From panoramic vistas to wide open spaces, Wyoming’s Wind River Country is known for its unique landscapes, attractions and people. So whether you’re a history buff or an avid outdoorsman, this spectacular journey will enlighten your soul.
A Free Personalised Road Book is included as standard with our Self Drive itineraries.
Please note: – This is a suggested itinerary only and is intended to give an overview of what is possible. All of our holiday itineraries are fully customisable and can be tailor-made to suit your own individual requirements. If you would like to start in a different destination, use specific hotel accommodation, include an extra night here, a side-trip there and/or include tickets to an event please let your Discover North America travel specialist know. They’ll also book you the best value flights to ensure a seamless holiday experience.
Welcome to Denver. With the impressive Rocky Mountains as a backdrop, Denver effortlessly blends the city’s Old West heritage with today’s modern skyscrapers and urban energy. Upon arrival, pick-up your rental car or take the new airport rail line into the heart of downtown. Time permitting, explore some of the city’s must-sees, including the gold-domed State Capitol building, Larimer Square, City Park, or Denver’s most scenic attraction – Red Rocks Amphitheatre. From fossil hunting to yoga at 6,450 feet, concerts are only the beginning of the fun at this iconic amphitheatre and park.
A short distance from Denver, enter Rocky Mountain National Park where you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world. And if you thought the journey to the park was beautiful, just wait until you experience the ‘Highway to the Sky.’ From here it’s on to Wyoming where the Wild West comes alive. One of the most sparsely populated states in the U.S., Wyoming is a land of rugged landscapes, rich tribal legend, cowboy towns, an astounding diversity of wildlife and some of the world’s greatest wilderness areas. Your first stop is Cheyenne, Wyoming’s capital city that embodies the spirit of the Old West. See Old Number 4004 – the world’s largest steam locomotive and one of the eight remaining Big Boys on display throughout the country; visit Cheyenne Depot, one of the last grand 19th century depots remaining from the transcontinental railroad, or take a trolley tour which provides a great introduction into the city and the Wild West.
Today, embark on a scenic drive to Casper that encompasses numerous points of interest. Visit Fort Laramie National Historic Site – the largest and best known military post on the Northern Plains before its abandonment in 1890, and Register Cliff – the first night camp west of Fort Laramie for Oregon Trail travellers. Continue to Casper, a city steeped in western history, Old West culture and the legacy of pioneers who forged their way through the mountains and plains on their way to Oregon and California. A visit to the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center is a great place to start your exploration of Casper’s frontier history.
En route to Cody, experience a powerful sense of place created by nature in Thermopolis, home of the world’s largest mineral hot spring. Here you may want to enjoy the hot springs, cooling ponds, a swinging foot bridge across the Big Horn River, hiking paths and the chance to see wild buffalo. Located just 54 miles from the East Entrance of Yellowstone, living legend Buffalo Bill’s Cody offers a little something for everyone. Celebrate the spirit of the American West at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Visit the Irma Hotel which once housed Annie Oakley and Calamity Jane. Step back in time at Old Trail Town. Enjoy an evening of entertainment at Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Review and watch broncs, bulls, steers, cowboys and cowgirls at Cody’s nightly rodeo (June through August).
Today, take an unforgettable journey into the world’s first national park and nature’s wonderland – Yellowstone. Here, the Earth is in action with geysers, mountain ranges, rivers, waterfalls and ancient volcanoes. The iconic spots – Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs, Grand Prismatic Spring and Yellowstone Canyon – will be familiar from photographs, but seeing them in person is a humbling experience.
They’re not just as good as you’ve heard – they’re better. In addition to superb scenery, the park is one of the world’s principal wildlife preserves. Home to eagles, grizzly and black bears, buffalo,
elk and much more, you’re bound to see wildlife wherever you go.
Spend the day experiencing more of Yellowstone’s natural wonders. Marvel at a volcano’s hidden power rising in colourful hot springs, mudpots and geysers. Explore mountains, forests and lakes to watch wildlife and witness the drama of the natural world unfold, and get active with a walk along park trails and boardwalks.
Leave the wonder of Yellowstone behind as you make your way to Grand Teton National Park, an exquisite mountain landscape where jagged peaks tower more than a mile above the Jackson Hole valley. Rising above a scene rich with extraordinary wildlife, pristine lakes and alpine terrain, the Teton Range dominates the park’s skyline and stands as a monument to the people who fought to protect it. Be sure to stop at the Snake River Overlook made famous by Ansel Adams, where views of the Snake River flowing along the mountains puts the size of the Tetons into perspective. Continue to Jackson Hole where the untamed spirit of the West lives on. Small in size but not personality, Jackson’s Town Square is an outdoor living room and the perfect respite from a day of exploring. Enjoy perusing boardwalk-lined shops and galleries, savour a fabulous meal and be sure to catch America’s longest running shoot out.
Your destination today is Dubois. Sitting in a valley, between the Absaroka and Wind River mountain ranges, Dubois’ wooden boardwalks, pioneer architecture and rich history welcome visitors like a warm embrace. Stop at the Crowheart Butte interpretive sign (a Native American historical site) and drive the Trail Lakes road to Indian petroglyphs and a wildlife viewing area. Or, visit the National Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center, home of the world’s largest herd of Rocky Mountain Bighorns and a wildlife experience for all.
This morning en route to Riverton, visit the Wind River Wild Horse Sanctuary in Lander to see real wild mustangs up-close by taking a tour. The Sanctuary’s Visitor Center hosts an interpretative display on the importance of the horse in the culture and traditions of Native Americans, as well as history of wild horses in North America. Once in Riverton, be sure to check out the Northern Arapaho Experience located in the lobby of the Wind River Hotel & Casino. This cultural room allows visitors to take a peek into the rich world of the Arapaho and experience the different styles of dance Arapaho men and women continue to practice.
Today the choice is yours. You can arrange a Wind River Indian Reservation tour at the Wind River Hotel & Casino, or head straight to Rawlins. Located in Wyoming’s Railroad Country, Rawlins is home to Wyoming
Frontier Prison – the supposedly haunted museum and former state penitentiary that has been relatively untouched since it closed a little over 30 years ago. Get a glimpse into Rawlins’ colourful past with a walking tour of downtown, a nationally designated historic district rich in 19th century architecture. Native American Indians, wagon trains, railroads and the Old West can all be found in Rawlins.
From Rawlins, continue to the eclectic town of Laramie. Home of the University of Wyoming, Laramie is rich in Wild West history and has an abundance of attractions to keep you captivated. Experience an interactive historical adventure tour – The Legends of Laramie. From gun-fights and brothels, to historic landmarks and famous architecture; travel back in time and watch the past come alive. Explore the American Heritage Center, the University of Wyoming’s repository of manuscripts, rare books and the university archives. And visit the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site which housed over a thousand “evil doers of all classes and kinds”, including the notorious Butch Cassidy.
The time has come to return to Denver. Time permitting, please your taste buds with a stop in Fort Collins. Recognized as “The Craft Beer Capital of Colorado,” Fort Collins is home to 20 different micro-breweries. Upon arrival in Denver return your rental car at the airport prior to your departure.