Everyone needs a digital detox every now and then, and what better place for an unplugged vacation than Wyoming? Getting away from the noise and distractions of everyday life isn’t hard around here. The state’s vast size and low population could allow everyone living in Wyoming to have 111 acres all to themselves.

Use those numbers to your advantage by planning an off-grid family vacation to recharge in the Cowboy State. These 12 Wyoming towns let you leave your notifications behind and experience the beautiful authenticity of the West.

What Does “Unplugged Vacation” Mean?

We’re all plugged in day in and day out. Since smartphones took the world by storm in the early aughts, we’ve carried powerful computers in our pockets, offering us endless opportunities to connect with one another digitally and to make that constant connectedness a habit. As time passed, world events and economic shifts have opened up the world of remote work to many who didn’t have it before, resulting in the home being the primary workspace and often increasing computer usage for longer stretches of the day.

While there are many pros and cons to the modern mode of connection, being constantly connected can feel like something is always demanding your attention, and some statistics indicate that folks are burnt out from seemingly endless hours of responding to beeps and dings in the glow of a blue screen. More than that, they’re looking for peaceful, simple activities that allow them to be present in the moment without interruption. Here we have the rise of the unplugged vacation, where visitors can decompress, enjoy nature and ground themselves.

1. Lander

Hiking, mountain biking, fishing and world-class climbing await in this secluded mountain town along Wyoming’s Wind River Range. Most of Lander’s outdoor fun can be found in Sinks Canyon State Park, a beautiful outdoor expanse with a natural phenomenon known as The Sinks. Jump on one of the 500+ area climbing routes or explore the park’s stunning scenery via trail.

If you’d like a more classic Western experience, book a stay at Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch. While the ranch offers a traditional dude ranch experience you can also opt for a few different wellness retreat options. Making this area a true diamond in the rough.

2. Star Valley

Wyoming’s Star Valley is a community of 12 towns that span a 45-mile stretch of land nestled against the Salt River Mountain Range  just one hour south of Grand Teton National Park. This often-overlooked part of the state is also one of the most beautiful, with rolling hills, snow-capped mountains and rushing rivers serving as the backdrop to your outdoor adventures.

A little outside of Afton, one of the best Wyoming small towns for an unplugged vacation, you will find the Periodic Intermittent Spring. This must-see natural wonder features flowing water that stills and eventually stops about every 20 minutes, for 20 minutes. Other calming experiences include casting a line in the Salt, Greys or Snake River, hiking in the nearby Bridger-Teton National Forest or enjoying the views along the Star Valley Scenic Byway. In the winter, you can explore this area along hundreds of miles of groomed snowmobile trails.

3. Saratoga

For the ultimate mountain rejuvenation, head to Saratoga and take a soak in the hot springs. Hobo Hot Springs features several free pools, including a few along the North Platte River. Or you can stay at Saratoga Hot Springs Resort to relax in their teepee-covered hot spring pools.

Make your way to the nearby Medicine Bow National Forest to hike along the Snowy Mountain Range. Here, you can camp, book a unique accommodation such as the Snow Survey Cabin or enjoy a luxurious, mountainside retreat at Brush Creek Ranch.

4. Sundance

Break away from the stresses of modern technology in the place where the Sundance Kid got his name. Located in the heart of the Black Hills, this is one of the best small towns in Wyoming for an off-grid vacation, offering plenty of trails for the enjoyment of hikers, horseback riders and off-road vehicle enthusiasts alike.

Take your trip inside and travel back to the Old West at the Crook County Museum. Another nearby attraction? Devils Tower National Monument. Explore America’s first national monument by hiking around its mile-long base or climbing up its 900-foot face. While in the area, discover the tiny town of Aladdin and its not-to-be-missed general store.

5. Alcova

Just a short drive south of Casper, Wyoming, Alcova is an unincorporated town near Fremont Canyon that offers rest, rejuvenation and adventure on the water. Get away from the noise of everyday life by staying at a campsite along the canyon’s Alcova or Pathfinder reservoirs, or book a rustic cabin in the town itself.

Rent a pontoon boat, kayak, stand-up paddleboard or water toy of your choosing at Alcova Resort and spend your days gazing at the canyon’s towering walls from its refreshing blue shores. Grab your fishing pole and cast a line into Alcova Reservoir, or try your luck at fly fishing on the nearby Platte River. Rock climbing, hiking and mountain biking offer even more fun on shore. For a zoomed-out look at this breathtaking landscape, jump in your car and explore the surrounding Seminoe to Alcova Scenic Byway.

Boaters floating on river water in canyon
Boaters floating on water in Fremont Canyon.

