10 Days in Wyoming’s Wind River Country
Explore Wyoming’s wild and beautiful Wind River Country with this ten-day itinerary. A hearty helping of outdoor adventure combines with a pinch of Wild West culture to create a true Wyoming experience that won’t soon be forgotten.
Day 1: Falls Campground
Set up camp at Falls Campground, located about 25 miles northwest of Dubois, Wyoming. Spend the remainder of the day settling in and exploring the surrounding Shoshone National Forest.
Day 2: Shoshone National Forest
Wake up with a hike in the beautiful Shoshone National Forest. Try the nearby Bonneville Pass for a scenic, 5-mile out-and-back hike.
Then travel about 10 miles (25 minutes) into Dubois to explore the town. Points of interest include the National Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center and the Dubois Museum. Head into town on a Friday to attend the weekly Dubois Friday Night Rodeo. These rodeos start at 7:30 p.m. every Friday from mid-June through early September.
Day 3: Five Pockets & Rustic Pine Square Dancing
If you want more trail time, add Five Pockets to your hiking list. This 12-mile trail is relatively flat and incredibly scenic, offering views of Horse Creek, the Absaroka Mountains and chances to spot local wildlife.
Explore more of Dubois as time allows, being sure to grab dinner at Rustic Pine Steakhouse. On Tuesdays during the summer this restaurant offers square dancing, so brush off your cowboy boots and get ready to hit the floor. Don’t worry; they’ll teach you the moves as you go.
Day 4: Glacier Trail & Cowboy Cafe
Located just south of Dubois, Glacier Trail offers several hikes for you to choose from. The trailhead is shared with Whiskey Mountain, a rugged 12-mile out-and-back that takes you to the mountain’s 11,157-foot summit. You can take that trail or follow Glacier Trail to the point where it splits to Lake Louise, a beautiful, four-mile out-and-back hike featuring a lake.
Glacier Trail in its entirety is a 45-mile out-and-back route often traveled by backpackers. The trail ultimately reaches the summit of Gannett Peak, Wyoming’s highest mountain at 13,809 feet, but you can choose how many miles you want to travel to create a day-hike along this scenic trail.
After your hike, head into Dubois and fuel up with a hearty lunch at Cowboy Cafe. Then make your way back to camp for some down time.
Day 5: Grand Teton National Park
Pack up camp and drive 76 miles (almost two hours) north to Grand Teton National Park. Here, you can hike, kayak, go on a wildlife tour or just take in the incredible views of the Teton Mountain Range. When you’re finished exploring the park, treat yourself to a night of glamping at a cabin at Jackson’s Fireside Resort.
Day 6: Grand Tetons & Jackson Hole
Take the day to explore more of Grand Teton National Park or have an adventure in Jackson Hole. Downtown Jackson offers a plethora of shopping and dining options, as well as the famous elk antler arches that lead to Town Square. Be sure to stop in at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar while you’re in town. The area is also an outdoor haven, offering opportunities for rafting on the Snake River, horseback riding along the Tetons and spotting Wyoming wildlife.
Day 7: Eagle Spirit Dancers in Lander
Travel 98 miles (about two hours) to Lander and set up camp at Sinks Canyon State Park. Head into town for dinner and beer at Cowfish, which serves up pub meals and its own brews. If you’re in town on a Wednesday, head to Museum of the American West to see a performance from Eagle Spirit Dancers Traditional Native American Indian Dancing. These free performances take place weekly over the summer from 7-8:30 p.m.
Day 8: South Pass City Historic Site
Travel 40 miles (about 45 minutes) to South Pass City State Historic Site to discover an old gold mining town that is currently one of Wyoming’s largest historic sites. Make reservations to take a tour of the Carissa Gold Mine, which served as the primary revenue source for South Pass City during the late 1800s. Tours take place at 2 p.m. every Thursday, Friday Saturday and Sunday during the summer months.
After experiencing South Pass City, make your way to nearby Atlantic City for dinner at the historic Atlantic City Mercantile.
Day 9: Sinks Canyon State Park Hiking
Take the day to experience Sinks Canyon State Park. The park got its name from a geologic formation called “The Sinks,” which is an area where the Popo Agie (pronounced Puh-Po Shu) River disappears into a limestone cavern and reappears hours later at “The Rise.” Hike the Falls Trail to see a series of waterfalls where the Popo Agie cascades down into Sinks Canyon. This 3-mile out-and-back hike features views of the river, falls and surrounding mountains.
When you’ve had enough hiking, head to Lander Bar for a true Western dinner and locally-brewed beers. This building was originally constructed as a saloon in 1908 and took on a few other roles before returning to its bar form in 1993.
Day 10: Rock Climbing in Sinks Canyon State Park
Sinks Canyon is one of Wyoming’s climbing meccas, featuring over 500 bouldering, sport climbing and trad climbing routes. Spend your day at the crag testing your skills on the sandstone, granite and limestone walls. If you’ve never been rock climbing but want to give it a try, find a guide to teach you the ropes. Wind River Climbing Guides offers a variety of rock climbing courses and clinics that range from a half day to two full days of climbing.
If you find yourself in Lander in July, be sure to check out the International Climbers’ Festival. This five-day festival includes live music, climbing competitions, clinics, art shows and more.
Photos courtesy Andy Austin.
This Wyoming itinerary was put together based on our Call of the WY tiny house road trip that took place over the summer of 2017. Stay tuned for more Call of the WY itineraries so you can create your own epic Wyoming adventure.
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