20 Wyoming State Parks

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For hot springs, lakes and views to die for you will want to head to some of Wyoming’s state parks. With a mix of state historical parks and state parks in Wyoming, you can look forward to a fantastic blend of natural and historical adventures. Check out the best Wyoming state parks on your next trip to America’s West or as an add-on to a Yellowstone National Park visit.

Wyoming State Parks

20 State Parks In Wyoming

1- Bear River State Park

You can visit Bear River State Park is in Evanston in southwestern Wyoming year-round and there’s plenty of things to see and do.

The park’s 300 acres are used for hiking, biking and wildlife viewing, with three miles of trails some of that double up as cross-country ski trails in winter.

There are a number of other trails maintained for winter use especially for skiers and those snowshoeing.

In the park you might come across the herd of bison and elk that are kept for public viewing.

They are fascinating creatures to watch; keep an eye out for the bison bull that has been in the park for around 20 years.

At the visitor centre, there are interesting interpretive displays of Wyoming wildlife.

Bear River State Park is at 601 Bear River Dr, Evanston, WY 82930.

2- Buffalo Bill State Park

river reservoir on a blue sky day
The Buffalo Bill Reservoir in Buffalo Bill State Park, Wyoming.

This state park surrounds Buffalo Bill Reservoir in northern Wyoming around two hours’ drive east of Yellowstone National Park.

This state park was named after Colonel William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody who was a famous wild west showman and developer.

He arrived in this part of Wyoming back in 1870 and spent more than 20 years hosting hunting parties.

Some of the state park land was previously owned by Colonel Cody.

The park’s reservoir is known as a top wind surfing spot and local anglers head to the waters year-round to catch brown trout, rainbow trout, lake trout and cutthroat trout.

Buffalo Bill State Park is at 4192 N Fork Hwy, Cody, WY 82414.

3- Ames Monument State Historic Site

In southeast Wyoming close by to the Medicine Bow Routt National Forest is Ames Monument State Historic Site.

Arguably, the main attraction at this park looks more like something from Egypt than the U.S.

This is not a three-sided ancient pyramid but instead a four-sided monument that was built in 1881 to honor the Ames brothers, Oakes and Oliver.

The brothers were influential leaders and worked on the construction of the transcontinental railroad.

The pyramid is 60 feet square at the base and 60 feet high and made from light coloured granite.

It’s a truly unique monument and something that really stands out among all of the natural beauty that Wyoming has to offer.

The pyramid is actually hollow but only architects and archeologists have been allowed inside.

Ames Monument State Historic Site is at 210 Monument Rd, Buford, WY 82052.

4- Historic Governors’ Mansion State Historic Site

Just 40 minutes’ drive east of Ames Monument State Historic Site is the Historic Governors’ Mansion State Park.

This mansion was the first residence provided by the state for governors and their relatives.

The history of those who lived in the mansion between 1905 and 1976 has been carefully preserved.

You can step inside the house and see a number of exhibits which change with the seasons and new historical discoveries.

There were 19 families living in the house during this time.

Such people who lived in the house include Nellie Tayloe Ross who was the 14th governor of Wyoming and the first female.

The mansion is mostly open year-round though there are some closures in October, November and December.

If you are visiting during this time, it’s best to call ahead.

Historic Governors’ Mansion State Park is at 300 E 21st St, Cheyenne, WY 82001.

5- Hot Springs State Park

The river at Hot Springs State Park Wyoming
Admire the lovely view at Hot Springs State Park in Wyoming.

Hot Springs State Park is just outside of the Wind River Reservation territory and around three hours 30 minutes’ drive southeast of Yellowstone National Park.

This was actually Wyoming’s first state park which opened in 1897.

Back in the day it was a site for those seeing healing in the therapeutic mineral hot springs.

The Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes sold the land to the federal government with the condition that access remained free.

To this day it’s a free state park to enter.

The free bath house is open all year round and the water temperature stays at 104 degrees.

There’s an awesome suspension foot bridge that sits above the Bighorn River.

From the bridge, there’s a lovely view of the Bighorn River and the mineral terrace where the hot spring flows from.

Hot Springs State Park is at 220 Park St, Thermopolis, WY 82443.

6- Fort Phil Kearny State Historical Site

The Fort Phil Kearny State Historical Site is in north central Wyoming, just 20 minutes’ drive north of Buffalo.

Fort Phil Kearny dates back to the 19th century and has since been restored to reflect the original structure.

Between 1866 and 1868 Fort Phil Kearny witnessed the Red Cloud’s War.

The historical site also includes the Fort grounds, two battle sites and an area which attracts plenty of wildlife.

Visit the park to learn more about local Wyoming history while viewing some of the beautiful surrounding scenery.

Fort Phil Kearny State Historical Site is at 528 Wagon Box Rd, Banner, WY 82832.

