As you road trip through Wyoming, there is an abundance of places that lend the perfect opportunity for taking a little stretch while you learn more about the state.
Looking for a unique road-trip stop away from the crowds? These 12 places to stop off Wyoming’s highways are often overlooked by travelers but are worth planning your miles around. They aren’t always easy to get to, so we suggest researching the locations as you plan your route.
1. Ayres Natural Bridge – Between Glenrock and Douglas
An original reprieve stop for Oregon Trail pioneers, Ayres Natural bridge is a great summer stop, especially in hot weather. Plan on packing a picnic lunch, dipping your toes in the water and taking some photos of the impressive feature.
2. Wild Horses – Between Green River and Rock Springs
Take a little detour off I-80 and drive the Pilot Butte Wild Horse Scenic Loop to view the wild horses and other Wyoming wildlife. The 24 miles of gravel road takes about 1.5 hours to drive and is best hit in the morning or evening for wildlife viewing.
3. Union Pass Monument – Dubois
Out of Dubois, a drive to the top of Union Pass is a worthwhile drive for beautiful views and unique Wyoming history. Get out of your car and take a short walk to the monument at the top (about 15 miles beyond the cattle guard) to learn about the natural peaks and features, the explorers, mountain men and even Aboriginal use.
4. National Museum of Military Vehicles – Dubois
This brand new, 140,000 square foot museum showcases a huge array of military vehicles including tanks, trucks, motorcycles, armament, amphibious vehicles, firearms and more.
5. Trappers Point Overlook/Overpass – Pinedale
Stop at the Trappers point overlook/overpass headed into Pinedale for a great place to burn off some energy. It has a migration corridor for pronghorn with a webcam (so you can call family and wave hello!) and a cool interpretive overlook that looks down on the historical site of rendezvous gatherings and tells about mountain man history. The area was also a historical hunting ground for ancient people starting as far back as 10,000 years ago.
6. Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite – Outside of Worland
Wyoming’s dinosaur history is amazing and seeing actual dinosaur tracks is a perfect road trip stop for kids. Visit the Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite outside of Worland for a chance to see hundreds of tracks from a boardwalk view.
7. Bighorn Medicine Wheel – Lovell
Visit the Bighorn Medicine Wheel for a peek into Plains Indian history dating back 300-800 years. The area is fully free from snow for only about two months of the year and is one of the best preserved medicine wheels of the hundreds found around North America. The wheel is thought to have been used to predict the positions of the sun and other bright stars in the sky around the summer solstice.
8. Heart Mountain Relocation Center – Powell
During WWII, Heart Mountain Japanese relocation camp housed more than 14,000 prisoners in the 1,187 days the camp was open. Living conditions were far from ideal and families suffered the loss of their former homes, jobs and lives as they were brought from all over the United States. The interpretive center is worth the stop to learn about this unique and dark part of Wyoming’s history.
9. Castle Gardens Petroglyph Site – 45 Miles East of Riverton
Named for its unique rock formations that look like castle towers, this location is a bit out of the way down a rough road (four-wheel-drive recommended). However, if you have the time and an adventurous spirit, it is worth the effort to see not only the rocks themselves but an array of petroglyphs left by visitors thousands of years ago.
10. Chris LeDoux Memorial Park – Kaycee
Celebrate music in the cowboy state as you take a break from the car at the Chris LeDoux memorial park — a tribute to a Wyoming legend. This Kaycee, Wyoming native released over 36 albums in his lifetime, sold millions of copies AND was a Hall of Fame Rodeo Champion. The park is small, but also includes a gift shop with more information. A must-see if you are a Chris LeDoux fan.
11. Dry Creek Petrified Tree Education Area – 12 Miles East of Buffalo
A 0.8 mile loop interpretive trail lets visitors get a taste of what Wyoming was like 60 million years ago when it was a jungle instead of sagebrush country. Along the loop there are petrified remnants of the towering Metasequoia trees that stood so long ago. A covered picnic area and vault toilets are available.
12. Quebec 01 Missile Alert Facility – 30 Miles North of Cheyenne
The Quebec Missile Alert Facility is the only accessible Peacekeeping Missile Alert Facility left in the world. Visitors can visit the site to learn more about the Cold War and what personnel did in the 20+ years it was in service. When you visit, plan on going 50 feet down into the Capsule on a guided tour.