Wyoming: Stories Beyond the Eclipse

As the first total solar eclipse to pass over Wyoming since 1918, it’s no surprise that the “Great American Eclipse” is garnering significant public and media interest in the Cowboy State. But there’s much more to Wyoming than a mere two-and-a-half minutes of darkness on August 21, 2017. Home to more than 97,000 square miles and the smallest population in the country, Wyoming’s wide-open spaces, cowboy lifestyle, American Indian history and natural wonders are a deep well of stories just waiting to be told. 

Wyoming’s Skies and Spaces: Home to some of the darkest skies in the continental United States, Wyoming is one of the best places for uninhibited views of the night sky. With nearly half of its land mass being public land—including national parks and monuments, forests, wildlife refuges and wilderness areas—Wyoming has abundant opportunities for sightseeing, stargazing and enjoying clear skies and fresh air. Plus, many places throughout the state offer stargazing experiences—including Devils Tower National Monument, Jackson Hole and Yellowstone National Park—that result in incredible views of the Milky Way, star clusters and planets. 

Road Trips, National Parks + Trails: Wyoming was made for road tripping. With a diverse landscape that includes Devils Tower National Monument in the northeast to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks in the northwest, Wyoming is a rich treasure trove of characters and history, with some of our best stories found along scenic byways and backroads. Each of Wyoming’s scenic byways provide travelers with the opportunity to uncover and create their own western experience. Often overshadowed by its counterparts, the Beartooth Scenic Byway is Wyoming’s highest paved primary road and crests the Rocky Mountains at 10,947 feet. Appropriately called “the most beautiful drive in America,” the Beartooth Highway is the only national scenic byway in the state. Meanwhile, in southwest Wyoming, the 100-mile-long Flaming Gorge-Green River Scenic Byway starts just west of Rock Springs and winds its way through a high desert, incredible rock formations and snowcapped mountain peaks. 

The Wild West: Buffalo Bill + Butch Cassidy: No matter how much time passes, Wyoming will forever remain steeped in the history and folklore of the wild west. Plus, as the state was home to western icons like Buffalo Bill Cody and Butch Cassidy, it’s no wonder Wyoming is looked at as a place where the west lives on and western heritage can still be experienced today. And while the state’s history and legacy remains, modern-day adventures in Wyoming can bring the western spirit to life by visiting the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody (celebrating its 100th anniversary this year), staying at the Occidental Hotel in Buffalo (past patrons include Butch Cassidy, The Sundance Kid, Buffalo Bill, Teddy Roosevelt and Calamity Jane) or touring the Museum of the Mountain Man in Pinedale. 

Cowboys + Ranches: The spirit and real-life legacy of the cowboy lives on in Wyoming, with the opportunity to experience ranch life with a visit to a working, guest or resort dude ranch. From moving cattle at a working ranch to a half-day trail ride on a guest ranch or even five-star dining at a resort dude ranch, Wyoming offers a variety of experiences in cowboy country. 

Taste Wyoming: While Wyoming is known for its wide-open spaces and natural wonders, the culinary, spirit and brewery scene is rapidly gaining traction for locals and visitors alike. Local flavors include bison ribeye, Rocky Mountain oysters, Chugwater chili, peanut-butter-and-bacon burgers, handmade chocolates and huckleberry-infused cocktails.