7- Curt Gowdy State Park

Curt Gowdy State Park is next to the Granite Springs Reservoir in southeast Wyoming.

This is certainly one of the most diverse state parks in Wyoming.

The park is split into seven sections in the foothills of the Laramie Mountains and has three reservoirs, Granite, Crystal and North Crow.

With so much water to play with there’s no surprise that fishing is one of the top activities in the park.

Granite is an excellent place for rainbow trout and kokanee salmon fishing and Crystal is perfect for those wanting to catch brown trout, rainbow trout as well as kokanee salmon.

Boating is another popular activity on the reservoirs with many people trying their hand at water skiing.

There’s the Aspen Grove campground at the park which also has a horse pen next door so it is possible to camp with your horses too.

Curt Gowdy State Park is at 1264 Granite Springs Rd, Cheyenne, WY 82009.

8- Independence Rock State Historical Site

rock at Independence Rock State Historical Site
Independence Rock State Historical Site is one of the Wyoming state parks to explore.

Independence Rock State Historical Site is in central Wyoming.

The largest city close by is Casper which is around an hour away.
Independence Rock was a notable landmark for the wagon trails west of Fort Laramie.

A group of fur trappers camped at the rock and celebrated Independence Day on the 4th July 1830.

They even carved their names into the granite.

Today you can walk on the footpath that goes around the base of the rock and look at the interpretive exhibits that document the wagon trails story.

You are allowed to walk on the rock however you should avoid the inscriptions in order to preserve them.

Independence Rock State Historical Site is at WY-220, Alcova, WY 82620.

9- Edness K. Wilkins State Park

Edness K. Wilkins State Park is next to the North Platte River in central Wyoming.

The park is around six miles from Casper and locals are known to use it as a peaceful picnic spot.

There are more than 40 picnic areas that are surrounded by cottonwood trees.

You can enjoy a picnic and relax before heading to the small swimming pond.

In addition to your picnic there are volleyball courts and horseshoe pits so the whole family or your group of friends can have fun for the day.

There are 2.8 miles of trails that take you around the North Platte River.

While walking be sure to keep your eyes peeled for birds.

Each season the park gets around 100 different species of birds.

There’s also the chance of seeing mule deer, white tail deer and even prairie dogs.

Edness K. Wilkins State Park is at 8700 East US Hwy 20, 26, Evansville, WY 82636.

10- Boysen State Park

pictograph of Boysen State Park
Boysen State Park in Wyoming.

Boysen State Park is situated on the northern side of the Boysen Reservoir in central Wyoming, just on the edge of the Wind River Reservation.

The Boysen Reservoir is strikingly juxtaposed against the rugged beige coloured desert.

The landscape is beautiful but almost otherworldly.

Fishing is a popular activity and is diverse to say the least.

You can catch largemouth bass, stonecat, mountain whitefish and bluegill to name a few.

In winter Boysen is also a great place for ice fishing.

There’s the Lower and Upper Wind River Campgrounds for a shaded treed camping spot.

This campground is very peaceful and close to the creek.

Boysen State Park is at 120 Boysen Dr, Shoshoni, WY 82649.

11- Legend Rock State Petroglyph Site

The Legend Rock State Petroglyph Site is just east of the Grand Teton National Park but still a 3 hour 35 minute drive.

This is a wonderful park if you are into history.

The rock where the petroglyphs are is 400 metres long and has more than 92 petroglyph panels and over 300 petroglyph figures.

This site is one of the most fragile petroglyph sites in the state so be sure to treat the area with respect when you visit.

Legend Rock State Petroglyph Site is at 2861 West Cottonwood Road, Thermopolis, WY 82443.

12- Sinks Canyon State Park

Sinks Canyon State Park is south of Wind River Reservation and three hours from Jackson.

This rugged canyon is known for its unique geological formation “the sinks”.

This is a phenomenon where the river disappears underground close to the mouth of the canyon.

The park is part of a magnificent ecosystem with sagebrush, juniper trees, meadows and conifer forests to explore.

One of the best things about such a diverse landscape is the amount of wildlife and bird life that can be found.

You should definitely hike the three-mile (roundtrip) trailhead that leads to Middle Fork Falls.

You will need a reservation to camp at Sinks Canyon, which has regular camping as well as cabins and yurts.

Sinks Canyon State Park is at 3079 Sinks Canyon Rd, Lander, WY 82520.

13- Connor Battlefield State Historical Site

Connor Battlefield
Explore the Connor Battlefield for a historic visit at this Wyoming state park.

The Connor Battlefield State Historical Site is on one of the bends of the Tongue River in northern Wyoming, close to the border with Montana.

In the shade of cottonwood trees, this state park provides visitors with a wonderful and peaceful picnic and camping space.

There are also grills and tables to eat a nice lunch at.

Activities include fishing, boating and having fun at the horseshoe pits.

