Eastern Wyoming’s grandeur flows through grasslands, lakes, hills, and incredible rock formations. There’s a quiet beauty here, full of serene parks, starry skies, and scenic drives where families can connect at a slower pace.
Why Eastern Wyoming is worth a visit
Bordered by Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota and Montana, Eastern Wyoming’s attractions are just a few hours’ drive from Denver, Billings, Cheyenne, and Rapid City. Vast, quiet spaces give you room to breathe. Plus, for visitors who need to consider disabilities and/or mobility impairments, Eastern Wyoming’s parks and towns have plenty you can access.
Glendo State Park
At 14 miles long and with an average total area of 29 square miles, Glendo Reservoir gleams below forested hills and sheer striated cliffs, where some of the exposed rock is over 300 million years old. Throughout the 10,000 acres of Glendo State Park, people can put motor and paddle boats onto the water, or explore a range of easy, moderate, and difficult hiking trails.
Over 500 tent and RV campsites span 19 well-tended campgrounds (ADA sites available too, such as the cliffside TM-8 site at Two Moons Loop, which came with a paved path to an overlook). From our electric RV camping spot in Reno Cove Campground, we stared out at velvety hills and prominent buttes. In the evening, deer came within feet of our motorhome to nibble on the grass. Our daughter Aster sat at one of the windows and watched the deer, then giggled when they ran off.
Our favorite surprise? Glendo SP has a free archery range. From park headquarters across the street, the public can borrow adult and youth bows and arrows, free of charge. Our son Connor especially got a kick out of figuring out how to notch, aim, and fire—and with each shot, he got a little more on target.
Thunder Basin National Grassland
I-25 zips up from Fort Collins through Cheyenne. Farther north, instead of continuing toward Casper, we turned off at Douglas for Wyoming Highway 59.
As we made our way toward Gillette and its junction with I-90 to the east, we had been curious about driving through Wyoming’s Thunder Basin National Grassland. Gently rolling hills covered in waving grasses brought a calm to the drive. Here and there we noted oil wells and entrances to mines—the hard work that helped make road trips like ours possible—and relaxed as we rode along the quiet highway.
Keyhole State Park
East of Gillette via I-90, the 14,000-acre reservoir at Keyhole State Park offers not only serene camping, fishing, and boating. The park is a short drive from the area’s signature attraction, Devil’s Tower National Monument.
Around Tatanka Campground, the ponderosa pines smelled like vanilla. We brought our family’s two tandem kayaks to the camp’s boat ramp. On the water, we paddled by marsh grasses and striated rocks, amid a coastline dotted with coves, rock formations, and fingers of water to explore. As we paddled alongside stands of grasses, Aster peered through the blades, spying for birds or insects. At night, we wandered toward the lake’s edge for a clear view of the Milky Way—and some shooting stars.
Bear’s Lodge/Devil’s Tower National Monument
The Black Hills beloved by the Lakota Sioux extend into Wyoming’s northeast—along with one of the region’s most distinctive natural features.
About 45 minutes from Keyhole State Park, Bear’s Lodge, or Devil’s Tower National Monument (DETO), rises 867 feet into the air and is visible for miles around. Plains Tribes consider the area an important meeting place. Just as Yellowstone in western Wyoming was America’s first National Park, Devils Tower became the country’s first National Monument in 1906.
Amid the red rocks, green prairie, and rolling hills, we stopped and got out our binoculars: Prairie dogs stood at their mounds and bopped along in the grasses.
Accessibility here is mixed, though the National Parks Service is working on improvements. The paved Tower Trail is the most accessible, and Rangers can talk over particulars for your mobility.
Devil’s Tower is especially fun to visit with kids, however. From the visitor center to the grounds, the kids wandered with their Junior Ranger booklets, seeking out answers and insights. Later, after they presented their completed booklets to the ranger in the visitor’s center, other folks in the center applauded as the ranger handed the children their new Junior Ranger badges.
Others places to visit in Eastern Wyoming
Depending on your route, schedule, and the season, Eastern Wyoming abounds in other places to visit, such as:
- Fort Laramie: Historic town, base for visiting nearby Fort Laramie National Historic Site
- Gillette: Gateway to Devil’s Tower
- Casper: Junction of the Oregon, California, Mormon and Pony Express Trails
- Cheyenne: State capital and hub of rodeo, frontier, and Western culture
- Goshen County: Explore Torrington and Wyoming’s wine country
- Guernsey: Trout fishing and water sports at Guernsey Reservoir
- Wheatland: History, craft beer, and beef
Eastern Wyoming brings together settler and Indigenous history, serene prairie landscapes, big water and stunning natural features. It’s the sort of place where a family can relax, catch their breath and slow down. With accessible attractions, parks and trails, the region’s serene beauty helps you both get away while coming together with those who matter most.