Don’t Waste Your Time At These Wyoming National Parks

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A Wyoming sign near the national parks

Traveling west can be mesmerizing and overwhelming. It can be hard to know where to start with so much to see and do.

When it comes to Wyoming National Parks, you want to plan your time wisely and research ahead of time so you don’t waste your precious travel time deciding what to do.

Today we are taking a quick look at some excellent Wyoming national parks so you can plan your trip.

How Many National Parks Are in Wyoming?

Wyoming is home to two designated National Parks. In addition to the two National Parks, other locations are a part of the National Park System.

Wyoming has two National Monuments and one National Recreational Area. 

Wyoming National Parks

Wyoming’s two designated national parks include Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park.

Wyoming is also home to several National Park Installations that attract over a million visitors annually. Ten parks are a part of the National Park Service in Wyoming, including National Historic Trails that make their way through the state. 

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park is in far western Wyoming, along the Idaho/Wyoming border. The park has majestic jagged mountains, beautiful lakes, and abundant wildlife.

Those exploring this Wyoming national park can see moose, bears, and bison. Many also enjoy fishing on the lakes within the park.

There are over 235 hiking miles throughout the Grand Tetons. There are easy paved trails and extremely strenuous hikes, so there’s a trail for every visitor.

Jackson Lake and Jenny Lake provide fun on and in the water. Grand Teton tops many travelers’ bucket lists with close to four million visitors each year. 

Yellowstone National Park

Just north of Grand Teton National Park, you’ll find the United State’s first designated national park, Yellowstone National Park.

President Ulysses S. Grant established Yellowstone as a national park on March 1st, 1872. While in 1904, the annual attendance was only around 13,000, today, the park sees almost five million visitors a year.

Yellowstone is the third most-visited national park, only behind the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Zion National Park. 

Yellowstone covers almost 3,500 square miles and reaches from Wyoming into Idaho and Montana. It is most famous for its many geysers, such as Old Faithful, but is also home to valleys, waterfalls, and lakes.

Grand Loop Road makes it easy to see much of the park. Visitors can often see bison, elk, moose, and mountain goats, making this Wyoming National Park an excellent place for wildlife viewing. 

View of Yellowstone national park in Wyoming

How Close Are Yellowstone and Grand Teton?

Once passing through the northernmost Grand Teton gate, you will arrive at the southernmost Yellowstone gate in about 30 miles.

Expect the 30-mile drive to take anywhere from 50 minutes to three hours, depending on traffic and weather. The road connecting the two parks is John Rockefeller Memorial Parkway. 

Is Yellowstone Only in Wyoming?

When most people decide to travel to Yellowstone, they think of traveling to Wyoming. Before making the trip, many may not know that Yellowstone does not only lie within the Wyoming state boundaries.

Yellowstone National Park shares space with Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. While it is true that Wyoming holds 96% of the park, 3% of Yellowstone is in Montana, and 1% falls within Idaho.

Pro Tip: If you’re planning to visit Yellowstone, there are a few things you need to know first. Here are a few secrets you need to know about Yellowstone camping reservations.

Other National Park Service Designations in Wyoming

Devils Tower National Monument is a popular Wyoming park that falls within the National Park Service. This geological feature is intriguing and has a rich history.

Devils Tower is in far northeast Wyoming and a top destination for many travelers, especially rock climbers. The monument sees over 5,000 climbers every year. 

Fossil Butte National Monument is a unique park that you won’t want to miss. This national monument has some of the best-preserved fossils in the world.

Within the flat-topped ridges in Wyoming’s southwest, you’ll find the remnants of ancient life that once lived in a freshwater lake in a warm and wet environment. Some of the fantastic fossils you can see include fish, plants, birds, reptiles, fish, and mammals. 

Pro Tip: If national monuments aren’t on your bucket list, they need to be! Start here for some of the best: These National Monuments Are Better Than Most National Parks!

Devils Tower, a must see for tourists near Wyoming's national parks

Don’t Miss Out On Wyoming State Parks

While Wyoming is home to some of the best that the National Park Service offers, the fun doesn’t stop there. While visiting Wyoming, work some of the state parks into your travel plan. 

If you are looking for excellent water recreation, Boysen State Park might be what you need. Buffalo Bill offers a stunning mountain view across from the lake, and there is camping, hiking, and plenty of water fun.

Glendo State Park is an essential stop for history buffs. If you love stumbling across unique spots, Sinks Canyon State Park features a geological phenomenon worthy of a closer look. 

Keep in Mind: While these national parks should be added to your bucket list, there are a few more you won’t want to miss out on. Here are 10 National Parks Everyone Should Visit at LEAST Once!

View of Sinks Canyon State Park, one of Wyoming's parks near their national parks

Wyoming Offers Visitors Endless Exploration Options

Many people dream of exploring the wild west; if that is you, you’ll love Wyoming. The state offers everything from the remote and rustic to familiar and highly visited.

You could easily spend months exploring the state and still want more time to appreciate the endless exploration Wyoming offers. 

What are some of your top must-do adventures when visiting Wyoming national parks, and what makes you keep coming back? We’d love to hear how you use your time while exploring this great state.

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