Thermopolis' Hot Springs, Prehistoric History and Recreation

In April's installment of our city spotlight feature, we're covering the famous hot springs and prehistoric culture of Thermopolis. Find out where to see one of the world's largest mineral hot springs and a rare Archaeopteryx skeleton on your next visit to this "hot spot" in the state.  Thermopolis, Wyoming is a town brimming with amazing sights, history, and plenty of culture to take in. And, with its close proximity to Jackson and Yellowstone, it ought to make your list of places to see along your road trip this summer. Of this city's must-see's, the Hot Springs State Park is one of Thermopolis' proudest assets. The park showcases the world's largest single mineral hot spring which channels into pools and bathhouses that can be enjoyed by the public, as well as many other spectacular natural landscapes like the Rainbow Terrace.  During your visit, you might even catch an awesome view of Wyoming wildlife; herds of majestic buffalo are said to frequently roam the red hills just behind the main portion of the park.

Hot Springs State Park featureAn unusual natural formation stands proudly in Hot Springs State Park in Thermopolis.

Thermopolis isn't just about their hot springs though. The city also has several museums that offer a step back in time to Wyoming's prehistoric period. The Wyoming Dinosaur Center showcases over 30 mounted skeletons of dinosaurs and fossils and hundreds of displays and dioramas that will captivate you and your family for hours. The highlight of this interactive museum is the dig site tour, offering the rare opportunity to see actual dinosaur bones buried in the ground, and their 'crown jewel' display: the Archaeopteryx, of which only 10 specimens of this species are known.

dinosaurA father and son marvel at one of the dinosaur displays at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center

If you're not spending your day soaking in the mineral hot spring pools or taking in the dinosaur exhibits, plan to explore one of the area's most awe-inspiring site: Legend Rock. Just 23 miles west of Thermopolis, this site contains nearly 290 different petroglyphs that are dated back to 10,000 years.

Looking to explore another outdoor gem? Then make your way over to the Wind River Canyon, four miles south of Thermopolis and easily one of the most picturesque drives in all of Wyoming. The breathaking scenery in and around the canyon isn't just an amazing spectacle-- the Canyon offers a multitude of exciting recreation activities like guided fishing, rafting and float trips. 

MT Daytrip; Aug'11; Thermopolis, WYAn awe-inspiring view of the Wind River Canyon. 

Among the many natural gems in the area, Thermopolis also has tons of great shops and unique attractions that are worth your while. Wyoming Whiskey, while not located directly in Thermopolis, is located just north of town in Kirby. Here is where locals and tourists alike flock to get quality whiskey and tour the establishment to see how and where this liquid gold is created. Good luck leaving without a souvenir. Lucy's Sheep Camp is another interesting stop that conveys the authentic, Western familiarity of Thermopolis. The family that runs the business have been long-time ranchers and stewards of the land there, offering classes on knitting and spinning with sheep wool. For more information to plan your trip to Thermopolis this summer, check out their website, or visit the chamber website. Ever been to Thermopolis? Share with us your favorite things about it!