Wyoming April 16, 2018
The Small Town In Wyoming That’s One Of The Most Unique In The Entire U.S.
Every Wyomingite could tell you some of the quirky features of their favorite small town, but it’s hard to find a town that’s more remarkable than the tiny town of Thermopolis, located in Hot Springs County. What makes Thermopolis so unique? Well, it starts with a historic and charming downtown, and it just gets better from there. Pack your bags and get ready for a road trip to one of Wyoming’s hidden wonders.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
Head out to the small town of Thermopolis, Wyoming for a visit to one of the most unique places in the world.
You'll find so much to see in this small town of about 3,000 people, and you'll wonder why you hadn't visited before!
You'll immediately notice that Thermopolis is surrounded by mountains!
The town can be found at the northern end of Wind River Canyon, where the Wind River becomes the Bighorn River. the Big Horn Mountains are to the northeast, the Absaroka range to the northwest, the Bridger Mountains are southeast of town, the Owl Creek Mountains to the Southwest.
The cool downtown scene preserves the small town feel, while showing off the town's charming features.. A giant dinosaur statue marks the location of the Wyoming Dinosaur Center.
The Museum is one of the best Dino museums in the country, and it's one of a select few museums that actually have dig sites located nearby!
Within 15 minutes of the Wyoming Dinosaur Center, you'll find many dig sites where over 10,000 dinosaur bones have been unearthed. In the Museum itself, you'll find the only Archaeopteryx on display in North America - and it was found right here in Thermopolis! You can also see a T-Rex, a Triceratops, a few Allosaurs and even some Stegosaurs. Anyone will enjoy this super cool musuem.
Broadway is the main stretch in town, and you'll see evidence of the town's history everywhere.
There are family restaurants, pubs, shops and boutiques on either side of the street. The cowboy statue at the center of town is a reminder of Thermopolis' western past. Legend goes that Broadway was designed so it could fit 16 horses all the way across.
You'll find the downtown area to be quirky - just take a look at the Fiberglass Giants outside the A&W Restaurant!
These big giants are a reminder of the past, when these were common markers of family restaurants all across America.
If you're in Thermopolis, though, chances are you're here to visit Hot Springs State Park.
The park was Wyoming's first state park, after bought the land from the Eastern Shoshone Native Americans. The park has more than doubled in size since that time!
Now, the park includes a bath house, hiking trails, and a suspension footbridge across the Big Horn River.
Don't miss the Tepee Fountain!
Over 100 years ago, Wyomingites created this fountain by piping hot mineral water up into the air, out of the top of a rock pyramid. The water cooled and deposited travertine, which formed the fountain as it is today. The algae that existed in the water is what gave the Tepee Fountain its color.
The Park's famous mineral terraces are made of travertine, which is left behind when hot springs water cools or flows away.
The water in the springs is constantly 135 degrees, no matter what time of year it is. Of course, that's too hot to touch! Luckily, Hot Springs State Park created a State Bath House, where you can relax in Hot Springs water that has been cooled town to 104 degrees.
The Big Spring, a main feature of the park, is the largest mineral hot spring in the world. The town's name - Thermopolis - even means Hot City.
In the early 1990s, Park officials noticed that the mineral flow to Big Spring had greatly slowed, and they took measures to preserve it. In 1896, when the park was purchased, Big Spring flowed at a rate of which pumped 13 million gallons a day. By 1991, the flow was closer to 3.5 million gallons a day. The Big Spring is still the main attraction in Hot Spring State Park, and no visit to Thermopolis is complete without seeing this impressive natural wonder up close.
Have you visited this tiny town that’s hiding some of the state’s most impressive wonders? Tell us about it in the comments! For more of the most unique tiny towns in Wyoming, check out
15 Small Towns In Rural Wyoming That Are Downright Delightful.