Did you know that Wyoming is not just one great, big flat piece of land up in the Northwest? In this episode of Wynot?, I’m going to tell you about five very distinct regions here in the state of Wyoming. We’ll find out what makes each area different and give you a taste of everything our amazing state has to offer.
In many of my other episodes of Wynot?, I talk very specifically about living in or around Cheyenne. Today, though, we’ll look at the five regions of Wyoming that you're going to want to know more about—especially if you're thinking about moving here.
Every day, people relocate here to Cheyenne and ask us about what there is to do and where they should on weekends or family vacations. I found some great information in the 2018 Wyoming Traveler’s Guide that I'm going to share with you. We’ll look at different parts of the state and then, in future episodes, we're going to break down each of the five regions in a little bit more detail.
The Black To Yellow Region
The first region we're going to talk about is the Black to Yellow region. This area is located in the northeast part of the state and is aptly named for its proximity to both the Black Hills and Yellowstone National Park. One of the reasons that people like to visit this region is so that they can take in many of Wyoming’s historic destinations. You can find a lot of little towns that still have 19th-century hotels, shops, and restaurants.
Among the rolling hills and sagebrush plains, you're going to find plenty of scenery and adventures fit for a family or a solo act. There are a few fun things that you can do in this region, like the Eagle Butte Coal Mine tours in Gillette. This activity gives you great insight into how important coal mining has been to this part of the country.
You can also visit the Occidental Hotel and Saloon in Buffalo, an amazingly well-restored establishment that once hosted a pretty various group of famous folks. Past patrons include former presidents like Roosevelt and plenty of other Western folk heroes—such as Calamity Jane. Even the writer Ernest Hemingway has stayed at the hotel.
Don’t forget to stop at The WYO Theater in Sheridan, the oldest operating vaudeville theater in Wyoming. Here, professional song, dance, and theater really come to life. And as is always the case in Wyoming, there are plenty of ways to keep your blood pumping in the great outdoors. Visit Keyhole and Buffalo Bill State Park for fun outdoor activities like boating, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and even some birding—with over 250 species of wild birds in that area.
The Park To Park Region
The second region to talk about is the Park to Park region. This area makes up the southeast part of the state and includes Cheyenne just barely on the edge. It then stretches northwest all the way up to Yellowstone National Park.
One of the reasons that people love coming to this region is the picturesque scenery and soothing hot baths you can take after a rugged day in the backcountry. One of the things that you’ll want to take in while visiting this region would be Ayres Natural Bridge near Douglas, a 100-foot natural bridge that sits just to the west of town. It also includes a wonderful picnic area that you can enjoy while you take in the views. Don’t forget to visit the Stagecoach Museum in Lusk, which is always a favorite of the kids.
The Stagecoach Museum features many artifacts and an authentic stagecoach that hauled people and their treasures on the Cheyenne and Black Hills Express Stage Line. Once you get acquainted with life on a stagecoach, why not go view the Fort Laramie historic site? There, you'll be able to find ruts that were formed by the countless wagons as they headed west on the Oregon Trail. You can also visit a fur trading station that became the military post which is now known as Fort Laramie.
The Rockies To Tetons Region
Next, we’ll explore the Rockies to Tetons region. If you've watched my other videos, you've heard me mention all of the outdoor activities available just to the west of Cheyenne many times. Most of those areas are within the Rockies to Tetons region, with Cheyenne sitting just on the eastern border of this region. It then stretches west to Rawlins and north-northwest all the way up to Yellowstone. This region encompasses Sinks Canyon, Seminoe, and Curt Gowdy State Parks as well as the Vedauwoo Rec Area.
This area is also known for Independence Rock near Alcova, an important landmark for settlers as they went west on the Oregon Trail. It was important because if they made it to this point by the Fourth of July, they knew they could get over the Rocky Mountains before winter. Today, you can still see the names of settlers carved into the rock as they went by—which earned it the nickname ‘The Register in the Desert.’ You can also climb to the top or can hike around the base.
A fantastic place to spend the weekend is the Saratoga Hot Springs Inn Resort. Get pampered at this amazing place, where a couple can soak in the very intimate covered individual pools. A family could jump in the 70-foot mineral spring-fed pool before heading to the spa for even more relaxation. After that, stay right there and spend the night in your cozy room or suite. I'm already booking a reservation for my wife and I during the winter months.
You can also see the largest wintering herd of bighorn sheep near the town of Dubois. They roam throughout the area and can be seen by setting up a tour at the Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center. You can also go solo; just know that you still have to register at the Interpretive Center.
The Salt To Stone Region
The last region we’ll talk about is known as the Salt to Stone region, named for its location that spans from the Rocky Mountains to the Great Salt Lake before turning north up to Yellowstone. One of the great attractions of this region is the Flaming Gorge National Rec Area, located near Green River.
Flaming Gorge is literally a land of living color. You’ll find some of the most picturesque views along with rock formations that become the focus of photographers of all skill levels, along with the casual observer. There's also an amazing reservoir that grabs and reflects the light throughout the day at different points. You can camp in this area as well as fish, hike, boat, and more, so bring your gear and stay awhile.
If you've watched my other episodes, you probably know I kind of like trains and the history of the railroad. So of course, I'm going to recommend that you go visit the Roundhouse and Railyards in Evanston. Here you will find the only remaining roundhouse that is still in operation on the Union Pacific line between Omaha and Sacramento. There's also a power plant and a machine shop that you can check out while you're visiting.
Lastly, Teton Village hosts the Jackson Hole aerial tram. From this tram, you're going to get unparalleled views of several national and state parks. There's also access to a trail system from the top which you can use to hike down. It’s really one of the greatest ways to take in the beautiful Jackson Hole area—unless you’re a skier or snowboarder who wants to get up close and personal.
You may have noticed that all of these regions lead up to Yellowstone. All roads lead to Yellowstone, and not because it's named after the new hit TV show. It's been around just a little bit longer than that TV show.
Yellowstone is the fifth region of Wyoming—but I'm going to leave this one for another day. It's just too much to go over quickly. If you haven't been there yet, you need to get there ASAP. After all, it was named the first national park in the world in 1872 for a reason.
Wynot Visit Wyoming?
I hope this gave you some great insight into the different regions of our wonderful state. Cheyenne and the surrounding areas have a great many options when looking for a place to visit or vacation. Why not load up your car with your wife and kids or your gear and visit some of these great places?
Keep in mind that I'm going to explore each one of these regions in more detail in future episodes of Wynot?, so why not subscribe to my channel? That way, you’ll never miss a video all about living in and around Cheyenne, Wyoming. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me and I’ll be happy to help!