Wyoming is a popular winter road trip destination and it’s no surprise why. Wyoming topography can often appear to the viewer like a far-off planet.

Riddled with landscape features such as craggy rock faces, soaring peaks, and even hot springs, this state embodies the wild. Wyoming’s face in the winter becomes even more intriguing. It is a state of snow-capped mountaintops and sparkling prairies. Wildlife can still be viewed, with antelope in abundance and elk populating the high country.

The many regions of Wyoming deserve to be explored, and the chill of the season doesn’t have to stop you from planning that epic Wyoming road trip. Our state is abundant in scenic byways, and many of these routes are still accessible in winter.

Not only that but following Wyoming wanderlust can lead you to some of the most alluring destinations in the country. National park territory beckons, along with legendary Western towns, historic sites, and the magic of dense winter forests.

Top 9 Wyoming Winter Road Trip Ideas

  1. Yellowstone National Park
  2. Grand Teton National Park
  3. Jackson Hole
  4. Saratoga Hot Springs & The Snowy Range
  5. Thermopolis
  6. Pinedale & The Winds
  7. Sheridan & Bighorn National Forest
  8. Shoshone National Forest
  9. Casper & Casper Mountain

Wyoming Winter Road Trips Map

Tap the icons in the map below to learn more about each winter road trip destination.

1. Yellowstone National Park

Bison walking alongside a popular winter road trip route in Yellowstone.
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One of the most awe-inspiring sights during a Wyoming winter is the other-worldly landscape of Yellowstone National Park. Transformed into a winter wonderland, the frozen landscape seems to shimmer in the snow. The roadways and boardwalks are devoid of their summer crowds, while the thermal features are their most dramatic.

Access to the park in the cold months is limited, and to gain entry you must book a snowcoach to take you into the park. The other option is to choose a snowmobile tour. You will feel as if you have the best of Yellowstone all to yourself. Should you elect to take a slower approach to the landscape, both snowshoeing and cross-country skiing within the park are excellent options. 

While it’s true that park access is limited, those who plan their trip in winter still have the opportunity to view the unique wildlife that occupy this magical destination. Wolves, fox, moose, elk and bison are more easily seen against a blanket of snow. Book a private wildlife viewing tour to get the most out of your visit.

For more inspiration, visit the Yellowstone Winter Guide.

Yellowstone’s entrances close to motor vehicle traffic on November 1st.

In mid-December, the East, South, and West entrances reopen to over-snow vehicles (snowcoaches and snowmobiles) operated by commercial vendors. Cody and Jackson are both hubs for tour companies offering visitors wintertime access to the national park.

Meanwhile, Xanterra, Yellowstone’s concessionaire, provides transportation activity, lodging, and dining options within the park.

There are many places to eat nearby Yellowstone.

The Old Faithful Snow Lodge offers dining options adjacent to Yellowstone’s most famous feature, while the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel is nestled in the park’s northeastern corner.

For those looking to fuel up before, during, or after winter activities, the Snow Lodge’s Obsidian Dining Room lends a warm, cozy atmosphere and a sit-down meal with service.

The Geyser Grill, on the other hand, is an ideal quick-service outlet for convenient meals at a good value. In Mammoth, the hotel Dining Room is equally casual.

The most immersive Yellowstone experience will include a stay at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge or Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel.

Both are convenient basecamps for winter adventures, and offer scenic views of the snowy surroundings. Daily guided tours depart from both lodging options, while a stay at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge includes snowcoach transportation to and from the park entrances as over-snow transportation is required to and from the lodge.

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2. Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park, a popular winter road trip destination, blanketed in snow.
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Enjoying Grand Teton National Park in the winter means embracing activities that might be familiar, but your excursions are made all the more special due to limited access. This could mean snowshoeing or cross-country skiing the snow-packed surface from Taggart Lake Trailhead to Signal Mountain Lodge. Wildlife tours are available throughout the winter as well, should you prefer the warm comfort of a heated vehicle and the friendly input of a local wildlife guide.

Make your visit even more memorable by scheduling a snowshoe hike with an interpretive ranger. This option is available starting at the end of December through mid-March. What could be better than the sounds and sights of such a spectacular location, seen and experienced on foot? The snow creates a hushed environment for your visit, blanketing the terrain with an inviting sparkle.

For more inspiration, visit the Grand Teton Winter Guide.

To plan a trip to Grand Teton National Park in the winter, the National Park Service encourages you to be prepared.

This means checking on weather and highway road closures. Know before you go! Determining your approach is all about getting to Jackson Hole.

There are several popular places to eat near this Wyoming winter road trip.

