Wyoming is a state of otherworldly natural beauty and in this blog, we’re sharing the best hikes in Wyoming you’ve got to explore this summer!
I used to think of Wyoming as nothing more than cowboy state with wide open prairies…plus Yellowstone. Now, Wyoming is probably my very favorite state in the US of A (Idaho is a close second).
Maybe Wyoming is still a cowboy state and maybe that’s what makes it so magical. It’s vast, raw, rugged, and real. It’s home to some of the world’s most majestic and unique mountain ranges and the space in between feels like freedom.
With all the stunning mountains, there are so many amazing hikes to explore in Wyoming! Whether you’re passing through Wyoming on your way to Glacier N.P. or to Mount Rushmore, stopping to explore is a must.
Wyoming Hikes Pack List
- REI Co-op 22L Pack: In 7 years of seriously epic hiking, this is the best day hiking backpack we’ve ever used. The REI Co-op 18L is also great but it doesn’t have water bottle holders on the outside or the zippered pocket on the top. Read why we love the Flash 22 here!
- La Sportiva Bushidos: Our all time favorite hiking shoes for both men and women. Read why we love them here!
- Stance Socks: Our favorite absorbent and warm socks for hiking.
- [Womens] Hylete Nimbus Leggings: They are great for hiking, climbing, and yoga. See all our favorite Hylete leggings here.
- [Mens] Kuhl Renegade Pants: Sturdy and midweight for rugged mobility and warmth.
- [Women’s} Kuhl Splash Roll Up: I’ve hiked all over the planet with these awesome pants. They’re durable, comfy, and also great to rock climb in. We also love Kuhl’s Trekkr pants.
- Defy the Norm hoodies, long sleeves, tees or tanks: Spread good vibes out on the trail!
- [Women’s] Lulu Lemon Speed Ups: Our favorite shorts for all our adventures.
- Patagonia Nano Puff: We carry these jackets with us on all our hikes and travels because they pack down really small and are warm and comfy. If you tend to get cold easily, I recommend getting the Patagonia Down Sweater.
- Sun Bum sunscreen: Lightweight and protective. Great for when you have to re-apply often because it’s not goopy or oily.
- Hat & Sunglasses
12 Best Hikes in Wyoming
From hot springs, to summits, and alpine lakes galore, here are the best hikes in Wyoming!
1 | Lost Twin Lakes
Distance + elevation gain: 13 miles, 3000′
Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous
Trailhead: West Tensleep Lake Trailhead
In terms of hidden gems, the entire Cloud Peak wilderness is as good as it gets! The Cloud Peak Wilderness between Ten Sleep and Gillette is a region of vast alpine meadows and mountains.
There are limitless backcountry adventures out here and it has one of the best Wyoming hikes. Lost Twin Lakes is an moderate 8 mile hike that brings you through beautiful meadows.
The journey is beautiful but the ending is unforgettable. You’ll finish at steel gray alpine lake surrounding by towering rock faces and mountain peaks. It looks almost like a mini Yosemite expect you have it all to yourself most days!
2 | Delta Lake
Distance + elevation gain: 8.8 miles, 2300′
Trailhead: Lupine Meadows Trailhead
Delta Lake is one of my all-time favorite hikes and unlike many of the other best hikes in Wyoming, it’s not super long. This lake is an alpine paradise that sits beneath a sharp mountain peak!
Delta Lake is still strenuous and maintains a steep grade for the whole hike. At the end, it also contains boulder hopping and scrambling.
Bring a hammock and spend some time relaxing and taking in the view at the emerald blue Delta Lake.
Pro tip: Add this hike on to our 1-day Yellowstone Itinerary.
3 | Cirque of the Towers
Distance + elevation gain: 24 miles, 4,000′
Trailhead: Big Sandy Trailhead
Cirque of the Towers is an iconic hike that’s been on our bucket list for years! This hike is commonly done as a multi-day backpacking trip however, experienced hikers could do it in a day.
The hike is known to be one of the greatest backpacking trips in the world which is probably why it can be slightly crowded.
Cirque of the Towers is located in the raw and rugged Wind River Range in central Wyoming. If you thought the Teton Range was harsh, you might be surprised by weather in the Winds.
In fact, that’s the biggest obstacle for hikers looking to explore the Cirque. You’ll need to be adaptable to time a good weather section and getting to the trailhead is a long way from any major highway. On the bright side, no permit is required to hike Cirque of the Towers!
4 | The Middle Teton
Distance + elevation gain: 13 miles, 6000′
Difficulty: Very strenuous
Trailhead: Lupine Meadows Trailhead
This isn’t just any hike in Wyoming, this is THE hike of Wyoming. Now, it’s important to note that this isn’t a hike for the feint of heart. In fact, this hike is exclusively for highly experienced hikers and climbers as the route involves strenuous off-trail travel, Class 3 scrambling, a pre-dawn start, and many more factors.
