Going from point A to point B just about anywhere in Wyoming will usually require a seriously long drive. Destinations are far and few between in this big square state, so it is best to just resign to enjoying the long ride. Fortunately, just about any travel route out west can be classified as a scenic drive because the landscape is as majestic as can be. This is especially true in southern Wyoming, where the high plains meet the mountainous high desert terrain.
Thermopolis is a prime time summer destination that is located southwest of the Bighorn National Forest in central Wyoming. This community primarily caters to visitors seeking adventures on the Bighorn River. Whitewater rafting and fly fishing in the majestic Bighorn River Gorge is what Thermopolis is famous for, so this spot on the map truly is a destination of its own. This town is also a gateway to Yellowstone, primarily for travelers coming from the direction of Colorado.
The scenic drive heading south through the Bighorn River Gorge from Thermopolis on Highway 20 is as picturesque as it gets, so be sure to bring a good camera along for the ride! The river eventually empties into the Boysen Reservoir, which is a very large lake in a high desert setting. This is a very surreal looking lake and spending some extra time here is easy to do. Boysen State Park offers a boat launch and lakeside camping, so this is yet another great destination of its own along this travel route.
After arriving at old historic Shoshone, Wyoming just south of the Boysen Reservoir Lake, Highway 20 intersects with Highway 26, which makes a short jog southwest to State Road 135. Once on SR 135, it is easy to plot a travel route to the town of Baggs on the Colorado Border, simply because there are very few roads to choose from in this entire region! This is Wyoming and taking a wrong turn on one of the few roads that are out in the middle of nowhere can result in traveling an extra 50 miles before realizing the mistake! For this reason, it is best to use a reliable GPS when driving on the desolate stretches of road in this big state.
The road to Baggs hugs the higher elevations most of the way south and the views of the high plains stretch out to the horizon. The environment becomes much harsher in the high desert near the mountains and where there are grassy areas, wildlife can be spotted. This is Pronghorn Antelope territory, so be sure to keep a camera handy when passing through. These ultra fast animals usually do not pose for a picture for too long, but if they are grazing there will be time enough to capture a once in a lifetime photo.
After crossing the border near Baggs, another scenic drive awaits heading south into Colorado. An article about Colorado State Road 13 was previously published and this trip through the western Rockies certainly is a memorable one. As can be seen in the photos, just about any western travel route can be turned into a pleasurable scenic drive and the endless long roads in southern Wyoming certainly do qualify!
Leave no trace!
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