Wyoming’s national forests offer more than a walk in the woods. They provide a space among streams, mountains, valleys and wildlife where you can choose to sit and enjoy or get up and engage. Marked trails, accessible campgrounds and varied recreation opportunities are sure to satisfy the cravings of outdoor adventure-seekers. But the serene surroundings are also ideal for photographers and nature observers to find their muse in a sea of wilderness.
With eight national forests that make up over nine million acres of pristine wilderness, Wyoming is home to one big outdoor playground. Whether your idea of adventure is hiking, fishing, camping, backpacking or simply being outdoors, there’s no shortage of activities to choose from in these protected areas.
Get to know Wyoming’s National Forests and take your time exploring the wonder of these natural spaces.
Ashley National Forest
In Wyoming, Ashley National Forest is synonymous with the Flaming Gorge Reservoir. The forest surrounds the well-known gorge and is located near Rock Springs in southwestern Wyoming. This part of Wyoming is known for its spectacular scenery—which includes Firehole Canyon—and its abundant recreational opportunities. Ashley National Forest spills into Utah, making it an ideal stop for anyone on a road trip through some of America’s Western states. Find information on camping, hiking, all-terrain trails and more at www.fs.usda.gov/ashley.
Bighorn National Forest
Located in north-central Wyoming between Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park, Bighorn National Forest is an easy stop to add to your road trip itinerary. The area contains 1,200 miles of trails, the roadless Cloud Peak Wilderness Area and its namesake, the Bighorn Mountains. This national forest lies within the most diverse landscape in Wyoming. Clear reservoirs, glacier-carved valleys and jagged mountains all make this region a must-see. Find information on camping, hiking, fishing and more at www.fs.usda.gov/bighorn.
Black Hills National Forest
Black Hills National Forest is located in northeastern Wyoming and spans across the border into South Dakota. Known for its interesting rock formations, grasslands and canyons, this national forest offers rock climbing, mountain biking and wildlife viewing among its many recreational opportunities. In the winter, snowmobiling and ice fishing are popular activities. Find information on camping, reservoirs, hiking and more at www.fs.usda.gov/blackhills.
Bridger-Teton National Forest
One of Wyoming’s larger national forests, Bridger-Teton National Forest offers over 3,000 miles of road, trails and unspoiled terrain to explore within its 3.4 million acre boundary. This forest is located in western Wyoming, surrounding both Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks and housing a portion of the largest intact ecosystem in the continental United States, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Adding to the beautiful views within this region, Wyoming’s highest peak, Gannet Peak, rests along Bridger-Teton National Forest’s eastern border. Find information on camping, wildlife, permits and more at www.fs.usda.gov/btnf.
Caribou-Targhee National Forest
Wyoming’s Caribou-Targhee National Forest is nestled beneath the southwestern corner of Yellowstone National Park and along the western border of Grand Teton National Park. The forest expands west into Idaho, with stunning views of the popular Teton Range that can be enjoyed from the west side. Those visiting Caribou-Targhee National Forest will encounter caves, fascinating limestone formations, wildlife—including grizzly bears, wolf, elk and moose—and waterfalls that cascade down ancient volcanic formations. Find information on cabins, camping, trails and more at www.fs.usda.gov/ctnf.
Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest
Home to the Snowy Range, Wyoming’s Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest varies in elevation, offering many opportunities to explore. The forest is located in southeastern Wyoming and shares a border with Colorado, making it an ideal stop along an interstate road trip. Visitors can enjoy outdoor recreation year-round, from skiing at the nearby Snowy Range Ski Area to rock climbing in Vedauwoo and mountain biking in the Happy Jack Recreation Area. Find information on camping, climbing, hiking and more at www.fs.usda.gov/mbr.
Shoshone National Forest
Shoshone National Forest borders Yellowstone National Park and Bridger-Teton National Forest to the east. This large national forest spans from the Wyoming-Montana border down to Lander, Wyoming, and includes the Absaroka, Wind River, and Beartooth Mountain ranges. Due to its proximity to Yellowstone, Shoshone National Forest was the first national forest in the United States. The region’s terrain varies from plains filled with sagebrush to glaciers, rivers and craggy mountains that are often snow capped year round. Find camping, scenic byways, hiking and more at www.fs.usda.gov/shoshone.
Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
While much of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest is located in Utah, a small part spills over into Wyoming’s southwestern corner. This national forest contains beautiful wildflowers and a number of trails, making popular activities in this region include bicycling, hiking and fishing. To find information on camping, trails, permits and more, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/uwcnf.