Wyoming September 07, 2017
Visit These 7 Wyoming Parks Off-Season For An Unforgettable Adventure
Wyoming parks are a hot ticket in the summertime. The typically good weather can be relied upon and the long daylight hours allow for more touring and adventuring. The crowds are pretty much the only drawback to visiting the Cowboy State between June and late August. There is a solution, though, for those who want a quieter, more relaxed experience. Many of our parks are open year round, so you can pay a visit without fighting the masses. Coming in the off-season not only gets you out of the crowds, but it also offers opportunities you won’t have in the summer.
1. Grand Teton National Park, Moose, Wyoming
Wyoming only has two national parks, and you had to know that they would be on the list, so let's address them upfront. First, Grand Teton National Park is open all year long, so it makes sense to avoid peak season and visit practically any other time. The Tetons always cut a stunning profile against the sky when it's clear no matter what season it is so, if you have your heart set on seeing the iconic mountains, you'll want to check the weather report before scheduling a trip. Fall is a beautiful time in the Teton area, and warm Indian Summer days are ideal for hiking and wildlife watching.
2. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
You'll find Yellowstone National Park just north of Grand Teton National Park. Much of Yellowstone is closed off during the snowy winter season, but the northeast entrance is typically open all year long. That's why the best off-season times to visit this park are spring or autumn. If animal watching is high on your priority list, make your trip in the springtime. That's when the bears - both black bears and grizzlies - are coming out of hibernation and there are loads of animal babies to coo over.
3. Bear River State Park, Evanston, Wyoming
With miles of foot trails on 300 acres, Bear River State Park is an awesome place for a spring picnic or autumn hiking. The park is home to captive herds of elk and bison, so wildlife viewing is practically guaranteed almost any time. Plus, the foot trails are perfect for snowshoeing and cross country skiing, so it's even a fun park to visit in the winter.
4. Hawk Springs State Park, Guernsey, Wyoming
Bird watchers love Hawk Springs Reservoir. The blue heron rookery there is home to loads of birds including great horned owls, pintails, wood ducks, and many more. Hawk Springs is also a favorite of fishermen and, if you're up for some ice fishing, winter is the time of year you should visit. Game fishing enthusiasts enjoy the ice fishing here as much as any other kind.
5. Boysen State Park, Shoshoni, Wyoming
Boysen is open year round, but one of the main draws is the lake. If you want to go boating or fishing, it's best to plan a fall trip to Boysen, as fishing season usually ends the first Sunday in November. The beautiful Wyoming wildflowers should still be in bloom into early October, providing another reason an autumn trip is the best off-season bet for Boysen.
6. Hot Springs State Park, Thermopolis, Wyoming
People flock to Thermopolis in the summer, but the natural hot mineral springs make it a logical winter destination. The snow over the beautiful travertine terraces is mesmerizing, and what feels better on a cold winter's day than sinking into a steaming hot pool of mineral water? It's 104 degrees in the Bath House, where everyone soaks for free.
7. Buffalo Bill State Park, Cody, Wyoming
With the stately Absaroka Mountains as a backdrop, you can't go wrong with a visit to Buffalo Bill State Park no matter what time of year you come. It's a terrific place for springtime hiking and picnicking, and the Visitor Center opens in May each year, to provide educational and learning opportunities. We vote you go in the fall, though. The gorgeous fall foliage is reason enough to hike and picnic here before the snow flies.
When is your favorite time of year to visit the parks in Wyoming?