Dining in Jackson Hole is a treat, and the options range from high-end fine dining to more casual and relaxed, such as Dornan’s Pizza & Pasta Company for the mountain views, and The Bistro at the Cloudveil Hotel for fine dining.

There is only one lodge open in the park during winter.

This is Triangle X Ranch, the last dude ranch operating in the National Park system. It is well worth the effort to book far in advance so as not to miss the opportunity to stay at this Western throwback. 

Near Moose, Wyoming, and open in winter from December through March, Dornan’s Spur Ranch Cabins offers a unique experience for its guests. Not only will you be able to rent cross-country skis or snowshoes, you will have access to a carefully curated wine shop.

The town of Jackson is the nearest hub for those looking for a range of lodging options. From Hotel Jackson to Cowboy Village Resort, the accommodations are as varied in price as they are in aesthetic.

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3. Jackson Hole

Elk herd standing along a popular winter road trip route in Wyoming.
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Jackson Hole, Wyoming thrives in the winter and is a destination for domestic and international travelers alike. A popular winter road trip destination, the town comes alive with winter activities, and it’s not just about world-class downhill skiing.

Snowmobiling, snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, and even snow tubing all have their place in this stunning mountainous playground. Taking a soak at nearby Granite Hot Springs will feel like the ultimate treat and be one of the highlights of your visit.

Access to the National Park system is limited in the winter months, but your time is well spent exploring the National Elk Refuge and the local ski destinations. Even if you don’t feel comfortable on skis, a trip to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort just to ride the tram to the “top of the world” is well worth it. And in town, Snow King Mountain also features a scenic gondola ride that provides sweeping views of the town and the Tetons.

One of the most scenic approaches to Jackson coming in from the South is to traverse US Highway 191.

Alternatively, choosing Highway 26/89 from the South will take you along the Snake River with views that will make your road trip unforgettable.

Coming in from Lander using Hwy 26/287 provides a stunning approach into Jackson as well. As you come closer to your destination, you will find the Tetons greeting you, one turn at a time.

There are so many great places to experience the flavors of Jackson Hole!

The Tram at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort features a can’t-be-missed culinary treat: Top of the World Waffles at Corbet’s Cabin. Indulge in sweet comfort food as you take in the alpine views and fresh mountain air.

Tucked off Cache Street in downtown Jackson, The Bunnery Bakery & Restaurant has made a name for itself as the go-to spot for hearty breakfast plates. From coffee cake to croissants, the daily array of fresh baked goods only rival those available in the dessert display case. 

Offering in-house entertainment for kids of all ages, Sidewinders is a sports bar and grill with 40 television screens for sports fans to choose from and a game room for the younger set. The menu options are as generous as the portions at this family-friendly establishment, but the bison chili is a wintertime favorite.

Set in a rustic lodge atmosphere, The Gun Barrel Steak & Game House is an Old West style steakhouse that specializes in game meat cuts served with unsparing sides. One of Jackson’s most legendary dining experiences, it’s best to make a reservation to be guaranteed a table.

Lodging in Jackson Hole in the winter is in high demand.

No matter where you choose to stay, just be sure to book in advance. The Elk Refuge Inn provides walking access into town, and is just close enough to the National Elk Refuge for guests to view these stunning creatures multiple times during their visit.

A shorter walk from Jackson’s Town Square, Mountain Modern is centrally located–just five blocks from Snow King Mountain, ten miles from Grand Teton National Park and twelve miles from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The recently upgraded guest rooms are accentuated by amenities such as an indoor pool and hot tub and two on-site restaurants.

Also near downtown, The Wort Hotel is the epitome of historic charm. Its storied past includes a fire in 1980 that nearly destroyed the structure, an underground gambling ring, and a famous Silver Dollar Bar in which 2,032 uncirculated Morgan Silver Dollars were inlaid in 1950.

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4. Saratoga & The Snowy Range Mountains

Visitors cross-country ski through the Snowy Range Mountains near Saratoga, a popular wintry road trip stop.
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Local history shows that the area around Saratoga has been prized for centuries. Native Americans hunted the abundant wildlife and bathed in the therapeutic hot springs. Mountain men and trappers working their way West soon discovered the gifts of the region.

Grab a piece of this history by planning a road trip to Saratoga. Not only will you enjoy views of the Snowy Range, you may actually set off on a pair of snowshoes to get closer. The surrounding Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest is prime snowmobiling territory, and can also play host to a cross-country skiing excursion.

No matter your choice of winter activities once your wheels stop turning, we know why you really need this Wyoming destination. It’s all about the hot springs, which are guaranteed to be a great place to visit during your road trips.

