Spending 10 days in Wyoming this summer, what to do ? (Gillette: store, garden)
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Wyoming doesn't have a whole lot of state parks -- only about a dozen spread across nearly 100,000 square miles. And the access fee is included in the camping fee at some of them. (Maybe all?) There are over a hundred national forest campgrounds, and that's probably where most Wyomingites and visitors camp. And that doesn't count all the campgrounds at national parks and national monuments, all the dispersed camping in national forests and on BLM land, nor city and county parks that allow camping.
i can not believe how beautiful these parks are. Wisconsin rocks, but not this hard. Im looking at a map of all the parks, they all look pretty worthy, I can tell right now this is going to be a high miles trip. I'm going to try and map out a route to help me plan things better.
Map it out and let us know. We'll let you know the pro's and con's of your map.
You are probably used to being able to get gas when ever you want. In Wyoming, 80+ miles to the next filling station or food is not uncommon. The map shows a lot of towns, however, a lot of those towns do not have ammenities or if they do, they close at 1 in the afternoon, or 5 in the evening.
I've driven around many parts of Wyoming, and always find something new each time I go there. One part of the state that hasn't really been mentioned in this thread up 'til now is Cheyenne (or much else in the southeast part of the state).
Not only is Cheyenne the capitol of Wyoming, but it also has some other interesting things to see and do. If you happen to be there during Cheyenne Frontier Days (aka CFD), you will have the opportunity to see the Frontier Days Rodeo, as well as a whole bunch of other things that take place in Cheyenne at that time. One of my favorite things to do is to watch the Frontier Days train powered by a U.P. steam locomotive as it travels between Cheyenne and Denver.
It hasn't yet been posted for this year, but here's a link to U.P.'s steam program, which is based in Cheyenne: UP: Steam
Other things to see and do in Cheyenne include visiting the Old West Museum and Cheyenne Botanic Garden, both within Lions Park (which is also home to the CFD arena). The Cheyenne Depot Museum is supposed to be neat to see, but I have yet to see it myself, since I usually end up finding so many other things to do when I'm in Cheyenne. I'm going to make it a point to get there sometime soon. You might also be interested in seeing the U.P. Big Boy steam locomotive (one of the world's largest steam engines) at Holliday Park. Here's a website with more info about other things to do while in Cheyenne, in addition to those things I've already mentioned:
West of Cheyenne, on the way to Laramie, you'd pass by Vedauwoo, a neat place to visit, with some very interesting rock formations. Other things to see near there are Curt Gowdy State Park and the Ames Monument.
North of Cheyenne, you might wish to check out the Chugwater area, which has some interesting topography. Also, Chugwater is home to Chugwater Chili and an annual chili cookoff, usually held some time in June, as I recall.
A little further north is Wheatland, a pleasant small town of about 3500. Near Wheatland are Greyrocks reservoir and Laramie Peak, and Fort Laramie is not terribly far away to the east. At Lewis Park in Wheatland, you can camp for free, for up to three nights. There is also camping at Greyrocks reservoir.
North of Wheatland are Guernsey and Glendo Reservoirs, both popular destinations for those seeking water related recreation. They offer camping also. Guernsey is also near the Oregon Trail, some remnants of which are easily seen in the region.
Further north along I-25, you'll find the town of Douglas. Its claim to fame is the Jackalope, though there are numerous other things to see there, as well. There's also a railroad museum there, and both Ayres Natural Bridge and Fort Fetterman are nearby. Douglas is also home to the Wyoming State Fair.
Well, those are just a few things to think about if you visit the southeast corner of Wyoming. It's a gorgeous state with many things to see and do all over, so wherever you end up, I'm sure you'll find something worthwhile. Since you mentioned photography, I doubt you'll have any trouble whatsoever finding worthwhile opportunities.
You might even want to check out some of the local fairs if you're there at the right time. Even though I'm not much of a photographer, I can appreciate the photos taken by others, and the local fairs provide a great opportunity to see some of these great photos.
Non-resident camping fee is $17 per night in Wyoming State Parks, with no annual pass available.
Resident fee is only $10 per night or $40 per year.
