10 Family-Friendly Hikes in Wyoming
Wyoming’s vast outdoor spaces provide a beautiful, natural playground. And who better to explore this playground with than your family? While the Cowboy State is filled with rugged landscapes featuring epic hikes, it also has quite a few family-friendly trails where the views are just as good. Take a look at these 10 Wyoming hikes the entire family can enjoy.
1. Twin Lakes Trail – Medicine Bow National Forest
Nestled against the Snowy Mountain Range in southeast Wyoming, Medicine Bow National Forest offers miles of hiking trails for you to enjoy. Try Twin Lakes for a fun family hike. This 3.2 mile out-and-back begins at the Sheep Lake Trailhead off of Brooklyn Lake Road (forest service road 317) and follows Sheep Lake Trail for a short distance. You’ll travel through a grassy meadow and a towering forest of spruce trees along this relatively flat trail, passing a number of unnamed lakes along the way. In July Twin Lakes Trail is brimming with Wyoming wildflowers. You might even catch a glimpse of bighorn sheep, moose or mule deer.
Distance: 3.2 miles
Elevation gain: 165 feet
Nearest town: Centennial, Wyoming
2. Cottonwood Creek Dinosaur Trail – Alcova
Elevation gain: 302 feet
Nearest town: Alcova, Wyoming
3. Rainbow Terraces – Hot Springs State Park
Head to Hot Springs State Park in Thermopolis to see natural hot springs and other geothermal features. The park offers a number of hikes that take you to colorful pools overflowing with steaming water. One hike that is a must for families is the 0.5 mile Rainbow Terraces hike. This path follows boardwalks adjacent to the Rainbow Terraces, which are walls that were naturally formed after years of mineral-rich spring water bubbling up from the earth and falling into the Bighorn River.
Distance: 0.5 miles
Elevation gain: 22 feet
Nearest town: Thermopolis, Wyoming
4. Observation Point Trail – Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is filled with breathtaking natural formations and sights to take in. For a short hike with a grand view, try Observation Point near Old Faithful. The trail follows switchbacks to a lookout that provides views of the turquoise and burnt orange hues of Upper Geyser Basin, which houses Old Faithful. From here you can either go back the way you came (for a hike totaling 1.5 miles) or continue on to the frequently-erupting Solitary Geyser before ending at the Geyser Hill boardwalk. The second option will make your hike just over 2 miles.
Distance: 1.5 or 2 miles
Elevation gain: 160 feet
Nearest town: Cody, Wyoming
5. Mouth of the Canyon Trail – Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
Located in north-central Wyoming, Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area features breathtaking scenery shared by both Wyoming and Montana. For a family-friendly Wyoming hike, try Mouth of the Canyon Trail. This trail is located near Horseshoe Bend Campground and follows trail markers along the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range boundary fence. When you reach the end of the trail, you’ll get a glimpse of where Crooked Creek and the mouth of Bighorn Canyon meet. You might even see wild horses grazing below. Be sure to visit the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center in Lovell, Wyoming before leaving the area to learn about wild horses in this part of the state. You can also head to nearby Bighorn Lake for swimming or boating fun.
Distance: 1.8 miles
Elevation gain: 213 feet
Nearest town: Lovell, Wyoming