when you’ll either see fields of beautiful wildflowers, or vibrant fall colors in the forests. The hiking season for Grand Teton National Park is slightly longer than in Yellowstone, and you can enjoy the trails here from mid-May to late September.
Wherever you go, it’s best to come prepared for all weather scenarios – the sun can be very strong in the middle of summer on lower ground, but the temperature drops quickly as you ascend the peaks, and some areas experience high winds. In winter, the snows prohibit hiking on most of the trails, but it’s an excellent time to try your hand at snowshoeing and cross-country skiing!
Best Regions For Hiking in Wyoming
Wyoming is a land of contrasts, made up of vast, Great Plains and dramatic, craggy mountains. One of the best regions for hiking in Wyoming has to be Grand Teton National Park, a stunning mountain range littered with beautiful alpine lakes, dense forests, and gorgeous mountain meadows. However, the jewel in Wyoming’s crown is the iconic Yellowstone National Park. This magical land is home to 60% of the world’s geysers, creating a mysterious, otherworldly atmosphere, surrounded by towering ridges, dramatic canyons, and broad, green valleys. This untamed park is packed with unique and wonderful wildlife, and is a must for all avid hikers and adventure travelers.
Other Outdoor Activities in Wyoming
Wyoming may be a paradise for hikers, but it also offers plenty of other treats for adventure travelers. In the winter months, when the parks are covered in fresh snow, it’s possible to go snowshoeing and cross country skiing, allowing you to enjoy the landscape at its most spectacular. In summer Grand Teton National Park welcomes countless adventure travelers, drawn by the possibilities for backpacking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and canoeing. Finally, a trip to Wyoming wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a ranch, and this beautiful state is a wonderful place to try your hand at horseback riding.
How To Plan A Trip To Wyoming
Want to know how to plan a trip to Wyoming? Look no further. We’ve got all the information you’ll need to plan your next adventure holiday in Wyoming, whether you’re a keen hiker, or just looking for a fun way to experience all that this wonderful state has to offer. Check out our Grand Tetons travel guide and our Yellowstone trip planning guide for accommodation recommendations, packing advice, weather warnings, and lots more besides. We’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to – simply sit back, relax and start dreaming about your next adventure destination!Read More