Wyoming is a great place to take a long scenic drive and in order to get to most destinations in this state, there will be no choice in the matter. This is because the distances between points of interest Wyoming can be hundreds of miles, so a visitor will be doing plenty of long scenic drives, whether they want to or not! When touring destinations in this state, there literally is nothing better to do than leisurely cruise through the wide open spaces and take in the majestic scenery!
The two main Wyoming attractions are the Bighorn and Yellowstone, which both located near the northern border. What this means is people coming from the Southwest will have to drive seemingly endless miles from the southern Wyoming border to get to the primary destinations. As can be imagined, it is best to just make the best out of the long trip. For those who plan a trip from Rock Springs to the Bighorn National Forest, getting there via Thermopolis is an option that will liven the long trip up!
In Wyoming, there are winding mountain roads that are challenging to drive and there are long straight highways that are well suited for land yachts and travel trailers. Wyoming has some of the steepest mountain road grades in the west, so depending on what kind of vehicle you drive, it may pay to take a good look at a topographic map before setting sail.
Rock Springs is a fair size city that offers all amenities and modern shopping venues, so this is a good place to stock up before setting sail. Rock Springs is a gateway to adventure city, so plenty of outdoor outfitters and rentals can be found here. Rock Springs has some pretty good local places to grab a bite to eat that are far more appealing than the mediocre national chain restaurants by the freeway. A good place in Rock Springs to grab a few snacks for the road in the morning is Cowboy Donuts, which has won the Best In The West Award in the past. This gourmet donut shop was featured on the Food Television Network and the Watermelon Donuts truly are worthy of filling up the cardboard to-go box!
The high plains of southern Wyoming are just about as flat as it gets, so for some, this may not exactly seem to be an exciting scenic drive to do. They sure do not call this region the High Plains for no reason at all. From horizon to horizon, all that a traveler will see is endless grassy plains, cattle ranches and a few rolling hills when passing through. The small towns are few and far between, but each has a historic site that gives reason to stretch the legs during this long drive. When traveling on the seemingly endless two lane roads in the High Plains, one cannot help to think of two important demographic facts. First of all, there are more cattle than people in Wyoming and this state has the lowest population of any in the union. This all becomes evident when touring the High Plains.
Traveling on a route consisting of SR 28, U.S. 26 and U.S. 20 from Rock Springs to Thermopolis in north central Wyoming definitely is a scenic High Plains drive worth doing. After enduring the monotonous trip through the High Plains, the surreal looking Rocky Mountain Range eventually comes into view. After finally getting near Thermopolis, this route goes through one of the most spectacular mountain gorges in the world. The Bighorn River runs through a very dramatic looking deep gorge and empties into the Boysen Reservoir, which is one of the most picturesque desert lakes in the west. This end of the Bighorn River is a haven for fly fishing and white water rafting ventures, so it is worth packing some camping gear for the trip.
Carefully glancing at the map or GPS is essential when driving through the High Plains, because the road signs can be few and far between and a wrong turn can easily result in driving an extra 100 miles. This actually happened to me after losing cel phone service near the Wind River Reservation and I ended up taking an unplanned grand tour of Crowheart Butte and Fort Washakie, which actually was far more entertaining than the road that I was supposed to be driving on! This little side trip offers trading post shopping options, so it is well worth checking out.
Wyoming is a big place and there is plenty of ground to cover when touring this state. Those who like driving long distances in the wide open spaces surely will like exploring what Wyoming has to offer. The scenery along the way certainly is picturesque and this adds to the charm! Keeping a positive note definitely is the best way to approach the long commutes through the flatlands in this state, so just set the frame of mind to scenic drive mode and let the wheels spin free!
Leave no trace!
Destination West YouTube channel! https://www.youtube.com/@DestinationWestOrg
Donations help the Destinaton West project continue into the future!
Go Fund Me!
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies