Sometimes when you set out on a trail, they all look the same. But it’s the journey and destination that sets all the trails apart. Wyoming has some of the best scenery in the country but to get up close and personal, you have to hike to get there. Here are some trails in Wyoming that will lead you to some of the most unforgettable places imaginable.
1. Upper Geyser Basin
The Upper Geyser Basin Trail will lead you to the most intriguing and beautiful geysers you will ever see. This trail contains the largest concentration of geysers in the world. The trailhead is located at Old Faithful Inn. The paved trail leads to Morning Glory Pool and eventually to Biscuit Basin. The color of these features, especially Sapphire Pool and gem-like formations, like Jewel Geysers, makes you feel like you are witnessing something from out of this world. There are many side trips from this trail to other unusual geysers.
2. Jenny Lake Trail
Jenny Lake Trail is a 7.5-mile trail that loops around the lake. It provides some of the most stunning panoramic views of a lake/mountain setting in the state. The trail sticks close to the shoreline and offers views of Teewinot Mountain, Mt. Owen, Cascade Canyon, Symmetry Spire, Storm Point, Rockchuck Peak, Mt. St. John, and Mt. Moran. The trailhead is off of Teton Park Road at South Jenny Lake Junction. Jenny Lake is the second largest lake in Grand Teton National Park and is one of the deepest lakes in the state.
3. Artists' Paintpots Trail
Artists' Paintpots Trail is a 1.1-mile loop that is located in Yellowstone. The trail is made up of a mix of dirt and boardwalk. You will never forget looking down from the top of the loop out over the geothermal features with the steam blanketing the area. Neither will you forget the Artists' Paintpots along the hillside with their strokes of pastel colors. These features truly seem unreal.
4. Medicine Bow Peak
If you want a memorable trail less traveled, then you need to check out the Medicine Bow Peak Trail. The trail is a 7.4-mile loop that takes hikers to the top of the Snowy Range's summit. The ruggedness of the area and the Rocky Mountain views from the top are a stark reminder of how much unspoiled land still exists in Wyoming.
Along the way up, you will pass a beautiful chain of lakes and streams before hitting the rocky switchbacks which lead to the ridgeline and finally the summit. From there you can enjoy breathtaking views of other Snowy Range peaks, Longs Peak and Mount Zirkel. To get to the trailhead, take WY 130/Snowy Range Road from Laramie which will take you to the Lake Marie Trailhead.
5. Popo Agie Falls Trail
The Popo Agie Falls Trail is nestled in the Shoshone National Forest. This is a very scenic 3.5-mile hike to a very beautiful waterfall. Even getting to the trailhead is scenic. Park in Bruce's Parking area and cross over the Popo Agie River via a footbridge. From there, the path is a well maintained dirt path. You will run across areas with boulders & rocks as well as lush areas. There is also a switchback and another footbridge that leads to the most stunning view of Sinks Canyon. You will have views of the gorgeous river and hear the falls for the entirety of the trail. When you reach the falls, you won't be disappointed. There, you can stop and soak in the beauty of it all.
6. South Piney Creek Trail
This trail leads to one of nature's simple treasures; a babbling brook. The South Piney Creek Trail starts at the Story Fish Hatchery and ends at the peaceful and understated, South Piney Creek that flows through the beautiful Bridger-Teton National Forest. Unforgettable places don't have to have dramatic scenery, sometimes the smallest acts of nature can linger in your memories.
7. Uncle Tom's Trail
Uncle Tom's Trail is a rather unique trail that will be etched in your mind either because of the beauty and magnificence of the waterfall or because of all the steps you have to tackle. This trail leads from the top of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone to the foot of the Lower Falls. The view will almost always include a rainbow streaming through the mist. The trail starts with some paved switchbacks that lead to the 328 steel grate steps. The trailhead is at Artist Point in the Yellowstone Canyon area. The Lower Falls leave a very powerful impression on those who are lucky enough to see them this close.
8. Beauty Lake Trail
Beauty Lake Trail is nestled among the Beartooth Mountains. Along this 2.4-mile trail, you will encounter Beartooth Butte, Crane Lake, and then ultimately, Beauty Lake. At Beauty Lake you will have that "mirror, mirror on the wall" tendency with all the surrounding hills that are reflected in the lake. There are so many scenic opportunities located along this trail. The trailhead is located off of Highway 212 just down the gravel road from the Beartooth Lake Campground.
