Wyoming Wonders: A Day Trip for All Regions
From whitewater rafting the pristine waters of the Snake River to picnicking in the tranquil, Bear River State Park, Wyoming offers several easy-to-plan, yet, adventurous day trips. Whether you are short on time or just want to stick to a tight budget, don’t let that persuade you from getting out and enjoying all of the beauty that Wyoming has to offer. There are several gratifying day trips possible all across the state. Here is one ideal day trip plan for each of Wyoming’s five regions.
Located a short, 20-minute drive west of Laramie is the largest of the Laramie Plains Lakes, Lake Hattie. Its short proximity from town makes it an ideal spot for a day trip. Primarily known for its boating and fishing, Lake Hattie is also a terrific spot to windsurf. There is a strong breeze that crosses the plains and allows windsurfers to zip across the lake. However, if you prefer a slower pace, grab your fishing pole and spend the day fishing for trout, Kokanee salmon or perch. A great destination for beginning fishermen, Lake Hattie is stocked by the Wyoming Game and Fish so there is always plenty of fish to catch.
Just south of Jackson Hole is some of the best class III whitewater rafting in the nation. Plan a whole- or half-day rafting trip on the Snake River located just outside of town. Jackson Hole Whitewater offers whitewater and scenic float trips that last through the end of October. The Snake River’s scenery is unbeatable and the water offers an adventure for every member of the family.
Plan a day picnicking, hiking, fishing or wildlife viewing in Bear River State Park just outside of Evanston. Start the day off with a brisk hike on the three miles of foot trails within the park. Be sure to stop in the town of Evanston to pick up items for a tranquil picnic in one of the park’s designated picnic areas. While in the park, you will see the captive bison and elk that roam the area. End the day fishing or just enjoying the beautiful Bear River that meanders through the park.
Head 20 miles south of Sheridan on I-90 and take a self-guided tour of Fort Phil Kearny. A popular historic site in Wyoming, the fort is named after a famous Union general killed in the Civil War. During the war, the fort’s mission was to protect travelers along the Bozeman Trail, to prevent intertribal warfare between Native Americans and to draw the attention of Indian forces opposed to Euro-American westward expansion away from the trans-continental railroad construction corridor to the south. Today, the self-guided walking tours make for a perfect day trip to visit and learn about the historic site. Start at the Interpretive Center to browse exhibits and videos. The tour then takes you through various building locations, archaeological remains and historic landmarks.
Spend your day playing horseshoe, sand volleyball and visiting one of only three natural bridges in the U.S. Located 11 miles south of I-25 between the towns of Douglas and Glenrock, Ayers Natural Bridge, with water flowing beneath, is the perfect day trip because it is easy to access and provides an array of fun activities. The bridge itself is a true sight to behold. The natural red rock formation that covers the river beneath is majestic and powerful — the view will take your breath away. Check out the bridge and then spend the rest of the day in the park hiking, picnicking, fishing, or playing volleyball or horseshoe.