Wy Responsibly

Be informed. Be smart. Be prepared.

In Wyoming, the adventure is always on. Luckily, there’s a whole herd of ways to keep the pressure off our wild wonders and welcoming communities. Here’s how to ensure your adventure is safe, and good for all the people and all the places you encounter along the way. Come explore, responsibly, with these helpful travel tips.

WY Responsibly.

Be Adventure Ready

Wyoming’s wide-open spaces make for epic snowshoeing, skiing and snowmobiling, but require extra precaution. Before you head out, here are a few things to know while enjoying winter recreation.


Plan ahead.

Before heading out for any winter adventure, check weather reports, and road conditions, and do your research on any potential seasonal closures. Wyoming’s national parks and other areas have limited services and accessibility during the winter months. Some outdoor spaces close to protect wintering wildlife. Always be sure others know where you’re going.


Keep it clean.

Be prepared to not have access to trash cans or restrooms, especially when recreating in national forests. Bring your own garbage bags and take all trash with you when you leave, including pet waste. The snow might cover it now, but that doesn’t mean it won’t surface in the spring. Learn more.


Set for the season.

Pack the right clothes for the weather, location and activity. In winter especially, this includes dressing in layers and having the appropriate outerwear for cold and wet conditions. Before heading into the backcountry, take a winter backcountry course to educate yourself on avalanche safety and seek out local guides for experiences like snowmobiling and backcountry skiing. Don’t forget to share your winter itinerary with family or friends, and never deviate from it without letting them know first.

WY Responsibly.

Keep your distance, keep them wild

Wyoming’s wildlife is plentiful and powerful. Always follow these wildlife-viewing rules to keep yourself—and all wildlife—as safe as possible.

Hear the Sounds of Wyoming Wildlife

With more than 400 bird species and 100 mammal species (jackalope not included), Wyoming is a wildlife lover’s dream. See if you can spot these eight critters on your next visit.


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Wyoming’s state animal has grazed the geothermal expanses of Yellowstone since prehistoric times. Today, sightings are a regular occurrence throughout Yellowstone National Park, Hot Springs State Park in Thermopolis, Kendrick Park in Sheridan, and Bear River State Park in Evanston.

Audio Credit: NPS/Jennifer Jerrett
Photo Credit: Don Mammoser

Western Meadowlark

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Wyoming’s yellow breasted state bird has a song so distinctive it’s likened to a flute. Listen for its chipper calls in Wyoming’s open grassland as a signal of spring’s arrival. Its nests are snuggled amid vegetation, and it feeds on bugs and seeds, so look down rather than up when scanning for them on open space.

Audio Credit: NPS & MSU Acoustic Atlas/Jennifer Jerrett

Bald Eagle

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America’s national bird is a regular character all over Wyoming, often seen flying along the state’s most traveled roads. Their recognizable, white feathered heads and expansive wingspans make them easy to spot around Yellowstone Lake and in Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge near Green River. These kings of the sky like to feed on fish, so watch for them near lakes and streams.

Audio Credit: NPS / Shan Burson
Photo Credit: @jacobpaulphoto


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With antlers that can tower up to 4 feet, elk are a majestic sight to behold. Favorite haunts include Medicine Bow National Forest outside Laramie, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and western Wyoming’s Star Valley. Many elk journey to the National Elk Refuge in Jackson each winter.

Audio Credit: NPS & MSU Acoustic Atlas/Jennifer Jerrett



WY Responsibly.

You’ll likely hear the soulful yips and howls of Wyoming’s coyotes before you see them, especially at night. These brownish gray canines frequent scenic areas like the Red Desert, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park and Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge.

Audio Credit: NPS & MSU Acoustic Atlas/Jennifer Jerrett
Photo Credit: Xanterra Travel Collection – Yellowstone

Grizzly Bear

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Wyoming’s famed grizzly bears are so common you might see them roaming above treeline, along rushing rivers and across shortgrass prairies. Watch for them on Grand Teton and Yellowstone park land, though be sure to give them ample space. It’s recommended to stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves and at least 25 yards away from all other wildlife.

Audio Credit: NPS & MSU Acoustic Atlas/Jennifer Jerrett
Photo Credit: @alex_ghanayem

Red Fox

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Most active at dawn and dusk, the red fox — known for its ruddy, fluffy fur fur — favors Wyoming’s grasslands and forests. See them trot in Yellowstone National Park’s Hayden and Pelican valleys, and around Canyon Village. Grand Teton National Park’s Teton Science School, Flagg Ranch and Colter Bay Village areas are other popular spots for sighting them.

Audio Credit: NPS & MSU Acoustic Atlas/Jennifer Jerrett
Photo Credit: @kallen.wildphoto

Wild Horse

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Wild horse herds, descendants of Spanish equines, roam Wyoming’s open landscape, primarily in the state’s southwest corner. See this majestic symbol of the West in the Pryor Mountains, near Lovell, around Rock Springs, and in Lander’s Wind River Wild Horse Sanctuary.

Photo Credit:@visitusaparks

WY Responsibly.

Explore like a Local

There’s nothing quite like the big Western hospitality of smalltown Wyoming. So don’t just pass through. Here are a few ways to slow down, dig in and experience all the charm of the true frontier.


Shop small.

Support Wyoming communities by choosing locally-owned businesses when shopping, dining and exploring the state. Visit lesser-known areas to discover something new while giving heavily-trafficked areas a break and showing smaller communities more love. Learn more.


Have a plan.

Do your research and make sure you have a plan B. Be prepared for spotty cell service and Wi-Fi by having maps and back-up plans ready. Understand what type of land you plan to recreate on, as amenities and regulations vary from national parks to national forests and other types of public lands.. Learn more.


Drive safely.

Winter storms can develop quickly. Before hitting the road, check weather conditions along your route and make sure your vehicle is in proper working order. Always observe posted speed limits, and use pullouts to watch wildlife, take pictures and let other cars pass. Keep in mind that gas and service stops might be few and far between, so fill up when you can. Find more winter road trip tips here.

Show us how you #WYRESPONSIBLY

Are you a mindful traveler? Tag us in your Instagram photos using #WYresponsibly to share the adventure and encourage sustainable experiences.

Working Together to Keep Wyoming Safe

The helpful tips featured on this page come to you with insights from the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming Game & Fish, Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources, Wyoming Office of Outdoor Recreation, Wyoming State Forestry Division, Wyoming Office of State Lands and Investments, Wyoming Business Council and Wyoming Department of Transportation.