The Middle Teton is by far the most difficult hike I’ve ever done surpassing the Tour du Mont Blanc, Maroon Bells, and The Enchantments but the REWARD is breathtaking. There are few experiences that can top the feeling of standing on the summit of the Middle Teton.
If you think you have what it takes, click here and check out our guide to hiking the Middle Teton.
5 | The Forks of Cascade Canyon
Distance + elevation gain: 13 miles (or 10 if you ferry both ways), 1100′
Trailhead: Jenny Lake Visitor Center
The Tetons can be an intimidating place to go trek. The weather is harsh and the mountains are looming. Cascade Canyon is a surprisingly tame and easy hike that lets you experience the magic of being below the Tetons.
Cascade Canyon is 13 miles round trip but don’t let the distance dissuade you. It’s probably the most easy and gradual 13 miler there is. If 13 miles still seems like too much, you can opt to take the ferry boat across Cascade Lake at beginning and/or end. This cuts off 2 miles on each end.
6 | Paintbrush Canyon
Distance + elevation gain: 19-21 miles, 4200′
Trailhead: String Lake Trailhead
Paintbrush Canyon is the most famous backpacking trip in Grand Teton National Park and is rightfully one of the best hikes in Wyoming! This backpacking trip is strenuous, stunning, and beautiful but the challenge is snagging an overnight permit.
P.S. Paintbrush Canyon is usually combined with Cascade Canyon since it’s an equivalent return distance!
7 | Red Beds Trail
Distance + elevation gain: 3 miles, 400′
Trailhead: Devil’s Tower Overlook
Devil’s Tower is a place I didn’t expect to be cool or exciting. When I first set my sights on this radical monolith, I was shocked by how beautiful it was! Devil’s Tower totally looks like something out of a sci-fi movie and it’s hard to wrap your head around how nature designed the pillar so perfectly.
When you visit devil’s tower you have to go explore a hike rather than just stand at a crowded overlook.
The red beds trail is the less popular option but worth exploring to see the Tower from all angles.
Pro tip: head out on dirt road
8 | Fred’s Mountains
Distance + elevation gain: 3 miles (or 6 if you hike down), 1920′
Trailhead: Grand Targhee Resort
This Wyoming hike is kind of a wildcard! Fred’s mountain is the summit of Grand Targhee Ski Resort which is accessed via beautiful Driggs, Idaho. This hike is even included in our best hikes Idaho but technically speaking, it’s totally on the Wyoming side of the border 🙂
Fred’s mountain is a small peak that delivers the most amazing views of the backside of Grand Teton National park! The summit is accessed via a well marked trail at the Base Lodge of Grand Targhee.
I highly recommend doing this hike near sunset and you’ll score amazing pink and purple tones in the sky surrounding the Tetons!
9 | Colter Bay Lakeshore Trail
Distance + elevation gain: 2.5 miles, 85′
Trailhead: Colter Bay Trailhead
Chances are, you haven’t heard of this short little Teton hike. The Colter Bay Lakeshore trail is super easy but incredibly beautiful especially in the early hours of the morning!
10 | Mistymoon Trail
Distance + elevation gain: 12.5 miles, 1600′
Difficulty: Moderately strenuous
Trailhead: West Ten Sleep Trailhead
This hike is at the top of our list for summer 2021! Hidden among the previously mentioned Cloud Peak Wilderness, this trail brings you to yet another beautiful alpine lake!
11 | Mammoth Hot Springs
Distance + elevation gain: 1.8 miles, 300′
Trailhead: Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone is full of great sights but can very limited when it comes to actual hiking. Mammoth Hot Springs is one of the best sights in Yellowstone and actually has a bit of hiking involved.
This boardwalk loop takes you past a bunch of cool, colorful springs and steaming geysers.
Pro tip: Make it a stop on a Grand Teton to Glacier National Park road trip.
12 | Grand Prismatic Spring
Distance + elevation gain: .5 miles (or 2.5 from Fairy Falls), 0′
Trailhead: Grand Prismatic Springs Trailhead
One final noteworthy mention in Yellowstone is the iconic natural rainbow of Grand Prismatic Spring! One look at these photos and it’s not hard see why this is a must-do hike Wyoming. The colors that naturally occur here are unbelievable.
The only negative here is that it’s prime location among the tourist hub of Yellowstone makes it very crowded. Go early in the morning to enjoy the place with some more solitude or go see it from above by parking at the Fairy Falls parking lot and hiking to the lookout point.
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