If you drive east from Yellowstone or the Tetons, you’ll notice the Absaroka (pronounced ab-zore-kuh) Range rising tall out of the earth. Spiny ridgelines and terraced breccia peaks dominate the view, while wide rivers rumble across the valley floors. Maybe it’s the abundance of wildlife, or the solitude, or the sheer lack of people, but the Absarokas just feel wild. Take a trip to explore this remote range, and you’ll feel it, too. Here are the top things to do in the Absaroka Range:
Day hike in the lesser-visited part of Yellowstone.
Along the eastern edge of Yellowstone, the Absaroka Range provides a stark contrast to the flat meadows of the Lamar Valley. During the summer, hike to the rocky summit of Avalanche Peak for magnificent views out across Yellowstone Lake. Always carry bear spray when you hike, and take it slow – the air is thinner at 10,568 feet! You’ll also find plenty of hiking trails in the rest of the range, from the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness to the Washakie Wilderness and beyond.
Try your hand at fly fishing.
Babbling streams, crisp air, and the deep scent of pine. Step into the clear waters of the Shoshone River and cast your line for a chance to catch rainbow, brook, or cutthroat trout in one of the most scenic settings in the United States. Summer is the most popular time to fly-fish, but fall also offers great conditions. Hire a guide to make the most of your experience.
Take a scenic drive to Togwotee Pass.
The Wyoming Centennial Scenic Byway spans 163 miles from Pinedale to Dubois. And while each mile is worth driving, Togwotee Pass is unique. Topping out above 9600 feet, this high point immerses you in the expanse of cliffy mountains from the comfort of your car. If you prefer to explore on foot, set out on one of the nearby trails, like the 9.2-mile Holmes Cave hike.
Go hunting with a guide.
Hunting is a way of life in Wyoming, as big game species like elk and deer are abundant in the Absaroka Range. Many outfitters offer multi-day guided wilderness excursions so you can participate in a hunt while sleeping in heated tents or cabins. Whether you’re proficient with a bow or want to hunt with a rifle, you’ll have options. Remember: the Absaroka Range is grizzly bear country, so go with a guide who has local knowledge and safety know-how.
Horseback ride at a dude ranch.
Dude ranches provide an authentic Western experience for those who want a taste of the cowboy life. While most all-inclusive dude ranches host an array of activities – from nightly campfires to hiking excursions – the horseback riding opportunities are the major draw. At the Absaroka Ranch, you can take in the views from the saddle as you ride through sagebrush on a half-day or multi-day trip.
Explore the wilderness on a backpacking trip.
If you’re looking for a strenuous yet rewarding vacation, take a backpacking trip in the Absarokas. The six-day Greybull Pass thru-hike requires some serious hiking, but backpackers will relish in the wildflower-filled meadows and dramatic alpine landscapes of Shoshone National Forest. Your best bet is to join a guided hike, as this range is remote and wild grizzly habitat.
Carve through powder on a snowmobile tour.
Bundle up for a snowy adventure into the high mountains. Snowmobile tours are an exhilarating way to experience this stunning range – whether you’re traveling with a friend or the entire family. Stay on the path or float through open meadows; snowmobiles offer high-speed access to some of the most remote winter destinations. Whether you’re a winter adventurer or a fair-weather explorer, the Absaroka Range is worth a visit on your next trip to Wyoming. Come and experience their grandeur and wild nature.