This is the ultimate Wyoming Road Trip, a personal favorite! Northern Wyoming has a great deal of beauty and things to do and see. In northeastern Wyoming is the Black Hills area and Devils Tower. North-central Wyoming offers the Big Horn mountain range, and of course northwestern Wyoming includes the Yellowstone National Park and Jackson Hole areas.
If you are traveling to Wyoming from the east, the I-90 corridor provides for a great deal of scenery and must see sites. The first stop should be Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota near the Wyoming border. Mount Rushmore has a great visitors center that gives you a good understanding of the history of the area. It also has a number of videos and photos depicting the process of "carving" the presidents faces into the mountain.
After visiting Mount Rushmore, make your way west into Wyoming to Devils Tower. If you are rushed for time, I-90 provides for a quick trip to Moorcroft where you can turn north for a short trip to Devils Tower. The more scenic route from Mount Rushmore is via Highway 16 through Custer SD, Newcastle WY, Moorcroft WY, and again north to Devils Tower.
Devils Tower features a massive rock formation that seemingly grows out of the landscape carved by the Belle Fourche River. At the tower is a nice visitors center, be sure to take the time to walk around the base of the tower. Just a few miles north of Devils Tower is the small town of Hulett. If golf is your thing, Hulett features one of the more beautiful golf courses in the state, you will not be dissapointed.
Tetons Near Jackson
From Devils Tower, make your way back to I-90 and head west to Buffalo via Gillette. Buffalo is a beautiful small town that sits at the foot of the Big Horn National Forest. Buffalo also sits as a fork in the road. From Buffalo there are several ways to cross the Big Horn range which divides northeastern Wyoming from northwestern Wyoming. One route to Cody is to continue north in I-90 to Sheridan and Dayton. From Dayton you can cross the Big Horns and travel to Cody either via Greybull or Lovell. Alternatively you can take Highway 16 out of Buffalo to Worland and north to Cody via Greybull.
In Cody a must see is the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. You can plan on spending a good portion of a day at the historical center, which is made up of 5 museums under one roof. Don't miss this stop.
From Cody you will continue on Highway 16 to Yellowstone National Park. This is a beautiful drive that will take you into the park via the East Entry and past Yellowstone Lake. Once in the park, there are a number of sites. Travel will be slower in the park, as wildlife encounters and beautiful scenic photo opportunities will be frequent.
The roads in Yellowstone make a figure 8, a top loop and a bottom loop. Each provides it's own beauty. If you plan on seeing most of what there is to see in the park from the roads, plan on 2-3 days in the park. If you are into hiking or getting off the roads, plan on more time. One option for staying in the park is at Old Faithful, the beautiful Old Faithful Lodge. At a minimum, one should visit these places while in Yellowstone:
- Old Faithful
- Yellowstone Falls
- Tower Fall
- Mammoth Hot Springs
- Fire Hole
From Yellowstone you will leave the park via the South Entrance Road. This will take you through the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. This is a very nice drive through great scenery leading to a wonderful drive along the Grand Teton National Park which leads into Jackson. This drive feature the often photographed Grand Tetons which rise out of the valley with majestic beauty. There will be a number of great photography opportunities along this drive.
Once in Jackson, there are numerous things to do depending upon your taste. Jackson provides wonderful shopping, great food and drink, beautiful golf courses, world class fly fishing, white water rafting, and wonderful photo opportunities all around the Jackson area.
Enjoy this trip, it will not dissapoint!