On The Road Series- Headed West!
More in our On The Road Series- Headed West! We recently took an RV road trip through Wyoming. In this series, we share some of the tips, tricks, and fun activities to do while you RV in Wyoming!
RV in Wyoming Stop 1- The Black Hills and Devils Tower
If you are traveling in Wyoming and the Black Hills area, you need to plan a stop at the Devil’s Tower National Monument. It’s located just across the border of South Dakota, in Northeast Wyoming. This is America’s first National Monument and has great historical significance. For those of you who remember it gained Hollywood fame in the sci-fi movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind!
Getting To Devils Tower
We were headed west from South Dakota. We decided to leave the RV in Sturgis, make this a day trip in our tow vehicle. Make sure to take the scenic route (90 West to exit 199) through The Black Hills to see this monument which is considered sacred by Northern Plains Indians and indigenous people. The Tower and surrounding parks have unique geologic features not found anywhere else in the United States.
Want to learn more about Devils Tower National Monument? Visit the National Park Service
RV in Wyoming Stop 2- Casper, Wyoming- A Waterfall, Cowboy Gear and The 307 Silhouettes!
Coming from the east, our first overnight stop in Wyoming was the town of Casper. The quaint and immaculate little downtown has beautiful art and sculptures everywhere. It’s also known for world-class fly-fishing on the North Platte River and is the annual host for the College National Finals Rodeo.
Casper Has A Waterfall!
We were surprised to learn that Casper is home to a beautiful little waterfall called Garden Creek Falls. It is just a short drive from Casper at the base of Casper Mountain in Rotary Park. There is also a 4.5-mile trail hike you can take around the mountain. Make sure to bring a picnic basket and binoculars for the wildlife and views!
A 101-Year-Old Tradition- Lou Taubert Ranch Outfitters
The town is home to one of the most famous Western Stores in the country- Lou Taubert Ranch Outfitters. This cool western-themed country store has 9 floors and has been in business for over 100 years! Whether you are looking for boots, western wear, or hats, this is the place to find them. Said to offer the largest hat selections in the country, we made this one of our stops to get one!
Look For The 307 Silhouettes
Driving through Casper and the surrounding areas we noticed many amazing cowboy-themed steel silhouette sculptures, all with the number 307 cut into them. I investigated and learned about the 307 Metal Art Project designed to show Statewide Pride of Wyoming. Their goal is to collaborate with Wyoming communities and businesses and place 307 (which also happens to be the statewide area code) metal silhouettes across the state! Clicking the link above will take you to their site where they list all the current locations of the silhouettes. With over a dozen placed so far, it was fun to try to find them on our trip. I think we found 6.
What RV Park Did We Stay In When Visiting Casper?
We stayed on the North Platte River at a little RV Park called River’s Edge RV. If you would like to know more about our stay at the park, you can read about it in our article about River’s Edge RV.
RV in Wyoming Stop 3- Dubois, Wyoming- The Wind River, The Painted Hills, and The Dubois Badlands
Traveling further west from Casper, our next stop was in Dubois, Wyoming. Dubois (pronounced “Dew-Boyz” and the locals will correct you!) is a tiny little town of about 1,000 people on the edge of the Wind River. It’s very well known for ice climbing in the winter and a very scenic stop during the summer and spring seasons.
The Wind River
The Wind River is a 185-mile-long river, sometimes referred to as the Wind/Bighorn River since the two rivers meet up. It’s a popular fly-fishing and river raft float destination.
The Painted Hills of Wyoming
The Wind River runs along a stretch of the Painted Hills in Wyoming. We were amazed at the colorful hills that are part of the Wind River Reservation and are just outside of the town of Dubois. These hills are not as well known as other painted hills and are very natural and less disturbed than other tourist destinations. You can get some spectacular photos here!
Wyoming’s Badlands- Hell’s Half Acre and The Dubois Badlands
Wyoming has its own Badlands called Hell’s Half Acre! Don’t let the name Hell’s Half Acre fool you, it’s more like 300 acres. Native Americans used to trap bison here.
There’s also the Dubois Badlands. Just out of the tiny town of Dubois is another range of Badlands of approximately 4,500 acres. The Wyoming Painted Hills are a part of this area. Hikers have compared these beautiful hills to be the Sedona and Red Rock Canyon combined!
You don’t have to be a hiker to see the spectacular color changes. You can drive through just as we did and spot bighorn sheep and other wildlife. Don’t forget your camera, and try to go at sunrise or sunset but any time of day works!
What RV Park Did We Stay In When Visiting Dubois?
