Driving Wyoming’s Wide-open Spaces
The wide-open spaces of Wyoming inspire romantic musings of life on the High Plains and exploring the rugged peaks of the Rocky Mountains. And while there are plenty of people who still ride horses across Wyoming’s breathtaking landscape, it’s easier to see it all using another kind of horse power… namely that found under the hood of a car, van or SUV.
So whether you’re taking your brood across the state in your favorite family truckster or flying in and taking to the road in a rental car, here are three great road trip ideas to help you see the some of the state’s most awe-inspiring sights:
Touring the Tetons. Starting in Jackson, follow the eastern flank of the Teton Range and experience 44 miles of some of the prettiest country you’ll ever see. From the flat floor of Jackson Hole to the rugged peaks of the Tetons, you’ll get beautiful vistas across and miles of breathtaking spots perfect for a picnic. (Note: Not all of this 44-mile drive is paved, so be sure that what you’re driving can handle being off the pavement.) Once your trip is over, kick back in Jackson for a little r-and-r in Wyoming’s most famous ski town.
Snowy Range. Starting at Centennial, take Highway 130 toward Saratoga (also called the Snowy Range Scenic Byway). At the top of Snowy Pass Range, about 10 miles west of Centennial, you can park your car and walk to Libby Flats Observation area, where, on a clear day, you can catch a glimpse of Rocky Mountain National Park in southwestern Colorado. Keep heading toward Saratoga and you’ll find yourself surrounded by beautiful pine forests before heading into the always-beautiful Platte River Valley.
Happy Jack. Instead of taking I-80 from Cheyenne to Laramie (or vice versa), skip the highway and drive the distance on Happy Jack Road (Highway 210). This long and winding road will take you over the high plains, past Curt Gowdy State Park (where, if you have the time, you really should stop), and give you easy access to the stunning Vedauwoo Recreation Area. Seven miles east of Laramie, at the Lincoln Monument, you can head back to the highway and arrive in town via the standard way.
For more information about all of Wyoming’s scenic highways and byways visit www.WyomingTourism.org.