Fly into the mile-high travel hub that is the Denver International Airport (DEN).

Heading North into Wyoming via US Highway 287, drivers will traverse West through the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest on Hwy 130 to reach Saratoga.

In total, the commute is just over 200 miles, but with the ample views of the Snowy Range, it’s a route that’s bound to cement itself in your memory as one of the best in Wyoming.

Saratoga offers plenty of popular choices for dining.

Bella’s Bistro in Saratoga is a consistent favorite, and will make you feel at home. In fact, the atmosphere in this Italian eatery is accentuated by the fact the restaurant hosts its menu in one of Saratoga’s most elegant historic homes.

The Hotel Wolf Restaurant is known in the area both for its fine food and upbeat atmosphere. The prime rib is a must, accompanied by the extensive salad bar or one of their homemade soups.

For comfort food washed down by a unique whiskey selection, Firewater Public House is the place to dine along Saratoga’s North Platte River. Situated in a newly remodeled, yet historic building, the atmosphere exudes a warm welcome from start to finish.

To get the most out of your visit, you need a room at Saratoga Hot Springs Resort.

You will feel pampered in this spa destination, a location known for its soothing mineral hot springs and luxurious surroundings. 

History buffs will appreciate the charm of Hotel Wolf, which was built in 1893 as a stage stop and now stands as a Registered National Historic Landmark. The guest rooms are quaint, in a comfortable Victorian-style that invites you to take a step back in time in Saratoga.

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5. Thermopolis

A fossil displayed at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center in Thermopolis.
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Thermopolis, Wyoming is home to Hot Springs State Park, and the town claims that the world’s largest mineral hot springs, “The Big Spring” is located here. A popular winter road trip idea, the outside pool at the park is closed during the winter, but the free bath house remains open all year. The water is maintained at 104 degrees for therapeutic soaking. The bath house is open 7 days a week, but is closed on winter holidays (no soaking for Santa).

In the early 1990s, dinosaur remains were discovered at the local Warm Springs Ranch, and the Wyoming Dinosaur Center was founded soon thereafter. Fifteen minutes from the museum are multiple dig sites. More than 10,000 bones have been discovered and excavated, most of which are either on display or stored just down the hill at the museum. Learn more about the history of Thermopolis at the Hot Springs County Museum and Cultural Center in the downtown historic district.

The Park to Park region of Wyoming is named for the early 1900s Park to Park Highway.

Connecting Cheyenne to small towns in Wyoming’s open landscape, this route will take you into Thermopolis to explore prehistoric anomalies and the unusual terrain that surrounds this Western town.

The Black Bear Cafe in Thermopolis is consistently rated one of the town’s most popular eateries.

The sandwich menu alone will have you satisfied and stashing leftovers away in your cooler for the remainder of your road trip.

P6 Station brings the heat inside a converted firehouse. Instead of fire engines, this station serves up stone-fired pizza in an open, airy atmosphere. With a menu of specialty pies, as well as a build-your-own option, both allow for diners to opt for a gluten-free crust.

One Eyed Buffalo Brewing Company boasts an upbeat atmosphere with fun food options to round out a classic selection of burgers, sandwiches and salads. For the daring, Rocky Mountain oysters are available as a jumpstart to your meal, while specialty mac and cheese plates serve as the ultimate comfort food on your winter road trip.

Located in Hot Springs State Park Best Western Plus Plaza Hotel makes access to a therapeutic soak a whole lot easier.

Hand-crafted lodgepole pine furniture keeps the hotel’s spaces cozy, as do the fireplaces available in select suites.

The Rainbow Motel is completely non-smoking, and the ranch-style motel offers groups of all sizes flexibility with one-, two- and three-bedrooms suites that sleep up to eight guests.

Aptly named, the Elk Antler Inn attracts attention from its exterior, which prominently displays shed elk antlers. Meanwhile, its interior spaces achieve rustic charm with a combination of log furniture, handcrafted quilts, and western wildlife decor.

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6. Pinedale & The Wind River Range

Skijoring in Pinedale, a popular road trip destination in winter.
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Wyoming’s Hwy 191 is a breathtaking option for a winter road trip, but the first thing you need to do when planning is to check road conditions. This stretch of asphalt can be hairy, and may actually require chains on your tires.

If you get the timing right, however, you are in for a treat. From the Yellowstone area to Pinedale, this is what a Winter Wonderland is made of. 

