Nestled along the Bridger-Teton National Forest on the western side of the state, Star Valley, Wyoming, is a quaint area that offers a unique combination of small-town charm and breathtaking scenery.
This community comprises several Wyoming towns, including Afton, Thayne, Star Valley and Alpine, all located within a 45-mile-long valley on the Wyoming-Idaho border. Not only is it convenient for travelers heading east, but it’s also a hidden gem full of must-sees. Before you explore this beautiful part of Wyoming, here is a list of the top 20 things to do in Star Valley.
Things to Do in Star Valley near Afton, Wyoming
As one of several communities in Star Valley, Afton lists several sights that friends and families are sure to love.
1. World’s Largest Elkhorn Antler Arch – Afton, WY
Afton, Wyoming, is home to an eye-catching arch that is made up of a whopping 3,011 elk antlers, making it the largest of its kind in the world. The arch is located in downtown Afton, spanning an impressive 75 feet wide and weighing 15 tons. Stop for a photo and then stick around to explore local shops and restaurants.
2. Star Valley Wyoming Temple – Afton, WY
The Star Valley Wyoming Temple was the first house of worship belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) constructed in the state. It sits on what was once farmland along the Salt River Mountain Range.
This temple is a holy place for local members of the LDS Church, but the building’s striking beauty and the rolling mountains that serve as a backdrop are sights meant to be enjoyed by every visitor.
3. Colter’s Lodge – Afton, WY
Originally built in 1928, this rustic hotel’s Western charm continues to shine through more recent renovations. Colter’s Lodge in Afton offers a steakhouse, cafe, Old West-style bar and cozy rooms. When you visit, be sure to take in the gorgeous murals on the south and west walls of the bar. These incredible works of art are painted on sheetrock and provide a detailed depiction of life in the American West.
4. Kodiak Mountain Resort – Afton, WY
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, your lodging will feel tailored to you. Whether you want to hit the green at Valley View Golf Course or unwind at Blissful Bear Spa, this mountain resort will surely provide the vacation you’re looking for.
5. Periodic Spring – Afton, WY
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, making it one of the top things to do in Afton.
The spring periodically stops for a few minutes before water flow continues, a marvel likely caused by underground siphoning. Hike the 1.5-mile trail leading to the spring to see this natural wonder in action.
6. Shumway Farms – Afton, WY
It’s always the right time for ice cream, and when you’re visiting Star Valley, Wyoming, there’s no place quite like Shumway Farms in Afton. Appropriately set in picturesque countryside, this working farm has a traditional down-home feel but with a focus on natural and organic ingredients that they call “regenerative farming.” Bring the gang down for a cone, and stop by the farm store to check out more of their tasty flavors.
Things to Do in Star Valley near Thayne, Wyoming
Visitors may have heard of Thayne for its delicious cheeses, but there is no surprise that it offers far more to do in Star Valley!
7. Aspen Hills at the Star Valley Ranch – Thayne, WY
If you’re looking for a relaxing golf game in beautiful surroundings (and maybe a little challenge thrown in, too), Aspen Hills at the Star Valley Ranch in Thayne has you covered. This short (nine-hole) course situated on top of a mountain is immaculately maintained, providing spectacular views as you tee off among the Aspen trees. Don’t miss your chance to take a crack at the “hardest hole in Wyoming”: the course’s notorious “Tunnel Hole.”
8. Haderlie Farms – Thayne, WY
The peace of a quiet, rural landscape is reason enough to visit on its own, but in Thayne, you can amp up your visit by popping in to see Haderlie Farms. All organic and ethically conscious, this farm believes in treating animals with respect, and that shines through in every product they stock in their store. Come tour the facility, and check out their extensive selection of home-grown pantry essentials (as seen in other local businesses) and fine natural foods.
9. Cabin Creek Inn – Thayne, WY
When in Star Valley, Wyoming, do as the cowboys do. If a standard hotel stay just doesn’t fit the bill for your full Western experience, check out the Cabin Creek Inn in Thayne. Charming, woodsy and full of character, these private cabins come in a few different layouts to accommodate your group of travelers and are situated in a quiet, rural setting.
Don’t miss their indoor pool and hot tub, impressive Continental breakfast, and the winding creek that gives the property its name.
10. Juan’s House of Tacos – Thayne, WY
Say hello to your new favorite Mexican restaurant. Thayne’s own Juan’s House of Tacos combines authentic recipes with garden-fresh veggies and spices to curate a delicious palate of taste creations you can’t find just anywhere. Try their incredible torta, steaming hot fajitas, or the delectable tacos that gave them their name.
