Nestled along the Bridger-Teton National Forest on Wyoming’s western border, Star Valley is a quaint part of the state that offers small-town charm and breathtaking scenery. This community is made up of a number of Wyoming towns, including Afton, Thayne, Star Valley Ranch and Alpine, all located within a 45-mile-long valley on the Wyoming-Idaho border.
Come explore this beautiful part of Wyoming. We list 12 things you need to see and do in Star Valley.
1. World’s Largest Elkhorn Antler Arch – Afton
Afton, Wyoming is home to anarch that is made up of 3,011 elk antlers, making it the largest of its kind in the world. The arch is located in downtown Afton, spanning 75 feet wide and weighing in at 15 tons. Stop for a photo and then stick around to explore local shops and restaurants.
2. Star Valley Wyoming Temple – Afton
The Star Valley Wyoming Temple was the first temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) to be constructed in Wyoming. It sits on what was once farm land along the Salt River Mountain Range. This temple is a place of worship for local member of the LDS Church, but the beauty of the building and the rolling mountains that serve as its backdrop is something that can be enjoyed by everyone.
3. Horseback Riding
Experience this scenic part of Wyoming from the saddle with a day of horseback riding. Try Rockin’ M Ranch in Alpine, Wyoming, to choose from a variety of rides around the Salt River and into Targhee National Forest. Rides in this part of Wyoming are often intimate and offer the opportunity to see area wildlife, such as elk, moose and bald eagles.
4. Colter’s Lodge – Afton
Originally built in 1928, this rustic hotel’s Western charm continues to shine through more recent renovations. Colter’s Lodge offers a steakhouse, cafe and Old West-style bar in addition to its cozy rooms. When you visit, be sure to take in the mural walls on the south and west walls of the bar. These murals are painted on sheetrock and depict life in the American West.
Hit the links in Star Valley for a relaxing way to spend time in the mountains. Valli Vu Golf Course in Afton, Wyoming, offers affordable golfing against the Salt River Mountain Range. Or try Aspen Hills at the Star Valley Ranch in Thayne, Wyoming, for a short (nine hole) course that sits on top of a mountain.
6. Star Valley Scenic Byway
This 80-mile stretch of road in Wyoming’s Lincoln County is the state’s newest scenic byway. Travel US-89 east from the Wyoming-Idaho border, following it as it winds north to Alpine, passing through several Star Valley towns along the way. This route climbs Salt Canyon to the summit of Salt River Pass before descending into the valley. From Alpine, you can continue about 40 miles north to Grand Teton National Park to round out your Wyoming visit.
7. Kodiak Mountain Resort – Afton
Book a stay at Kodiak Mountain Resort for rustic cabin accommodations along the Salt River Mountains. With several cabin styles ranging from the Family Adventure Cabin to the Cozy Ultimate Couples Cabin, this mountain resort is sure to provide the vacation you’re looking for.
8. Periodic Spring – Afton
Located in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, the Periodic Spring (also known as Intermittent Spring) is a rare phenomenon that has only been seen in a few parts of the world. The spring periodically stops for a few minutes before water flow continues, something that is likely caused by underground siphoning. Hike the 1.5-mile trail leading to the spring for a chance to see this natural wonder in action.
9. Fly Fishing
With three rivers that run through the valley, travelers looking to fly fish in Wyoming’s Star Valley are in luck. Salt River, Greys River and Snake River all offer prime fishing to all levels of anglers. For the best local tips, cast a line with a guide. You can try fishing guide services with Afton’s Feathered Hook Outfitters or Alpine’s Fishing with J.
10. Star Valley Chocolates – Afton
Stop in at Star Valley Chocolates to choose from a selection of homemade gourmet chocolate, fudge and truffles. This chocolate cafe also serves light lunches, ice cream, coffee and tea.
Star Valley’s proximity to Bridger-Teton National Forest, the Salt River Mountain Range and a handful of rivers makes it an ideal hiking destination. Try Little Greys River Trail just north of Alpine, Wyoming or Strawberry Creek Trail near Bedford, Wyoming. For even more hiking and sight-seeing opportunities, travel just 40 miles north of Alpine to Grand Teton National Park.
12. Melvin Brewing Company – Alpine
Before you leave the Star Valley area, relax with a beer at Melvin Brewing Company. While the brewery started in Jackson, Wyoming, the production brewery and mothership taproom is located in Alpine. Melvin Brewing Company specializes in IPAs, so make sure your pallet is ready for some hoppy flavors.
BONUS – Snowmobiling
Visit Star Valley in the winter to experience some of Wyoming’s best snowmobile trails. With hundreds of miles of groomed trails plus access to high country bowls, this is one snowmobile haven that can’t be missed. Take a road trip with your own sled or head into Alpine or Thayne for rentals.