6. Guernsey

When you visit Wyoming, step off the grid and into a time when the West was a new frontier. Just south of Guernsey, you will find remnants of travel from those heading West on the Oregon Trail during the mid-1800s. See the Oregon Trail Ruts — the tracks worn into sandstone from pioneer wagons — some of which are now five feet deep. Then, head to Register Cliff to find names carved into a rock wall by emigrants passing through.

Continue your deep dive into history with a trip to Fort Laramie. This national historic site was transformed from a fur trading outpost to a military post protecting westward travelers. When you’re finished taking in the area’s history, relax on the reservoir at Guernsey State Park. Spend time at Table Mountain Vineyard and Winery sampling their wine and enjoying the surrounding area.

7. Lovell

This quaint town in northern Wyoming offers a doorway to both Western history and outdoor adventure. Spot wild horses at the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center, discover ancient Native American history at Medicine Wheel National Historic Landmark or stroll through downtown Lovell, known for its beautiful rose gardens.

While in town, take a few days to explore the nearby Bighorn Lake and Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. This area spans into Montana and features stunning, 1,000-foot-tall canyon walls carved by the Bighorn River.

Guernsey-Lovell
Medicine Wheel National Historic Landmark.

8. Green River

Discover southwest Wyoming’s beautiful buttes and otherworldly rock formations on your next unplugged vacation in the area surrounding the Green River. Toss your phones aside as you search for wildlife at the beautiful Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge, where moose, pronghorn and over 200 species of birds can be spotted year-round.

Or drive the Pilot Butte Wild Horse Scenic Loop for the chance to see members of the area herd, which consists of about 1,500 wild horses. While you visit Wyoming, drive the Flaming Gorge-Green River Basin Scenic Byway for breathtaking views of Green River and Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, leaving ample time to stop and explore. If you’d rather just enjoy the ride, sign up for Sweetwater County’s Flaming Gorge Bus Tour. Spend the day learning about the area with a tour guide and a delicious lunch.

9. Buffalo

Tucked just east of Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains, Buffalo offers a wide range of outdoor activities that can be enjoyed during any season. Take a hike in Cloud Peak Wilderness, cast a line in Clear Creek or saddle up for an hourly, daily or overnight horseback trip at one of several nearby ranches.

When the snow starts falling, hit the slopes at Meadowlark Ski Lodge or snowmobile pristine trails in the Bighorns. For a Wild West touch, up your off-grid vacation with a bit of adventure by stepping back in time at the Historic Occidental Hotel, where infamous guests such as Butch Cassidy and Calamity Jane once stayed.

10. Dubois

Located near the Wind River and Absaroka mountain ranges, Dubois boasts plenty of opportunities to get away from your inbox and into the outdoors. Hike to the peaceful Lake Louise or challenge yourself with a hike up Whiskey Mountain, which isn’t far from Wyoming’s tallest mountain at 13,809 feet: Gannett Peak.

Be sure to stop at the National Bighorn Sheep Center to learn about Wyoming’s bighorn sheep through engaging exhibits. Head west to Falls Campground or Deception Creek to snowshoe or cross-country ski during the winter months. These areas are protected from snowmobilers, allowing you a quiet experience on pristine snow.

view of City of Dubois from Overlook
City of Dubois from Overlook.

11. Thermopolis

Nothing says “decompress and unwind” like a soak in a hot spring, and Thermopolis is one of the best Wyoming small towns to get that and so much more. Silence your notifications and head to the State Bathhouse in Hot Springs State Park for a cozy dip at a welcoming 104 degrees.

While you’re there, check out the striking dried mineral formations at the Rainbow Terraces and embrace the restful quiet of a hike along the Bighorn River. For a bird’s eye view of this unbelievable Western landscape, be on the lookout for The Swinging Bridge, a footbridge that runs across the river and gives visitors a chance to stop and take it all in.

12. Kaycee

While they were not usually on an off-grid vacation, if anybody knew how to get away from it all, it was Wyoming’s famous Wild West bandits. Venture down to Hole-in-the-Wall near Kaycee, and you’ll get a first-hand look at one of the West’s best outlaw hideouts.

Tucked away and out of sight, this small, rock-covered valley put the surrounding rough terrain to good use, keeping many infamous characters like Jesse James and Butch Cassidy outside the long arm of the law. Today, Hole-in-the-Wall is part of Willow Creek Ranch, and the site is still accessible to visitors who want to take the short hike. Plan to stay on this working guest ranch, and you can partake in cattle drives, trout fishing, horseback riding and other simple, screen-free fun.   

These Wyoming towns are just the beginning. Take a look at what other Wyoming cities you can explore.

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