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  • Touring downtown Cheyenne, Wyoming, by trolley car
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    Southeastern Gateway to Wyoming: Pine Bluffs, Cheyenne and Laramie

  • Sipping beers and relaxing between soaks at Saratoga Hot Springs Resort in Wyoming
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    Saratoga to Rawlins: Hot Springs and Nature-Inspired Recreation

  • Immersed in nature at Sinks Canyon State Park near Lander, Wyoming
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    Lander: Adventures in the High Desert

  • The Northern Arapaho Experience at Wind River Resort & Casino in Wyoming
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    Riverton: Frontier Life and the Northern Arapaho Experience

  • A summertime run in the mountains near Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming
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    Jackson: Vibrant Western Town, Gateway to the Outdoors

  • Kayaking on pristine Fremont Lake in Pinedale, Wyoming
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    Pinedale: Glacial Lakes, Alpine Forests and Mountain Man History

  • Taking in the views of Flaming Gorge Reservoir near Rock Springs, Wyoming
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    Rock Springs: Rugged Landscapes and Wild Encounters

An aerial tram at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming
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Wyoming Mountain Range Loop: Rockies to Tetons

  • Route distance:
    1382.00 km
  • Suggested Time:
    2 weeks +

Road trip your way through some of the most impressive landscapes as you travel between two iconic mountain ranges.

Begin your route in the Rocky Mountains and eventually traverse to the Teton Range, home to Grand Teton National Park, an iconic wonder with truly majestic landscapes. Along the way, venture through historic frontier towns, see wildlife sanctuaries and experience the rugged beauty of the high desert before exploring Yellowstone National Park.

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Touring downtown Cheyenne, Wyoming, by trolley car
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Southeastern Gateway to Wyoming: Pine Bluffs, Cheyenne and Laramie

Fly into Denver International Airport (DEN) and rent a car for a one-and-a-half-hour drive to Cheyenne, Wyoming. On your way, drop by the Southeast Wyoming Welcome Center to get acquainted with the state and the fun route ahead. While Cheyenne is Wyoming’s capital and largest city, don’t expect tall buildings to stand out on the skyline. This is the true west; the only thing jutting across the horizon is mountains. Check out the Cheyenne Depot Museum housed within the historic Union Pacific Railroad Depot built in 1886, and consider planning your visit around Cheyenne Frontier Days, the largest outdoor rodeo in the world. This 10-day extravaganza and concert series is held every July. On your way out of town, stop in Curt Gowdy State Park to stretch your legs in the foothills of the Laramie Mountains.

An hour’s drive northwest of Cheyenne will land you in Laramie, a quintessential Wyoming town, known for world-class fishing and hiking. For an overnight stay, the Vee Bar Guest & Dude Ranch is an idyllic setting – so idyllic that you may want to extend your stay for another day of horseback riding and cozying up to the campfire. Carve some time out to visit the University of Wyoming: See the impressive art installations from internationally-known artists throughout campus, and stop by the Geological Museum, which includes “Big Al,” the most complete Allosaurus fossil ever found.

Next, travel west along the Snowy Range Scenic Byway open from late spring to mid-November. Starting in Centennial and crossing the Medicine Bow Mountain Range, it offers a spectacle of glacial lakes, mountain streams and granite peaks to take in before you reach your next stop in Saratoga.

128 km
1.5 hours by car
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Sipping beers and relaxing between soaks at Saratoga Hot Springs Resort in Wyoming
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Saratoga to Rawlins: Hot Springs and Nature-Inspired Recreation

Located on the North Platte River, Saratoga is known for its mineral hot springs, which are free to the public. To take a dip, head straight to one of the free public pools, or visit the Saratoga Hot Springs Resort. This rustic lodge features a mineral water swimming and soaking pool and authentic teepees set up over hot springs. The resort also offers golf, fishing, hiking and horseback riding, plus snowmobiling in the cooler months.

In downtown Saratoga, drop by the historic Hotel Wolf for fine dining, a cocktail in the Old West saloon or to soak up the history. If you are traveling with kids, polish off an ice cream treat at Lollypops’ old-time soda fountain counter. Fuel up for the next leg of your travels with caffeine and cupcakes at Sweet Marie’s Bakeshop.

On your way to Lander, spend a few hours in Rawlins, originally founded as a stop on the Union Pacific Railroad line. The main attraction today is the Wyoming Frontier Prison Museum, also known as “Old Pen.” Explore the jail cells, prison graveyard and other exhibits, and decide for yourself if the rumors of hauntings here are true.

201 km
2 hours by car
03
Immersed in nature at Sinks Canyon State Park near Lander, Wyoming
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Lander: Adventures in the High Desert

Stone and limestone cliffs morph into granite boulders as you approach Lander, a high desert town at the convergence of the Rockies and the Wind River Range. The Wind River Wild Horse Sanctuary offers up stirring encounters – dozens of wild mustangs freely galloping across the open landscape. It’s Wyoming’s only wild horse eco-sanctuary on an Indian reservation. Step into the visitor center, which commemorates Native American horse culture throughout history. Guided tours of the ranch to see the horses up close are also available.