We stayed on the Wind River at a very nice RV Park called The Longhorn Ranch Lodge and RV Resort with the Painted Hills as the backdrop. If you would like to know more about our stay at the park, you can read about it in our article about The Longhorn Ranch Lodge.
RV in Wyoming- Stop 4- Buffalo Valley, Wyoming- Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Jackson Hole
Our final stop across Wyoming was in Buffalo Valley just outside the Grand Teton National Park. We choose this area because we could access both the Grand Teton National Park and the South Entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Having Jackson Hole a short 36 miles away makes shopping and dining convenient and was the first big town we had access to after Casper.
The Grand Teton National Park- Mountains of the Imagination
Grand Teton National Park lies at the southern tip of Yellowstone in between the Caribou-Targhee National Forest and the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. The Tetons are unusual because while 2.7-billion-year-old rocks can be found in the core of the range which is some of the oldest in North America, the mountains rank among the youngest in the world. The Park has a diverse mixture of natural communities and habitats including Alpine, Forests, Sagebrush Flats, Wet Meadows, and Lakes and Ponds.
Want To Learn More About the Grand Teton National Park? Visit the National Park Service.
Yellowstone National Park- Land of Wonder
In addition to all the beautiful landscapes and abundant wildlife, one of the things Yellowstone is most famous for is the fact that is it home to a Super Volcano! About 631,000 years ago, huge volcanic eruptions happened and what is now the center of the park collapsed and formed a huge basin. The park’s geysers (the most famous being Old Faithful) continues to be fueled by the heat that fueled those eruptions.
The Park is the first designated National Park and is huge. Do not plan on seeing it in one day. Plan your trip and get an early start as roads usually get very congested from about 10 am-3 pm. Animals are most active at dawn and dusk, so your chances of seeing them are better then. Do not feed the animals or attempt to approach them. Almost every year someone is injured trying to get too close!
Can RV’s Drive Through Yellowstone?
Yes, RVs of any size can drive through Yellowstone. The roads are wide, paved, and can accommodate any size RV. In some places where there is construction, you may be forced to detour but we didn’t find that very often. Park roads do close early November to mid-April except between the North and Northeast entrances.
Tip- We travel in a 45-foot Big Rig RV, so we only stop at RV Parks that can accommodate large RVs. If you travel in a smaller RV, you might find campsites that can accommodate your RV size (especially in National Parks). Make sure to plan, National Parks fill up fast!
Are There Campgrounds in Yellowstone?
Yes, there are campgrounds in Yellowstone but they fill up many months in advance. Also, there are size restrictions on the length of RVs, which further limits your options if you have a large RV.
Are There Restaurants, Supplies, and Fuel in Yellowstone?
Yes, we were pleasantly surprised to find that many places sell everything from diesel fuel to bear spray! There were also several restaurants, but most are only open until around 2 pm then close and don’t reopen until 5 pm. Also, they were all very busy so expect long waits.
Tip- Avoid the lines and waiting, carry your own snacks and drinks! There are many picturesque places to stop and have a picnic.
Want To Learn More About Yellowstone National Park? Visit the National Park Service
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Jackson Hole or Jackson as it is shown on many maps is a valley in between the Teton and Gros Ventre Mountain ranges near the Idaho border. It gets the name Jackson Hole from the early trappers who settled here. It was a good habitat for animals because it was a hole surrounded by mountain ranges.
Today, Jackson Hole is an upscale tourist town that is famous for its world-class snow skiing. It boasts the longest continuous vertical rise of any U.S. ski area. The top of Rendezvous Mountain is 4,139 feet from the valley floor!
In addition to winter sports, there is also world-class shopping, dining, museums, concerts, and lively nightlife.
What RV Park Did We Stay In When Visiting Buffalo Valley?
Our RV is too big for us to fit in most National Parks and we prefer to stay just outside of them. We stayed in an RV Park called Fireside Buffalo Valley RV Park. It is the closest RV park outside of Grand Teton National Park, 5 miles from the gate. It’s also just under 30 miles from Yellowstone. If you would like to know more about our stay at the park, you can read about it in our article about Fireside Buffalo Valley.
Is RVing in Wyoming Fun?
Yes, we enjoyed our trip through Wyoming very much. Most of the roads are in pretty good shape. The landscape is beautiful and there is wildlife everywhere! We highly recommend this road trip!
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More in our On The Road Series- Headed West! We recently took an RV road trip through Wyoming. In this series, we share some of the tips, tricks, and fun activities to do while RVing through Wyoming!