Thanks. I knew they were going to raise it but didn't know when. Connor Battlefield is about 300 yards from me. I dug through and found a photo that I could just make out what the prices were. haha Must have been an old photo. They close it during the winter and the sign is way inside the gate so I couldn't run over and look.
By the way. Great post about Cheyenne and surrounding area. I don't get down that way much and when I do I'm on a mission and miles are important.
I have an idea. We bought a really nice book at the local Walgreen's drug store that lists and describes all of the camping spots in the entire state. It is a big book chuck full of great info. If you'd like I can get you a copy & send it to you and you can reimburse me for the cost & postage. I can't remember how much it was but I know it was between $10 & $20. If you are interested just send me a personal message with your name & mailing address & I'd be happy to pick one up & send it to you. Shipping shouldn't be too much if I send it book rate, and it won't take too long to get to you. Would love to help you out!
Alright so I have a rough draft of the route I was planning on taking. Please say something if I'd be inclined to taking a different way at anytime. I will be coming into the state on interstate 90, I'll probably crash around the Sundance area if I can find a place. The next day I will tour the Devils Tower, and then be back on the I90 all the way until Ranchester and then head south on 14. From there I will take 14/16 all the way until Cody. From there, Iím still a bit torn on what way to go. I could continue on 14/16 and head into Yellowstone on the east entrance and take that to Lake, or I could head north on 296 from Cody, and go through Cooke City, MT, which was mentioned on the coolest small towns of America list, and then head into Yellowstone from the north enterance, which I hear is the least busiest even in the peak of the season. The north enterance will take me to Tower Junction, do I go northwest or south from there ? If I go west, Iíll end up in mammoth hot springs and I could go south into the park that way, all the way to Madison and then continue south on 191 through Old Faithful, Corkscrew Hill, and into West Thumb. Option 2 is from Tower Junction, go south on Grand Loop Rd past Canyon Village and eventually end up in Lake. From there I will go south back to 191/287 all the way to Moran Junction. From there I would merge onto 191/26 and head towards Jackson. Now after Jackson, do I continue south ? or head back north and get onto 26/287 ? If I were to choose that route, eventually 287 and 26 go their own ways. Which should I choose ? Either way, Cheyenne is the next destination from there. After I spend some time there, I was going to take interstate 25 north up through Chugwater, Wheatland, Douglas, pretty much all the cities that were mentioned to check out. Depending on my funds, I might just have some fun on some back roads from there. 25 will take me back to I90 and then its time to head home. I talked to a couple people that have been to Wyoming, one that actually lived in Jackson, and she told me my route looks pretty traditional and I shouldnít have too many problems. Now keep in mind I will probably venture off every major highway I have mentioned just to check things out. Are there any particular county highways I could really enjoy from my basic route Iíve noted ? Or am I just going to have to find out for myself ? Either way, its going to be a good time. Tell me what you think !!
That's a pretty agressive drive but will certainly give you a flavor of Wyoming. One thing I might add is that at Ranchester, you head "West" on 14 through the Big Horns over to where 14 and 16 merge and then head to Cody.
Not sure of camping in Sundance area, but there are campgrounds out by Devils tower if you make it that far the first day.
Are you planning on camping in Ranchester? If so, I can give you exact directions to Connor Battlefield - Park. It's a quarter mile off the Highway, but real easy to find.
i like aggressive, part of the whole trip is to cruise around and soak everything I can possibly find up. I move very fast where ever I go, thats why I dont really care for tour guides, I can see everything I need to quicker than they can show me, I prefer to go at my own pace. Can you check in whenever at the tower ? Most campgrounds around here close after 11, at least for check ins anywayz. I might make reservations somewhere if they take them. I wont make it there until probably midnight or so, and they're going to hate my insanely loud sports car. I figured i'd make it all the way out to the south dakota wyoming border with no trouble since sturgis is that weekend. i'll be surrounded by loud ass cycles and I'll blend in real nice Ranchester, ahh, not sure, thats pretty much just a point where I was going to take another road, I was hoping to make it to Yellowstone by day 2.
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