10 kilometers southwest of Lander, you’ll discover Sinks Canyon State Park, a gorgeous mountainous landscape dotted with aspen and pine trees. Explore the Rise of the Sinks, a large aqueous pool, where the Popo Agie River appears after eerily being swallowed up into a limestone cavern. Take the easy Popo Agie Nature Trail and find yourself amidst a conifer forest or wandering into an aspen grove. In mid-summer, you can expect to see the trails beautified with wildflowers in a rainbow of color. This is also a favorite hangout for experienced rock climbers from around the world.

For dinner, take a seat at the Lander Bar and Gannett Grill for the legendary half-pound burger. Lodging in and around town is diverse from the log cabin-themed Pronghorn Lodge to the Arts and Crafts period Blue Spruce Inn Bed and Breakfast.

36 km
0.5 hours by car
04
The Northern Arapaho Experience at Wind River Resort & Casino in Wyoming
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Riverton: Frontier Life and the Northern Arapaho Experience

Just a few kilometers northeast of Lander will bring you to Riverton, home to the annual 1838 Mountain Man Rendezvous. Rendezvous events are a tradition in Wyoming, reliving the raucous days when mountain men, traders and Native Americans met and camped out to trade goods and stories. Riverton’s annual 1838 Rendezvous in July is unique in that it takes place on the same ground as the original historic rendezvous. Even when it’s not rendezvous time, stop at the 1838 Rendezvous Site and imagine the prairie buzzing with the traditions of frontier life.

From there, visit the Wind River Resort & Casino for dining and entertainment. A major highlight at the resort is the Northern Arapaho Experience, a celebration of the Northern Arapaho culture that features tribal dancing, hoop dancing and drumming demonstrations. Time-honored traditions filled with pageantry give guests a glimpse into Native American culture and ceremony.

Spend the night in the Wind River area before heading to Jackson along the Old Yellowstone Highway, a long but beautiful drive that leads you alongside small towns and epic views as you get ever closer to the landscapes of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.

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265 km
3 hours by car
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A summertime run in the mountains near Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming
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Jackson: Vibrant Western Town, Gateway to the Outdoors

An ever-popular hub for outdoor enthusiasts, Jackson Hole is also an oasis of dining, shopping and Old West charm. In the cooler months, it’s known for its access to outstanding skiing and snowboarding, as well as sleigh rides among herds of elk in the National Elk Refuge. In the summer, you’ll find happy visitors horseback riding, white water rafting, hiking and wildlife watching. Year round, Jackson is an ideal home base for exploring Wyoming’s incredible national parks – from the towering snow-capped peaks of Grand Teton to Old Faithful and Grand Prismatic Springs in Yellowstone. When night falls here, be sure to settle in a comfortable spot for a view of the night sky. Outside Magazine named Jackson one of the top stargazing spots in North America.

123 km
1.5 hours by car
06
Kayaking on pristine Fremont Lake in Pinedale, Wyoming
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Pinedale: Glacial Lakes, Alpine Forests and Mountain Man History

An hour and a half drive from Jackson will lead you to Pinedale, a charming small town (think artsy coffee shops and friendly cafes) with a big backcountry of three mountain ranges. Get to know local history with a visit to the Museum of the Mountain Man, a small but in-depth museum, with a sundry of exhibits and artifacts preserving and honoring the legacy of the fur traders who inhabited the mountains of the Wild West. Learn more about how these mountain men contributed to the culture of this corner of the world.

Drive just a few minutes outside town and you’re right back in the heart of nature at Wyoming’s second largest lake, Fremont Lake. This stunningly blue glacial lake set in Bridger-Teton National Forest offers myriad outdoor activities, such as kayaking, boating and fishing, all with a mountain view. Stay at the Lakeside Lodge to spend a night or two immersed in this magnificent setting before the final stop of your journey.

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162 km
1.75 hours by car
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Taking in the views of Flaming Gorge Reservoir near Rock Springs, Wyoming
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Rock Springs: Rugged Landscapes and Wild Encounters

On your way to Rock Springs, treat yourself at Farson Mercantile, known statewide for their heaping scoops of delicious homemade ice cream. Don’t worry; you can work off the calories in Rock Springs, home to a majestic landscape that’s different from much of what you’ll see in Wyoming. North of town, you’ll find the giant sandbox known as Killpecker Sand Dunes – a playground for hiking, sand-sledding and off-roading. While south of town, Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area has a brilliant backdrop of crimson boulders, green sagebrush and dark blue waters. Rent a boat or paddleboard to explore the Flaming Gorge Reservoir and Green River from Little Firehole Canyon. Fill your camera with shots of the pointy, craggy buttes (remnants of ancient volcanic activity) that line the horizon here in the high desert.

Wildlife watching abounds here too. Visit the Seedskadee National Wildlife Area, a 58-kilometer stretch along the Green River that was once a crossing along the famed Oregon Trail to catch sight of a river otter or moose. Closer to town, take a self-guided driving tour on the Pilot Butte Wild Horse Scenic Loop, a 38-kilometer stretch across White Mountain between Rock Springs and Green River. Drive slow and stop often at the interpretive signs along the way, always keeping watch for these noble creatures running freely against a backdrop of rolling sagebrush hills and distant mountain ranges. It’s an image you’ll cherish as you drive three hours toward Salt Lake City International Airport in Utah for your return flight home.