Along For The Ride: Must-See Stops Off I-25

Stretching from the Colorado state line near Cheyenne to its northernmost point in Buffalo, Interstate 25 is the main highway running north/south through Wyoming and offers travelers an adventure-filled journey from start to finish. The highway crosses expansive plains with beautiful views of the western horizon.

Flat-topped buttes frame the landscape and vast swaths of land covered in scrubby sage line the road. Look closely and you'll see pronghorn and mule deer stepping through the brush. Further north, the plains turn into farmland as the lusher parts of the drive continue past the North Platte and Powder rivers. The Bighorn National Forest runs adjacent to I-25 between Kaycee and Sheridan and finishes the trip off with a landscape so different than where you started, it's hard to believe you're in the same state.

But this drive isn’t just about getting from here to there—it’s filled with fascinating places along the way. So the next time you’re planning a trip through Wyoming, give yourself a few extra days to see the sights and towns along the interstate. Here are our favorite stops off I-25, starting in the southernmost part of Wyoming and heading north, along with a few of our favorite alternate routes for even more Wyoming sights and places to explore.

Cheyenne (Exits 7-12)

If you time it right and head to Wyoming in July, Cheyenne Frontier Days is a must-do. Known as the world’s largest rodeo, this western celebration is more than bull riding and calf wrangling. A carnival, top-tier country musicians, an art show and cultural exhibits round out this event to make it one the whole family will enjoy.

While you’re in town, stop at the Terry Bison Ranch, where you can take a train tour of the bison herd or saddle up for a horseback ride.

Cheyenne is also home to the State Capitol Building, where exhibits and tours educate visitors about Wyoming’s government. This building also includes the room where the first law was signed guaranteeing women their inherent right to vote and hold office. The Capitol Building is undergoing renovations, with a sneak peek open house celebration scheduled for July 10, 2019. Until then you can learn all about the Capitol and more Wyoming history at the Wyoming State Museum.

Alternate Route Idea

The Rockies to Tetons route splits west from Cheyenne, taking I-80 and US-287 toward Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. This route is the perfect d for the mountain lovers out there. With the backdrop of some of Wyoming’s most epic mountain ranges, this is a ride you’ll never forget.

Chugwater (Exit 54)

Stomach growling? The tiny town of Chugwater is absolutely worth a stop. Stop by Chugwater Chili for a sample of their award-winning chili seasoning, followed by a milkshake at the Chugwater Soda Fountain, Wyoming’s oldest soda fountain.

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Stop for a milkshake at the Chugwater Soda Fountain, the oldest soda fountain in the state. Wyoming Office of Tourism

Wheatland (Exit 78)

The Laramie Peak Museum features several in-depth exhibits about the history of the Laramie region. While you’re in town, check out the Oregon Trail Historic Byway just north of Wheatland for a taste of what Wyoming’s original settlers saw on their journey west.

Glendo (Exit 111)

Glendo State Park is the perfect place to stop and stretch your legs after a long stint in the car. The park includes roughly 22,000 acres, including 12,000 acres of water and 10,000 acres of land. The Glendo Reservoir is the primary source of water, and it’s an excellent spot for fishing, boating, paddling, and water skiing. There are plenty of prime camping spots here as well, and you can check out historical artifacts from the region’s native tribes.

Orin (Exit 126)

Pull off the highway for a stop on the North Platte River. Excellent fishing access can be found at North Platte River-Orin Junction, so grab your rod and reel and relax for an afternoon.

Douglas (Exit 140)

Take a step back in time at the Wyoming Pioneer Museum, which hosts one of the largest collections of artifacts from the early days of Wyoming’s settlers. If you missed the river stop from Orin, you can also access the North Platte River here in Douglas.

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Glenrock (Exit 165)

The Glenrock Paleon Museum is a veritable treasure trove for natural history buffs. Wyoming is a hotbed for fossil discovery and paleontological sites, and many of these finds live in the Glenrock Paleon Museum. Bones from massive dinosaurs are on display, and volunteers at the on-site lab are happy to answer questions and offer insight about their work.

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The Glenrock Paleon Museum highlights the dinosaurs that once roamed Wyoming. Wyoming Office of Tourism

Casper (Exits 185-188)

There’s a heck of a lot to see in Casper. The Tate Geological Museum on the Casper College campus is free and open to the public and offers exhibits on the rich geological and paleontological history of the area. The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center has fascinating displays on the earliest explorers in the area.

Looking to get outside? Spend some time fly fishing the North Platte River or venture a little farther south for a variety of water activities on the Alcova or Pathfinder Reservoir before hitting up Backwards Distilling Company, a unique experience featuring locally sourced spirits.

Alternate Route Idea

The Park to Park route continues west from Casper along US-26 and US-287 and offers plenty of stops for outdoor recreation and education about the region’s history, both natural and human.

Kaycee (Exit 254)

Pay homage to one of the most influential singers in country music history at the Chris LeDoux Park. After taking a photo with the statue in the park, head to Hoofprints of the Past Museum and learn about the history and heritage of the different groups of people who called Kaycee and the surrounding region home.

Buffalo (Exit 299)

Take a 65-mile detour on the Cloud Peak Scenic Byway through some of the most stunning natural sites in Wyoming. In town, take a walk on the Clear Creek Centennial Trail and follow it up with a visit to Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site.

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Take the scenic route by following the 65-mile Cloud Peak Scenic Byway. Wyoming Office of Tourism

Sheridan (Exit 20-25 off I-90)

Although 1-25 switches to I-90 once you get this far north, Sheridan is worth a stop for travelers heading up to the Montana border. Check out King’s Saddlery, both a full-service tack store and a museum of sorts, with a mind-boggling array of saddles from this western tack empire. Grab a drink at the classic Mint Bar, a Sheridan establishment since the early 1900s. Need a place to stay? The Historic Sheridan Inn offers a taste of the Old West with modern luxuries.

Alternate Route Idea

The Black to Yellow route continues west from Sheridan along US-14, putting Wyoming’s full range of natural wonders—from Devil’s Tower National Monument to the east to Yellowstone National Park to the west—on display.

Written by Matcha for Wyoming Office of Tourism and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected]