Wyoming is one of the most popular destinations for tourists looking to see breathtaking natural features within the United States, especially during winter. The state has dozens of amazing natural sights complemented by mountains, lakes, forestry, and open spaces perfect for hiking. It explains why many residents in Wyoming are big on spending time outdoors. While many of the natural features have been converted into national parks, there are plenty of hiking opportunities for visitors not looking to visit a park. Here are ten scenic hikes travelers can enjoy.
10 The Trout Lake Trail
Tourists who want to enjoy a hiking trail around lake scenery should check out Trout Lake. This beautiful view is found south of Cooke City near Soda Butte Creek Canyon. It runs for just 0.9 miles, which is perfect for inexperienced hikers. The Trout Lake trail goes through a forest before terminating at the lake. The top of the trail is spacious and perfect for relaxation before heading back.
9 The Beauty Lake Trail
The Beauty Lake has a self-describing name as one of Wyoming's most alluring natural sites. Tourists can enjoy the scenery by taking a five-mile hike through the Shoshone National Forest. The trail lets them enjoy additional lake views, including Crane Lake and Beartooth Lake. While the trail can be challenging for first-timers, the views are worth it. It's important to wear comfortable sports shoes as the terrain can be rough.
8 The South Piney Creek Trail
Travelers who love hiking inside forests will love this scenic gem. It starts at Story Fish Hatchery and runs to South Piney Creek. Part of this wild experience is walking through the Bridger Teton National Forest. Tourists will enjoy an amazing juxtaposition of natural features that create a dramatic atmosphere that is hard to describe. The trail is great for taking pictures, especially if traveling as a group.
7 The Turtle Rock Trail
Tourists interested in hiking along a trail that exposes them to a unique ecosystem should check out Turtle Rock Trail in the Medicine Bow National Forest. This forest trail runs for three miles and loops around Turtle Rock. It's lined up with a marshy wetland, aspens, and boulders. As one climbs, it eventually becomes rockier. Interestingly, one of the most beautiful elements of the hike is the tower of rocks at the top of Turtle Rock.
6 The Cirque Of The Towers Trail
Travelers visiting the Wind River Range should try hiking the Cirque of the Towers Trail. This trail is quite lengthy and runs for more than 7 miles. While it's not recommended for first-time hikers, it's a great form of physical exercise as it's relatively level. However, the last mile gets quite steep. The ascent runs through the Jackass Pass, Continental Divide, and Lonesome Lake, which is great as tourists can take photos with several unique backgrounds.
5 The Killpecker Dunes Trail
While Killpecker Dunes has no actual trails, it has towering dunes that travelers can explore. The hike is 1.4 miles and loops around the dune as one climbs higher. Tourists should expect to see wild horses feeding in the desert grass far away. These animals are said to have descended from the first horses brought to the New World in the 16th century by the Spaniards. Aside from the views, Killpecker Dunes have an interesting attraction that other trails cannot match, singing dunes. This makes it one of seven locations with such a feature across the world! It's a must-visit.
4 The Boars Tusk Trail
The Boars Tusk is a 400-foot monolith formed by a volcanic eruption, so it's worth touring. While it doesn't have direct trails, getting to the foot of the spire is a three-mile distance. The foot of the monolith offers amazing scenic views of the land. The Boar's Tusk is popular with mountain hikers, climbers, and railroad travelers. The views that one enjoys from every part of the trail make the climb a worthwhile experience.
3 The Red Beds Trail To Devils Tower
This 2.8-mile scenic hike loops around the Devil's Tower at an elevation of +/-442 feet. It first became popular as it was used as a 1977 movie-shooting scene for "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Rising more than 1,200 feet above the Wyoming prairie, the tower is perfect for hikers who want to circumnavigate a massive volcanic rock. It may explain why the indigenous tribes from the area considered it sacred for centuries.
2 The Dubois Badlands Trail
The Dubois Badlands wilderness covers just seven square miles. However, this desert has a unique character as it's multicolored. It has otherworldly landscapes hard to spot anywhere else in the state. The short hills and low-lying vegetation reflecting different hues of the sun make Dubois Badlands perfect for photo backgrounds. Tourists who want to shock their friends should visit Dubois Badlands.
1 The Heart Mountain Trail
Visiting a uniquely positioned natural feature doesn't get better than the Heart Mountain at the edge of the Beartooth-Absaroka ranges. This 7.8-mile trail allows tourists to explore a mountain in the center of a sagebrush sea. Despite the long looping climb up the mountain, the most gratifying experience is reserved for those who reach the top. Heart Mountain offers a 360-degree view of the surrounding landforms and features, including the Pryor, Bighorn, Beartooth ranges, and the McCullough Peaks. Tourists should plan their visit around the spring or early summer as the wildflowers surrounding the mountain bloom.