Wyoming June 25, 2018
12 Low-Key Hikes In Wyoming With Amazing Payoffs
Wyoming is a beautiful state, but many of our most famous hikes involve days-long treks into the wilderness. For those of us who can’t live without Wi-Fi (or who have other reasons to not hike 50+ miles over a long weekend), there are quite a few low-key day hikes that are easy for anyone to enjoy. The following 12 hikes show off some of Wyoming’s greatest treasures for those who prefer to stick closer to home.
1. Island Lake
While it's not the easiest hike on this list, the hike to Island Lake is worth a day trek. You can even camp here if you want before heading back along the 10 mile trail. This spot is truly wild - chances are you won't see many other hikers while you're here. The best way to access the trail is from the Elkhart Park trailhead which is north of Pinedale.
Read more about this off-the-grid destination here
2. Porcupine Falls
This half-mile out and back hike isn't a walk in the park, and it involves some serious scrambling, but most people can pull it off and enjoy a picnic down by the water. Dip your toes in the pool and really cool off! You can also combine this hike with an easy hike to the nearby Bucking Mule Falls.
Read more about the two-for-one waterfall trail trip here
3. Popo Agie Falls
Hike along the middle fork of the Popo Agie River to reach a super cool destination! Seriously - the water is almost always cold. On a hot day, cool off after your hike by using the natural waterslide to dunk yourself in the watering hole.
4. Pathfinder Dam
Pathfinder Dam is a great little spot that offers mild hiking trails with major views of the dam, river and canyon. This is a family-friendly recreation area that's great for all ages of adventurers.
5. Medicine Bow Peak
Hiking Medicine Bow Peak is easy when there's no snow! You'll pass so many stunning overlooks on the 7 mile hike to the summit that it will feel like no time has passed at all.
6. Mount Washburn
7. Artists Paintpots
You'll be on an elevated boardwalk for most of this 1 mile hike, so pretty much anyone can take in the beautiful views of the Artists Paintpots in Yellowstone National Park.
8. Independence Rock
The hike to the top of Independence Rock presents you with a view that once meant a huge triumph for those on the Oregon or Mormon Trail! This historic landmark is truly a piece of living American history.
Read more about it right here
9. Yellowstone's Natural Bridge
The three mile out-and-back hike to Yellowstone's Natural Bridge is something that belongs on every Wyomingite's bucket list. This is truly an example of the power that eroded right through the rock over millions of years.
Read about this cool hike here
10. Gros Ventre Wilderness
Even if you never venture farther than a mile or two from the Gros Ventre Campground, you'll be sure to spot some stunning natural scenery. If you wander out in the early morning light, chances are you'll even see a moose!
11. Devils Tower
Hike around Devils Tower to get an up-close look at one of Wyoming's most interesting geologic features. There are several Native American legends regarding how this enormous formation was created, and most involve the rock lifting to save children from an angry group of large bears.
12. Jenny Lake
Any and all trails around Jenny Lake are worth the effort. Some are simple and stay by the lakeside, whereas others take you farther into the forest and show off beautiful wildflowers and wildlife.
What’s your favorite day hike in Wyoming? Do you love Yellowstone despite the crowds, or would you rather hike in the Wind River Range? Tell us in the comments below.