Wyoming may have the fewest permanent residents of any U.S. state, but that doesn’t mean it should be relegated to a “flyover” state. What it lacks in big cities, it makes up for in wide-open spaces. Wyoming’s allure comes from the spectacular parks throughout the state. Experience a range of environments from mountains to arid desert to prairie as you make your way to the best national parks in Wyoming.
The 4 Best Parks in Wyoming
Here are a few of the best state and national parks in Wyoming. From massive national parks to state parks that feel like hidden gems, nature is calling and it’s time to answer.
1. Yellowstone National Park
The first national park in the United States and even the world, Yellowstone National Park has a special place in the hearts of many. From the abundant wildlife, including almost 60 species of mammals alone, to the stunning hydrothermal features, Yellowstone is filled with attractions that draw huge crowds all year long.
Explore the 1000 miles of hiking trails that cater to all levels of hikers or just enjoy the scenic drives that stretch and wind throughout the park. You definitely cannot see it all in just one day, so plan to stay awhile at one of the best national parks in Wyoming to make the most of your time.
- Yellowstone National Park, at over 2.2 million acres, is larger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined!
- It is home to more than half of the world’s active geysers.
- Yellowstone Lake is the largest high-elevation lake in North America.
- Yellowstone National Park lies directly over one of the largest active supervolcanoes. Don’t worry, it doesn’t appear ready to erupt even in the next 10,000 years!
With so much to explore, you’ll want to set up a home base for your stay in Yellowstone. Every campground welcomes RVs (watch out for size restrictions!), but Fishing Bridge RV Park is the only one with full hookups. Mammoth Campground is the only campground that is open year-round.
Pick up an RV rental at the closest Cruise America located in Bozeman, Montana, and spend some much-needed time in the park!
2. Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park is less well-known than its older neighbor to the north, Yellowstone, but its stunning mountain peaks, gorgeous lakes, and piney forest are not to be missed. With all these breathtaking sites, it’s no wonder many think you can find the best national parks in Wyoming.
Make your way to this not-so-hidden gem for great hiking, mountaineering, and unlimited photo opportunities. Summer calls boaters, anglers, and watersports enthusiasts to the 10 park lakes. Winter calls cross-country skiers and snowshoers to the snow-blanketed park.
- The Grand Teton Mountain range is thought to be the youngest range in the Rocky Mountains and among the youngest in the world!
- A birder’s paradise, Grand Teton National Park is a great place to view a huge variety of birds including the largest waterfowl in North America, the trumpeter swan, all the way to the small bird species in North America, the calliope hummingbird.
- Elevation in the park ranges from 6,320 feet at Fish Creek all the way up to 13,775 feet at the top of Grand Teton.
- Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) is located within the park. It’s the only national park with its own commercial airport.
Camping in the Grand Tetons is exquisite and offers incredible backdrops of mountain, forest, and lake depending on where you set up. If you can get a spot, make use of one of the six campgrounds in the park that allows RVs (but be mindful of 30’ and 45’ length limits).
During the busiest camping times, you may need to use a private RV campground in the surrounding area. And remember, Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone are mere minutes away from each other so you can get the best of both worlds without moving camp.
Call or stop in to Cruise America in Bozeman, MT to get behind the wheel of your perfect RV.
3. Glendo State Park
On the other side of Wyoming sits Glendo State Park, a go-to location for water recreation. The reservoir brings guests looking for great boating, watersports, and fishing. But there is more to this beautiful state park than just the giant reservoir. Take advantage of more than 45 miles of hiking trails through many different landscapes such as forests, sandy beaches, and mountainous peaks. There is something here for all outdoor enthusiasts, making this one of the best parks in Wyoming. From hunting to biking and even winter sports, Glendo State Park is a great place to camp and enjoy a deeply historic area.
- A fisherman’s paradise, the reservoir is one of the best walleye fisheries in the state.
- The reservoir covers 12,000 surface acres or over 18 square miles, but the water levels vary throughout the year.
- This man-made lake is the result of a 20-story dam built in the 1950s. Now, in addition to recreation activities, it also provides hydroelectric power to most of Southeastern Wyoming.
- Laramie Peak is the highest elevation in the park at (only) 10,275 feet. It is the only peak that exceeds 10,000 feet in the Laramie range.
There is no shortage of great campsites at Glendo State Park. With 19 different campgrounds and more than 500 campsites for tents and RVs, there is a variety of sites to appeal to campers of all kinds. Be sure to make a reservation in advance during the high season in summer. After October, the campgrounds become first-come, first-serve so arrive early to secure a great spot.
Enjoy the short drive from Denver, Colorado in a comfortable Cruise America RV.
4. Fossil Butte National Monument
Calling ancient history and geology buffs! Fossil Butte National Monument is very different than the other parks highlighted here due to its high desert setting. But this desert is far from barren. Instead, enjoy being on a 50-million-year-old lakebed, home to an incredible number of Paleolithic era fossils.
Take a cruise through the visitor center to see more than 300 fossils on display including fish, vegetation, reptiles, and birds. There are a lot of ranger-led programs that turn this collection of fossils into the story of the once subtropical climate of the area — bringing this stone aquarium back to life once more. Additionally, find excellent hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities.
- In the summertime, join the Quarry program to start searching for fossils yourself.
- Fossil Butte is the dried lakebed of Fossil Lake, an ancient lake that stretched 40-50 miles long and up to 20 miles wide for 2 million years. This lake existed sometime in the Eocene, 56 to 34 million years ago.
- This area is one of the richest fossil locations in all of the world. Many fossils are immortalized in the limestone with high levels of detail that help geologists get a clear picture of life underwater at the time.
There is no camping allowed directly in the park, but stay nearby at the Riverside RV Park or across state lines at one of the numerous campgrounds alongside Bear Lake. But before you take on the gorgeous scenic drive or transport yourself millions of years back in time, pick up a cozy RV from Cruise America in Salt Lake City.
Getting Wild in Wyoming
With destinations as grand as Yellowstone to a wonderful system of state parks, Wyoming is filled with opportunities to explore its diversity of regions. Stand in the shadow of a mountain, the floor of an ancient lake, or take to the water for excellent fishing spots. No matter how you choose to enjoy the outdoors, a long drive through Wyoming is sure to leave you awestruck.
Start making memories with an RV rental from Cruise America and take in the best parks in Wyoming with all the comforts of home!