9. Bunsen Creek Trail
If you want to get absolutely stunning panoramic views of Gardners Hole, Electric Peak and the Gallatin Range, then you need to take the time to hike the Bunsen Creek Trail which is in the northwest section of Yellowstone National Park. There are not many places in Wyoming where you can climb above the surrounding landscape in a 4-mile out and back trail. This hike provides extraordinary views from all directions. Views include the Golden Gate/Glen Creek Canyon, Swan Lake Flat, Antler Peak, Quadrant Mountain, Terrace Mountain, Sepulcher Mountain, Cathedral Rock, the whole Mammoth Hot Springs area and Mount Everts. The trail ends with steep switchbacks and incredible views.
10. Avalanche Peak
Avalanche Peak Trail will offer up some unforgettable panoramic views of the backcountry in Yellowstone. The summit has some of the best views in Yellowstone. This is a 5-mile out and back steep trail located in the southeastern section of the park.
You'll find the trailhead at the west end of Eleanor Lake near Sylvan Pass. You'll pass through a dense pine forest, cross over a rocky stream and pass a meadow of brightly colored wildflowers. As you ascend the peak, you'll see Hoyt Peak, Top Notch Peak, Mount Doane and Mount Stevenson. There are several paths that lead to the actual summit. At the summit, there are incredible views of the Grand Tetons, Mount Sheridan, Yellowstone Lake and the peaks of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness.
11. Turtle Rock Trail
Do you remember the story of 'Yertle The Turtle' by Dr. Seuss? Well, this trail reminds me of Yertle. This trail, which is a 3-mile loop, circles around Turtle Rock in the Medicine Bow National Forest. The trail is lined with aspens, boulders, and a marshy wetland. The trail eventually turns to rock and passes by a small pool and cascade. Turtle Rock consists of piles and towers of rocks upon rocks like you've never seen before.
12. Bradley Taggert Lakes Trail
The Taggert Lake-Bradley Lake Loop trail is located in Grand Teton National Park. The hike begins at the Taggert Lake Trailhead which is just a couple of miles north of the Moose Entrance Station. What is so memorable about this hike is the two glacially formed lakes found at the base of the Teton Range. Even the trailhead offers spectacular views of Grand Teton. Along the trail, there is a footbridge over Taggart Creek where a waterfall is visible. The trails meanders through stretches of forest and open terrain. Hikers can enjoy wonderful views of Nez Perce, Middle Teton, Grand Teton, Teewinot Mountain and Avalanche Canyon. The scenery along this trail is absolutely gorgeous.
13. Cascade Canyon Trail
The Cascade Canyon Trail will take you deep into the Grand Tetons. The trailhead is located at the Jenny Lake Visitor Center where you can take a boat ride across Jenny Lake. The hike runs from the shore of the lake to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point and into Cascade Canyon. This hike provides great views out over Grand Teton National Park.
14. Cirque Trail
The Cirque Trail is located in the southern section of the Wind River Range. Access to the trailhead requires a lengthy drive to the Big Sandy trailhead. The first 7 miles of the trail are relatively level but becomes very steep during the last mile. The ascent goes through Jackass Pass, crosses the Continental Divide and on to Lonesome Lake. The Cirque of the Towers is a hiker's dream with the granite rock creating a stark contrast to the colorful lakes.
15. Lake Solitude Trail
Lake Solitude Trail is a 4.8-mile hiking trail located in Grand Teton National Park. The trail starts at the Forks of Cascade Canyon, goes along Cascade Creek up to North Cascade Canyon and on to Lake Solitude. There you can enjoy grandiose views of the lake surrounded by Teewinot Mountain, Mount Owen and Grand Teton.
16. Death Canyon Trail
Death Canyon Trail is a 10.5-mile hiking trail found in Grand Teton National Park. The trail starts at the White Grass Ranger Station, heads toward Phelps Lake and ends at Fox Creek Pass. The views of Albright Peak and Prospectors Mountain along with the deep blue of Phelps Lake is beautiful beyond belief.
17. Falling Fairy Falls Hike
Falling Fairy Falls is a 2.5-mile hike in Yellowstone National Park. The hike offers one of the best views in the park of Grand Prismatic Spring. Otherwise, you can enjoy wildflowers and pines along the way. The falls and Grand Prismatic Spring are some of nature's treasures that will not easily be forgotten.
Have you hiked any of these or do you know of any other trails that lead to unforgettable places in Wyoming?