Yellowstone, Grand Teton and American Western history

Yellowstone, Grand Teton and American Western history

From towering, snow-capped mountain ranges to elevated prairies, Wyoming is an outpost of rugged beauty, and home to some of the USA’s most diverse wildlife. This state also has a friendly, welcoming culture with a Western flair that is evident from the luxury of Jackson Hole to its historic small towns. From big skies, cowboy culture and American Indian powwows to five-star food, sumptuous spas and a lively craft beer scene, Wyoming offers an invigorating view into authentic Western life.

Wide, Open Spaces

The USA’s least populous state, Wyoming is also one of the richest in unspoiled nature. Two of the most famous U.S. national parks – Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park – are located here. These destinations beckon outdoors lovers and adventurers looking to unplug and tune into Mother Nature. It’s not uncommon to spot impressive wild animals like bear, bison, elk and coyotes roaming the plains of this vast and beautiful state.

Yellowstone is dotted with sputtering geothermal geysers and colorful hot springs, the most famous of which are Old Faithful and the Grand Prismatic Spring. The Grand Teton mountain range, in the northwestern portion of the state, has mountains great for hiking and winter skiing and snowboarding. The tallest of peaks here reaches 4,200 meters (13,770 feet). In the valley below sits the charming town of Jackson, a posh skiing and hiking respite with a historic “Wild, Wild West” feel. Grand Teton and Yellowstone are connected by the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Parkway; make it a back-to-back trip for the ultimate outdoor holiday.

 

Ranch Life, City Life

Such vast landscapes mean ranching is a big part of local culture. No visit to Wyoming is complete without experiencing an authentic dude ranch to live out your cowboy and cowgirl dreams. Eatons’ Ranch is the country's first and oldest dude ranch, while Vee Bar Guest Ranch, Gros Ventre River Ranch and The Hideout Lodge are also favorites. All offer more activities than you'll have time to try out: horseback riding, cattle working, campfires under the stars, fly fishing, river tubing, camping, canoeing, hiking and more.

Wyoming’s big cities are quaint by some standards – even the largest city, the state capital of Cheyenne, has just 60,000 residents – but offer a blend of down-home, Western culture with city amenities. Cheyenne and Casper, the second-largest city, feature museums, special events, local shopping and a hearty culinary scene accompanied by a number of breweries and distilleries. In the popular gateway town of Jackson, look for fine dining and boutique shopping by day followed by spectacular stargazing at night.

 

Wyoming's Tribal History

Wyoming's diverse history also includes the legacies of American Indian tribes. The state was home to several tribes collectively known today as the Plains Indians. The Wind River Indian Reservation, located in the Wind River Basin, is the home of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes. Visitors can discover this heritage at many landmarks and experiences around the state, including the Vore Buffalo Jump, Medicine Wheel, authentic pow wows and the Wind River Wild Horse Sanctuary, the only wild horse sanctuary on an Indian reservation in the USA.