Wyoming boasts an array of Old West towns and sleepy alpine villages that give you access to the best of the outdoors at places such as Yellowstone National Park. No matter where you choose to stay, you can experience the Wild West and pioneer history with museums, landmarks, historic sites, reenactments, rodeos, and more. Whether you want to spend your time exploring the Bighorn Mountains and fishing in the Green River or immersing yourself in frontier life, take a look at the 10 must-visit small towns in Wyoming.

    1

    Buffalo

    Walk the trails of dinosaurs

    • History

    Buffalo is a charming Old West city nestled beneath the peaks of the Bighorn Mountains. The city is home to fascinating museums such as the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum, an American West museum that depicts early life in Wyoming. Another intriguing attraction is the Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite, a location with fossilized dinosaur prints that you can see on a tour. Buffalo offers many opportunities for outdoor adventure, such as fishing, hiking, and camping, or snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling in winter.

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    2

    Cody

    Learn about the legendary Buffalo Bill Cody

    • History

    Cody is an excellent destination in northwest Wyoming and home to the popular Buffalo Bill Center of the West. The complex is home to 5 museums that feature life in the Old West and the natural and human history of the area, including wildlife exhibits and artifacts from the period. You could also visit the Old Trail Town, a re-created frontier town with period buildings like a saloon. Along with the Wild West attractions, you can enjoy outdoor adventure in Cody with rock climbing, fishing, horseback riding, river rafting, and hiking.

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    3

    Dubois

    Find outdoor adventure in any season

    • Adventure

    Dubois is an exciting town on the Wind River that boasts cow outfits, dude ranches, and prime hunting and fishing. A lot of wildlife calls Dubois home, including elk, wolves, moose, and grizzly bears. Hiking, rock climbing, and mountain biking are popular in the vast mountain range and forest, and you can snowshoe, ski, or snowmobile in winter. One of the best things to do in Dubois is to visit the National Bighorn Sheep Center, a facility dedicated to the value and preservation of bighorn sheep in Wyoming.

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    4

    Lander

    Experience frontier life and the Wild West

    • History

    Lander is a historic city that celebrates the past and culture of the Wild West and frontier life. Once known as the city “where the rails end and the trails begin,” Lander boasts numerous historic sites and museums, including the Fremont County Pioneer Museum and the Museum of the American West. You’ll find plenty of outdoor adventure in Lander as well, such as hiking and mountain biking in Sinks Canyon State Park or rock climbing in the Wind River Mountains.

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    photo by Charles Willgren (CC BY 2.0) modified

    5

    Sheridan

    Enjoy a mix of modern and historic Wyoming

    • Adventure

    Sheridan is an Old West town with dramatic mountains, wide-open spaces, and plenty of peace and quiet. For more urban experiences, you can visit the historic downtown district to experience the vibrant arts and culture, delicious dining, and Wild West attractions at places like SAGE Community Arts and the Brinton Museum. In the Bighorn Mountains, you can explore the landscape on hiking and biking trails, find hidden fishing holes, and try legendary climbing spots. One of the best places for a hike is Porcupine Falls, a scenic waterfall that pours out of a granite wall in the mountain.

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    photo by Atkach24 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    6

    Jackson

    Explore the gateway to Wyoming’s parks

    • History

    Jackson is a small city in the Jackson Hole valley that’s home to natural areas like Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Snow King Mountain. The city is popular for outdoor adventures like hiking, mountain biking, skiing, snowshoeing, and mountaineering. You’ll also find a lot of culture and history in the city, such as reliving the Old West with the Jackson Hill Rodeo, viewing exhibits at the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum, and seeing masterpieces of artwork at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.

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    7

    Ten Sleep

    Find tranquility in the mountains

    • Adventure

    Ten Sleep is a town in the Bighorn Basin that’s surrounded by cattle and sheep ranches, making it perfect for a relaxing retreat. You’ll find plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun and excitement, such as hiking in Ten Sleep Canyon to see the views and fishing in Tensleep Creek. For stunning wilderness views at one of the best vista points in Ten Sleep, hike to the James T. Saban Lookout. You can learn more about the history and culture of the town through the years at the Ten Sleep Pioneer Museum.

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    photo by Paul Hermans (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    8

    Pinedale

    Hunt for big game near the Wind River Mountains

    • Adventure

    Pinedale is the gateway to the Wind River Mountains and Jackson Hole, as well as a popular hunting base camp. The town is surrounded by the majestic peaks of the mountain range, wild rivers, over a thousand lakes, and plenty of wildlife, making it ideal for a vacation with outdoor activities. In winter, Pinedale is popular for skiing and snowboarding, snowmobiling, and ice fishing. Several events take place throughout the year for a glimpse into the pioneer past, such as the Green River Rendezvous, a reenactment of historic fur trader gatherings with vendors and rodeos.

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    photo by MR. Pockets (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    9

    Thermopolis

    Enjoy a luxurious natural spa town

    • Couples
    • Families

    Thermopolis is home to one of the world’s largest mineral hot springs, making it one of the most fascinating towns in Wyoming. No trip is complete without a visit to Hot Springs State Park, the site of rejuvenating mineral spring bathhouses and a habitat for a local herd of bison. You’ll find a lot of other fun experiences in Thermopolis, such as visiting the Wyoming Dinosaur Center to see prehistoric fossils or cooling off at Star Plunge, a massive water park with a hot spring. The Hot Springs County Museum is a great place to learn all about the history and significance of Thermopolis and the surrounding area.

    10

    Powell

    Enjoy outdoor thrills in the park

    • Adventure

    Powell is known as the gateway town to Yellowstone National Park and the Bighorn Basin. A large part of Yellowstone is found in the surrounding Park County, so you’ll have unrivaled access to the mountains and forest for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. You’ll find many waterways as well, perfect for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. During the season, hunters flock to Powell for opportunities to hunt big game. If you want to experience the history and culture of Powell, you can visit the downtown area and explore the exhibits at the Homesteader Museum or the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center.

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