Firs are laden with snow all along the Snake River, and the winding road presents enchanting sites at every turn. No less beautiful are the peaks of the Wind River Range, gracing your peripheral. When you finally pull into Pinedale, the authentic cowboy town that lies against the Western slope of the Wind River Range, what are your plans?

The surrounding area is a playground that caters to snowmobile enthusiasts, ice fishing aficionados, and those who love to strap on a pair of skates.

When you take Hwy 191 South from the Yellowstone region toward Pinedale you are gazing upon one of the best parts of Wyoming.

The peaks of the Wind River Range are captivating, and the thick wilderness along the Snake River will bring to mind the cowboy lore of Wyoming.

Pinedale offers many exciting places to eat during your winter road trip.

The Wind River Brewing Company in Pinedale invites diners to pull up a chair and enjoy finely crafted beer along with an approachable and delicious menu. 

Just minutes from Main Street, the Lakeside Lodge Restaurant offers guests the feeling of secluded bliss with a snowy shoreside dining experience.

Known for their selection of homemade pies, guests crowd into the Wrangler Cafe for their home cooking. Just slightly quieter in the winter months, the cafe’s menu lists comfort classics like fish and chips and chicken fried steak.

The Gannett Peak Lodge is a beautifully refurbished lodge at the foot of the Wind River Range.

Whatever area activities you choose, this is the perfect jumping off point for more adventure.

At the Lakeside Lodge near the shores of Fremont Lake, your stay will be cozy and comfortable. Enjoy the warmth of one the many cabins on the property, or book a room in the main lodge. This choice also provides adventure rentals and will set you up with a snowmobile to fuel the fun.

Aimed at adventure seekers, High Country Suites are a home away from home for visitors to the area. Each room contains a fully-equipped kitchen, making in-room meal preparations convenient if you opt not to dine out during your stay.

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7. Sheridan & Bighorn National Forest

A bighorn sheep, standing among snow and grasses, gazes at the viewer.
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Located in north-central Wyoming, the Bighorn Mountains are a sister range of the Rocky Mountains. This range is home to Cloud Peak and Blacktooth Mountain, both rising at over 13,000 feet in elevation. This dramatic wilderness plays host to the many outdoor pursuits that are so popular in Wyoming. 

During your winter road trip, you’ll find that Sheridan serves as a gateway to this wilderness, and is quintessential Wyoming. The highlight of the annual Sheridan WYO Winter Rodeo is skijoring. A rider on horseback tows either a skier or snowboarder through an obstacle course in downtown Sheridan while onlookers cheer on the action. 

Serious snow enthusiasts will want to check out the Antelope Butte Mountain Recreation Area, about 60 miles west of Sheridan. Antelope Butte features 28 trails for downhill skiing and snowboarding off three lifts, and miles of groomed trails for Nordic skiing and fat tire biking.

Coming up from the South, Hwy 25 provides easy access to Sheridan and the surrounding Bighorn National Forest.

Traversing US Hwy 14 coming from the West, however, will have you aghast at the spectacular views. If you are coming from the East rather than the South, simply take Hwy 90 to 25 and head north.

In downtown Sheridan, Wyoming’s Rib and Chophouse gives guests a taste of cowboy culture. Premium steaks and award-winning baby back ribs are the menu’s crown jewels at this fine dining establishment. 

Black Tooth Brewing’s beer distribution may infiltrate the region, but the highly awarded brewery had its start in Sheridan. In addition to a rotating selection of beer, the taproom frequently hosts local live music and seasonal events.

A storied past is reason enough to visit the Mint Bar in downtown Sheridan. When it opened, ice was delivered in horse-drawn wagons, and during Prohibition, the bar’s back room became a speakeasy. Beloved by locals in the past and present, “See ya at the Mint” has been and still is the by-word of cowboys, ranchers, and dudes.

Breakfast aficionados head to the Cowboy Cafe for generous portions of breakfast classics and specials, accompanied by slices of homemade pie. Lunch is equally hearty at the cafe, with sandwiches and salads stacked high with fresh ingredients.

When it’s time to choose your accommodations, make reservations to stay at a place that is a destination itself.

The historic Sheridan Inn, which opened in 1893, was partially owned by Buffalo Bill Cody.

With a similar title, but different historic perspective, the Sheridan Mill Inn is a motel on the National Registry of Historic Places due to its previous life as a flour mill. In the present, authentic western and Native American memorabilia adorn the walls of the private and public spaces.

For a more contemporary option for your winter road trip, The Nelson Inn provides industrial suites with a more modern take on ruggedness. The distinctive decor competes for your attention alongside views of the surrounding mountain views.

