Wyoming National Parks

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Wyoming National Parks

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Grand Teton River Float Trip
Grand Teton River Float Trip

Wyoming National Parks include Yellowstone and Grand Tetontwo of our family’s favorites!  The scenery, sites, wildlife, and geothermal features of these parks are absolutely awe-inspiring. Our family usually likes to go to new places and see new things each year, but we left Yellowstone with a unanimous “we’ll be back” (and that’s saying something).

Yellowstone National Park encompasses almost 3,500 square miles of Wyoming’s 97,000 total square miles.  To put that in perspective, Yellowstone is larger than the States of Delaware and Rhode Island…combined!

Wyoming National Parks – all sites:

Grand Teton National Park:    Grand Teton National Park has some of the most striking scenery that you’ll ever see.  In addition to the majestic mountains, the park has 300,000+ acres to explore and lots of wildlife to see:  grizzly bears, bison, elk, bald eagles, and much more.  Enjoy a float down the Snake River; a hike to Hidden Falls or around Jenny Lake; take a ride down Moose Wilson Road to spot…moose!  Grand Tetons can be overshadowed by its large neighbor, Yellowstone, but it’s definitely worth visiting.  Not convinced?  Check out this short video clip:

"for the benefit and enjoyment of the people"#FindYourPark #mygrandteton #NPS100Video/ Sheets Studio

Posted by Grand Teton National Park on Thursday, August 25, 2016

 

Yellowstone National Park: Yellowstone is the World’s 1st National Park and one that if you visit, you may just fall in love with being there.  Yellowstone covers over 2.2 million acres and includes such a wide array of landscapes, scenery and wildlife.  If you’re planning a trip to Yellowstone, plan to stay multiple nights and, if able, vary the location of your stays.  On our Yellowstone trip, we stayed at Lake Yellowstone; Old Faithful Inn; and Roosevelt Lodge.  We drove a lot of miles in the park, but that was all part of this amazing trip – it was like a safari!  We saw buffalo stampeding in Lamar Valley; your buffalo ‘popcorning’ on the plains of Hayden Valley; Grizzly bears with cubs foraging for food near Lake Yellowstone; and enormous elk near Uncle Tom’s Trail on our way to see Lower Falls.  Grand Prismatic Spring left us starring in wonderment and the many geysers, including Old Faithful, entertained everyone.  Such an amazing place…I’m so it has been preserved and protected for all to enjoy!

Devils Tower National Monument: Located in the Black Hills of Wyoming, Devils Tower is a laccolithic butte that rises nearly 900 feet above the plains in dramatic fashion.  It’s a sacred site to the Lakota Indians, and a popular climbing spot because of its parallel cracks.  The summit is 5,112 feet above sea level.  Devils Tower is located in northeast Wyoming and closer to South Dakota’s National Parks (Badlands & Mount Rushmore), than those in the northwest corner of Wyoming (Yellowstone & Grand Teton).

Fort Laramie National Historic Site: For nearly 60 years, Fort Laramie (then called Fort William) was our nation’s trading outpost of the west.  Fur traders bartered with the local Lakota (Sioux) Indians for buffalo robes and had a near monopoly on the trade.  This fort took on additional significance as it became a supply spot for many pioneers moving out west to ‘find their fortune’ in the gold rush.  In the late 1800s, it became a military outpost and re-named Fort Laramie.  With the site located at the confluence of the Laramie and North Platte rivers and encompassing over 500 acres, it’s well worth a trip to see and learn the part it played in our country’s history.

Fossil Butte National Monument: Located in southwest Wyoming in the sagebrush desert, Fossil Butte (as the name would suggest) houses one of the world’s best preserved collections of fossilized plants, fish, birds, insects, and mammals.  You’ll be amazed at the level of detail of these fossils that are estimated to range from 30 to 55 million years old!

John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway is a one of Wyoming National Park’s sites, linking Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.  You’ll enjoy this 24,000 acre parcel on your drive between these two amazing parks.

Wyoming’s State Parks

Wyoming’s State Park System has some incredible locations for outdoor recreation.  Hot Springs State Park is over 1,100 acres and has some of the same geothermal attractions as Yellowstone National Park.  At over 20,000 acres, Seminoe State Park in Carbon County is the largest State Park in Wyoming.  With 83 campsites, the swimmable Seminoe reservoir, and a vast array of wildlife, there are many vacation options for the adventurous family!

Our Family Recommends:

1.  Yellowstone National Park!!  – Check out our Yellowstone Itinerary.

2.  Rafting down the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park

3.  Jenny Lake & Hike up to Hidden Falls (Grand Teton National Park)

 

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