Connor Battlefield State Historical Site is at Co Rd 67, Ranchester, WY 82839.

14- Keyhole State Park

Keyhole State Park Wyoming
One of the stunning natural state parks in Wyoming is Keyhole State Park.

Head to northeast Wyoming and you will find Keyhole State Park on the eastern banks of Keyhole Reservoir.

This state park is an excellent spot for swimming, water skiing, bird-watching, fishing and hiking.

Anglers head to the park because some of the state’s largest fish have been caught at Keyhole.

There are 10 reservations only campgrounds to stay at to make the most of the park’s facilities during the day.

Head out early along the 1.5 Marina Trail for a peaceful stroll.

There’s also the slightly longer 2.8-mile trail as well.

Keyhole State Park is at 22 Marina Rd, Moorcroft, WY 82721.

15- Guernsey State Park

Guernsey State Park is on the Guernsey Reservoir in eastern Wyoming.

This 6,000-acre park is an excellent water recreation, day use and overnight park.

There are four yurts that overlook the reservoir which is a lovely place to relax on an evening.

There are also campsites with electric and water hookups.

Recreational activities at the park include boating, swimming, and hiking.

There are a number of hiking and biking trails and you can also go rock climbing as well.

Guernsey State Park is at 2187 Lake Side Dr, Guernsey, WY 82214.

16- Names Hill Historic Site

This historic site is set up on the cliffs next to Green River in western Wyoming.

There are three locations along the Oregon Trail where emigrants inscribed their names on the rocks.

The earliest writings date back to 1822 and one of the most famous people to visit the site was Jim Bridger who left his mark on the rock in 1844.

It was believed that Bridger didn’t know how to read or write.

While many believe he wrote his own name others believe he got someone to sign it for him.

There is a monument at the park as well as interpretive signs where you can learn more about the area’s history.

Names Hill Historic Site is at US-189, Kemmerer, WY 83101.

17- Glendo State Park

Head to Glendo Reservoir in Platte County in eastern Wyoming for 10 acres of fun (and 12,000 acres of water to explore)!

There are 45 miles of multi-use, non-motorized trails which are ideal for hiking or biking.

The reservoir has six boat ramps which are open year-round for people to launch boats from.

The park is also one of the best walleye fisheries in the entire state.

Before heading out on a trip to Glendo State Park you should check the water levels because they do vary a lot throughout the year.

Glendo State Park is at 397 Glendo Park Rd, Glendo, WY 82213.

18- Piedmont Charcoal Kilns State Historic Site

Piedmont Charcoal Kilns is an intriguing state historic site in the southwestern corner of Wyoming.

The park sits on the edge of Piedmont, a ghost town.

The kilns were built by Moses Byrne in 1869.

There used to be more beehive shaped kilns but there are three left to view today.

The kilns are made of sandstone and are around 30 feet in circumference and 30 feet high.

Piedmont Charcoal Kilns State Historic Site is at County Rd #173, Co Rd 204, Robertson, WY 82944.

19- Seminoe State Park

seminoe state park wyoming drawing
One of the state parks in Wyoming to visit is Seminoe State Park.

Seminoe State Park is on the Seminoe Reservoir in central Wyoming, surrounded by the Seminoe Mountains.

The land where the park now sits was once the site for gold prospecting.

Though you may not be lucky enough to find gold, today there’s plenty of things to do in the park.

There’s an excellent sandy beach area called Sunshine Beach Campground; however, all of the campgrounds have beaches.

Other things to do include horseshoeing, biking, and horse riding.

Though there are no designated hiking trails at the park, all of the land can be hiked.

You can set out from Morgan Creek Habitat Area and explore for miles and miles.

Seminoe State Park is at Seminoe Dam, Rt Unit 30, Sinclair, WY 82334.

20- Hawks Springs State Recreation Area

Hawks Springs State Recreation Area is on the Hawk Springs Reservoir in eastern Wyoming.

This might technically be a recreation area but it is still managed by the Wyoming State Park system.

Hawks Springs has 24 primitive campsites which are walk-in only.

There are picnic tables, a boat launch, boat down, restrooms and a playground; so, you’ve got everything you need for a convenient overnight stay.

For fun on the water, you can try boating, fishing or swimming.

It’s a small but lovely outdoor space in Wyoming.

As it’s close to the Nebraska border you will find out of staters visiting the park as well.

Hawks Springs State Recreation Area is at La Grange, WY 82221. 

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harriet comley
Harriet Comley is a travel enthusiast, freelance travel writer and a lover of safaris. Since 2017 she has been travelling the globe living in the UK, Canada, Vietnam, China and now Zambia, where she is completing her PhD in Sustainable Tourism. For 3 1/2 years she taught English in Vietnam and China. Now she has turned her attention to writing, having contributed to a number of travel blogs and websites always focusing on what she loves most…exploring!