Welcome to the historic Old West, where majestic mountains are the backdrop of the Great Plains, and nature runs wild. The Cowboy State of Wyoming is a magnificent playground for adrenaline junkies, nature lovers and those seeking pure rest and relaxation. And winter is the longest season here during which this vast wild west wilderness comes alive in a very different way.

With rich culture, breathtaking scenery, action-packed snow sports, natural hot springs and mighty hiking trails, Wyoming promises a memorable adventure for travelers who can't resist the great outdoors and a dose of US history. This stunningly beautiful state's role in the 19th century mass migrations means that Old West vibes run rampant, and the authentic cowboy lifestyle continues even today. This incredible region with so much on offer is vast, rugged and wild - so where exactly should visitors go to get the best out of their winter Wyoming vacation?

6 Casper

Casper is a beautiful city situated between the epic Casper Mountain and the North Platte River. It was established in the mid-19th century by those who migrated west in search of new lands. These days, this small city has become one of the West's best family-friendly destinations. It's also home to fascinating cowboy relics from the Old West era and is a great base to start your trip with nearby areas offering tons of exciting activities.

This amazing location boasts legendary landscapes to explore, like the aforementioned Casper Mountain and the North Platte River, in addition to Edness Kimball Wilkins State Park, and Fremont Canyon with its fascinating rock walls and gorgeous trails. Winter opens up even more action, with ice fishing, snowshoeing, and skiing being popular activities. And for those who appreciate history, Casper has over a dozen museums and plenty of natural and human history to learn about. Combine all this with hearty restaurants, fantastic craft breweries, and a lively music and arts scene, and this bustling western town is the perfect destination for every kind of traveler.

5 Jackson

Jackson town is another top choice for adventurers seeking a slice of everything that Wyoming has to offer. In the winter, the town will likely be the most exciting part of your trip, with no lack of wintery activities available. Adrenaline-junkies will love hitting the slopes at Snow King Mountain Resort, and horseback riding at Turpin Meadow Ranch for an authentic wild west experience. Plus, need for speed guests should definitely spend a day zooming down the world-class ski slopes in Jackson Hole, and seek out equally energetic snowshoeing and cross country skiing opportunities in the area.

If all that's a little too much for those craving some peace and quiet surrounded by scenic vistas, there's always ice fishing at Jackson Lake, or the chance to unwind in the natural hot springs, of which Granite Hot Springs is a particular favorite. Jackson as a town also pays homage to its rich and diverse wildlife population, hosting the likes of the National Museum of Wildlife Art, and the unique shrines made up of elk antlers from the nearby National Elk Refuge that decorate Jackson Square.

Related: Jackson Hole Is More Than Grand Teton: What To Do Outside This Nature Park

4 Grand Teton National Park

Heart-pumping and relaxing experiences aren't the only attractions that Jackson serves up. One of the main showstoppers is the world-famous Grand Teton National Park - home to crystal clear alpine lakes, towering mountains, lush evergreen forests, roaming bison, and hundreds of kilometers of stunning trails.

This rugged wilderness has something for everyone, from adventurous climbing expeditions to tranquil hikes and nature trails - many of which lead to the iconic Teton Range that boasts unbelievable views of Jackson Hole and the Yellow National Park on the horizon. However, to truly experience this American wild west wilderness in the way that real cowboys once did, nothing beats a guided horseback ride through the vast valleys.

Few destinations in the world promise so much diversity all in one place, and with the changing seasons comes new opportunities. When the region's heavy ice and snow arrives, there's nothing quite like snowshoeing, ice-climbing, and cross country skiing your way through this mighty winter wild wonderland.

Related: Wyoming Is Home To More Unexplained Nature Phenomena Than Many Realize

3 Yellowstone National Park

Comprising over 9,000 square kilometers and boasting phenomenal natural attractions including massive forests, jaw-dropping canyons, tempting hot springs, and raging rivers, Yellowstone National Park guarantees adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts a once-in-a-lifetime experience that cannot be compared to any other place on Earth. A hiker's dreamland, the region offers adventurers the chance to trek through stunning trails whilst keeping an eye out for incredible wildlife, including wolves, bison, bears, antelope, and elk.

This unrivaled landscape sits atop volcanic lands with an enormous magma chamber running beneath it, which is responsible for the many geysers peppered throughout the park. As such, natural features like the colorful Grand Prismatic Spring are present - not to mention the famous Old Faithful Geyser, which erupts reliably every 44 minutes to two hours. Trekkers can also seek out the awe-inspiring Waterfalls of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone - Upper Falls, Crystal Falls, and Lower Falls - all of which are must-sees.

Related: Why You Should Visit Yellowstone Where Bison Roam Freely And Old Faithful Spouts

2 Thermopolis

The state's very own Hot Springs County is spectacular to visit in the winter. Thermopolis gets its name from the Greek word for “Hot City" thanks to its abundance of sumptuous hot springs. Thermopolis is in fact home to the world’s biggest mineral hot spring, named “The Big Spring.” Hot Springs State Park in particular is a must for any Wyoming itinerary, where visitors can take a soothing dip in the naturally heated waters - even in winter. And it's good news - the hot springs can be enjoyed free of charge thanks to a generous agreement with the native Arapaho and Shoshone tribes.

There's also much more to do than just deflating in hot water - tuck into pancakes as big as the surrounding mountains at Thermopolis Cafe, or sip a cold craft beer at One-eyed Buffalo Brewing Company. Authentic diners are dotted about the region too so there's no excuse not to enjoy a hearty American comfort meal after a long hike or a day of lounging in the natural hot springs. What's more, fascinating dinosaur fossils were discovered in the area, and are on display at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center - home to one of the largest fossil collections in the world.

1 Pinedale

Don't forget to stop in Pinedale en route to Jackson, Grand Teton National Park, and Yellowstone. This authentic western town offers a true cowboy experience, where adventurers can take in the expanses of the Wind River Mountains - home to Wyoming’s highest summit - Gannett Peak. The town is a prime western destination with its roots deeply embedded in history, which visitors can see and experience as soon as they immerse themselves in this raw, wild country gem.

Explore interesting cultural attractions - like the Museum of the Mountain Man - as well as plenty of historical pioneer trails. And, if that wasn't enough, the area's epic outdoor panoramas, incredible wildlife, and unrivaled natural surroundings make it so enticing to all. Visitors can also try their hand at fly-fishing on the Green and New Fork rivers, or get active at Fremont Lake - Wyoming’s second-largest lake - where, in the wintertime, hockey, ice skating, and ice fishing in front of a wintery backdrop make for the perfect day out.

With such contrasting diversity that Wyoming offers - even during the winter - there's no excuse not to add this unmatched destination to your bucket list. In this stunning state, nature runs wild atop authentic cowboy volcanic lands with fascinating culture and history rooted deep within - which visitors can experience first hand for themselves. And, since Wyoming delivers the perfect mix of the great outdoors, fast-paced snowy sports, and relaxation and wellness along with some of the most beautiful landscapes in the US, it's impossible to ignore this jaw-dropping region's beckoning this winter.

Next: This Is What To See In Yellowstone If You Only Have One Weekend