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8. Shoshone National Forest

The first designated National Forest in the country just happens to be in Wyoming. Shoshone National Forest is a vast wilderness of 2.4 million acres. Driving through in the winter will offer the opportunity to view deer and bighorn sheep, which have a reputation for blocking traffic at times.

For this road trip, winter recreation opportunities are many, and plenty of enthusiasts take advantage of the snow. These include snowshoers, cross-country skiers, and snowmobilers.

Along your journey through Shoshone National Forest on the Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway, you will traverse the Wapiti Valley. The byway ends at the East Entrance to Yellowstone in Sylvan Pass. Although the East Entrance to our country’s first National Park is closed in winter, you may still snowshoe and cross-country ski in this area. And don’t forget your camera. The views are spectacular.

One of the most stunning drives in the US is from Cody, Wyoming to Yellowstone National Park at the East Gate.

This is the Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway, U.S. 14/16/20, which follows the North Fork of the Shoshone River.

The Proud Cut Saloon in Cody is a local favorite.

Surrounded by knotty pine walls accentuated by a decorative tin ceiling, you will feel transported into the days of the Old West. Ordering a bone-in ribeye will have you talking with a certain twang.

Cassie’s Steakhouse has been a popular dining and dancing destination in Cody since it opened in 1922. Taxidermy adorns the walls of this bustling country music joint, where live music croons Wednesday-Saturday evenings.

A cocktail lounge and eatery, the bar staff at Juniper: Bar + Market + Bistro thrives on creating custom drinks for its visitors. More than 100 whiskeys are served by the glass alongside small plates featuring local suppliers.

The Irma Hotel in Cody, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Originally built for Buffalo Bill Cody in 1902. Its cherrywood backbar in the restaurant was presented to Colonel Cody by Queen Victoria of England after a command performance he gave for her. It is one of the most photographed attractions in Cody.

The Lockhart Inn is Wyoming’s First Bed and Breakfast and is set in a style that reminds guests of grandma’s house. Not only does it overlook the Shoshoni River, it’s also within walking distance to major attractions. The quaint charm doesn’t mean it’s not equipped with modern amenities–quite the opposite, in fact.

Complimentary coffee and an expanded continental breakfast jumpstarts the day for guests of The Cody Hotel. Self-proclaimed to be a green-friendly hotel, the structure features reclaimed wood from original Yellowstone National Park buildings.

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9. Casper & Casper Mountain

A winding winter road snakes up Casper Mountain, Wyoming.
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Photo Credit: Visit Casper

Casper, Wyoming is located in Central Wyoming and boasts some of the most approachable terrain in the state. Within the town itself, there are endless activities that will feed your curiosity. This town is home to over one dozen museums, ranging in subject matter from history, science, geology and fine art. 

Nearly 26 miles of groomed and lighted trails ranging from flat runs to steep inclines surround the Casper Mountain Trail Center. Warm up or grab a bite at the lodge, and get ready to spend a day surrounded by majestic wilderness as you participate in nordic skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking. Hogadon Basin Ski Area, Casper Mountain’s downhill ski and snowboarding spot, is only a few minutes from the heart of downtown.

All roads in Wyoming seem to lead to Casper.

Whether your approach is from the North via Hwy 25, from the East via Hwy 26, from the West traveling on Hwy 25, or from the South via Hwy 487 and 220, your options are numerous on routes into Casper.

Casper is considered the place to be for craft beer brewing in Wyoming.

From Gruner Brothers Brewing to Wyoming Ale Works, there’s no shortage of locations for freshly tapped draft beers. For grain-to-bottle vodka, gin, rum, moonshine, and whiskey, Backwards Distilling Company produces all of the above.

The aroma and warmth of Firehouse Pizza’s wood-fired 1000-degree grill is tantalizing to multiple senses. Here, they prepare 11” Old World-style pies, as well as 6” Detroit-style pizzas. Diners get to pick their own toppings and sauce.

In downtown Casper, The Branding Iron serves up gourmet burgers in a fun and family-friendly atmosphere. The expansive burger list pairs best with a milkshake, even when it’s cold outside.

There are many places to stay in Casper, making it a great stop for your road trip.

The Ramkota Hotel in downtown Casper will meet all of your needs in comfort as you decide what to do next in this hub of Wyoming adventure.

The Hilton Garden Inn is conveniently located for those on the road, while the rooms and property are equipped with ample amenities.

If quiet and peaceful accommodations are on your wishlist, Grey Reef Lodging offers riverside cabins on the North Platte River. For no additional cost, guests can enjoy beautiful prairie sunsets and star-studded night skies.

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aerial view of car on snowy road
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