With plenty of plant-based diet options and a menu for the little ones, everyone can savor the flavor.
11. Fishing with J – Thayne, WY
With three rivers that run through it, travelers looking to fly fish in Wyoming’s Star Valley are in luck. Salt River, Greys River and Snake River all offer prime fishing opportunities to all levels of anglers. As with most areas in the state, trout is the name of the game — cutthroat, brown and rainbow trout are plentiful in these waters, but it’s always a good idea to know the right spots to find them in.
For the best local tips, cast a line with a guide. You can try fishing guide services with Thayne’s own Fishing with J.
Things to Do in Star Valley near Star Valley Ranch, Wyoming
Looking to explore the wonders of Star Valley Ranch in Wyoming? Known for its outdoor wonders and beauty, you can dive into the following exciting destinations.
12. Three Canyons Restaurant – Star Valley Ranch, WY
If you’re looking for a high-quality dining experience in Star Valley Ranch, why don’t you couple it with a fun day of hitting the links? Three Canyons Restaurant on the grounds of Cedar Creek Golf Course is a great place to grab a bite after wrapping up nine holes or simply visit for some fine food while you’re in town.
Try their savory beef tenderloin salad, go for a classic with a plate of chicken strips or end the day with decadent Mediterranean pasta. From appetizers to cocktails to desserts, you’re bound to find your ideal meal.
13. Fox Run Park – Star Valley Ranch
Hanging out in Wyoming is always a good opportunity to get outside, and in Star Valley Ranch, there is no shortage of places to go for fresh air and outdoor exploration. Fox Run Park is a great example, featuring a wide-open space of pet-friendly land and several hiking trails.
When you’re done, have a seat in the provided picnic area, and take in amazing views of the Western landscape all around you. Visiting in winter? Check out their options for skiing.
14. Green Canyon Trailhead (at Bridger Teton) – Star Valley Ranch
There’s nothing like exploring the Bridger-Teton National Forest, and spending time in Star Valley Ranch gives you access to one of its best-kept secrets: the Green Canyon Trail. Begin at the trailhead and hike up to Valley Viewpoint, where you can perch on a provided bench overlooking the vast mountains before you.
Continue through the rocky terrain, and embrace the awe of the lush greenery surrounding you. If you keep your eyes open, you might just get to view local wildlife while you’re there.
Things to Do in Star Valley near Alpine, Wyoming
If you’re looking for breathtaking horseback rides, scenic byways, hiking trails, and more, then look no further than Alpine, Wyoming where you can embrace the beauty of nature, indulge in local flavors, and create unforgettable memories.
15. Rockin’ M Ranch – Alpine, WY
Experiencing the breathtaking Wyoming scenery from the saddle with a day of horseback riding is one of the coolest things to do in Alpine. Try Rockin’ M Ranch to choose from various rides around the Salt River and into Targhee National Forest. Rides in this part of the state are often quiet and intimate, offering the opportunity to get up close and personal with wildlife, such as elk, moose and bald eagles.
16. Star Valley Scenic Byway – Alpine, WY
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.
17. Little Greys River Trail – Alpine, WY
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, which will lead you on to the wildly popular Wyoming Range National Recreation Trail. For even more hiking and sight-seeing opportunities, take a quick drive north of Alpine to Grand Teton National Park.
18. Melvin Brewing Company – Alpine, WY
Want a cold brew at the end of a long day of exploring? Before you leave the Star Valley area, make sure you get yours 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 with fun names like Asterisk, Back in Da Haze or Lambda.
Melvin Brewing is also one of the many fantastic places to explore craft breweries in Wyoming, and it’s common to make a day roadtripping across the state.
19. Alpine Adventure Rentals – Alpine, WY
One of the biggest reasons visitors flock to Star Valley in the winter is to experience some of Wyoming’s best snowmobile trails. With hundreds of miles of groomed snow and 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 town for rentals at Alpine Adventure Rentals.
20. Delish Donuts & Coffee – Alpine, WY
A day of fun in Star Valley, Wyoming, starts with a hearty breakfast, and Delish Donuts & Coffee is ready to get that to you bright and early. Accessible only by drive-thru, this coffee shop is made for travelers on the go and has been gaining quite the reputation for having some of the tastiest donuts in the entire state. Grab a few to wash down with a hot cup of coffee, or try their breakfast burritos, sandwiches or gooey cinnamon buns instead.