Wyoming's Spectacular Mountain Ranges: Your Complete Guide



Wyoming's Spectacular Mountain Ranges: Your Complete Guide

## Introduction

Wyoming is a haven for nature lovers, boasting some of the most breathtaking mountain ranges in the United States. From the majestic peaks of the Bighorn Mountains to the pristine wilderness of the Absaroka Range, each mountain range offers its own unique beauty and outdoor activities. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore six of Wyoming's most stunning mountain ranges and delve into the adventures that await in each.

1. Bighorn Mountains: A Natural Wonder

The Bighorn Mountains, located on the northeast side of Jackson Hole and the east side of Yellowstone, are a true natural wonder. Nestled within Bighorn National Forest, which spans over 4,500 square miles, this majestic range offers a plethora of outdoor activities. Highways 14, 14A, and 16 run through the iconic Bighorn Mountains, providing access to its stunning vistas.

With peaks like Cloud Peak, Mount Woolsey, Black Tooth Mountain, Penrose Peak, and Bomber Mountain, the Bighorn Mountain Range is a paradise for hikers and climbers. Cloud Peak, standing at an impressive 13,175 feet, is the highest peak in the range. With an average height ranging from 8,000 to 13,000 feet, the Bighorn Mountains offer breathtaking views and a variety of hiking trails for all skill levels.

History buffs will find the Bighorn Mountains fascinating. The Bighorn National Forest was established in 1897, and in 1984, the Cloud Peak Wilderness was designated to protect the area's unique wilderness.

To access the Bighorn Mountains, visitors can take Highways 14, 14A, or 16. Highway 16, also known as the Cloud Peak Skyway, offers stunning views of the Cloud Peak Wilderness. Highway 14, known as the Bighorn Scenic Byway, stretches from Sheridan to Greybull and offers breathtaking scenery along its 45-mile route. Highway 14A, also known as the Medicine Wheel Passage, passes through the iconic Medicine Wheel, a sacred site for Native Americans.

Whether you're looking for a challenging hike, a scenic drive, or a peaceful camping experience, the Bighorn Mountains have something for everyone.

2. Snowy Range: Southern Wyoming's Crown Jewel

The Snowy Range, located in southern Wyoming, is a true gem and a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts. With its alpine lakes, lush forests, and incredible peaks, this range offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy. With elevations ranging from 9,000 to 12,000 feet, the Snowy Range is accessible via Wyoming Highway 130, which is closed during winter.

Wyoming Peak, with an elevation of 11,383 feet, is the highest mountain in the Wyoming Range. Stretching approximately 80 miles north-south across Wyoming's west-central part, the Wyoming Range offers a secluded and serene wilderness experience. Hiking, wildlife spotting, camping, and fishing are popular activities in this hidden gem.

The Absaroka Range, located on the east side of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, is a haven for outdoor adventurers. With its stunning natural attractions and diverse wildlife, this range offers a plethora of opportunities for exploration. Avalanche Peak, standing at 10,568 feet, is the highest peak in the Absaroka Range.

To reach the Absaroka Range, visitors can take the scenic Togwotee Pass, accessible from the Wyoming Centennial Scenic Byway. Hiking, fishing, horseback riding, and wildlife spotting are just a few of the activities available in this magnificent mountain range.

3. Teton Range: Majestic Peaks and Vibrant Colors

The Teton Range, located in northwestern Wyoming, is renowned for its majestic peaks and vibrant autumn colors. Grand Teton National Park is the best gateway to explore this stunning range. Jackson Hole Airport, the closest airport to the park, offers convenient access for visitors. The Teton Range is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering activities such as skiing, hiking, climbing, and fat biking.

Skiing in the Tetons is a thrilling experience, thanks to the steep slopes and abundant snowfall. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Grand Targhee Resort are popular destinations for skiers of all levels. The range also offers excellent hiking trails, including the iconic climb to the summit of the highest peak, Grand Teton.

Fat biking is gaining popularity in the Tetons. However, it is important to adhere to the rules and only ride on designated roadways. The Grand Teton National Park allows fat biking on roads accessible to vehicles.

Climbing enthusiasts will find the Teton Range a dream come true. With its challenging routes and stunning vistas, it attracts climbers from around the world. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced climber, the Teton Range offers a range of options for all skill levels.

4. Wind River Range: An Alpine Wilderness

The Wind River Range, the largest mountain range in Wyoming, stretches over much of the state's west-central side. This expansive range covers approximately 2.25 million acres and is home to seven of the largest glaciers in the Rocky Mountains. Gannett Peak, standing at an impressive 13,802 feet, is the highest peak in Wyoming.

Pinedale is the most popular gateway to the Wind River Range. This charming town offers easy access to the range's hiking trails and stunning scenery. Hiking is a popular activity in the Wind River Range, with over 600 miles of trails to explore. Backpackers will find the range to be a haven, with its pristine lakes, alpine meadows, and unique rock formations.

Biking enthusiasts will also find plenty of opportunities in the Wind River Range. Pinedale's bike trails cater to all levels, from mountain biking to paved tracks. Winter biking on groomed snow trails is also available.

The range offers a diverse range of activities, including rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, hunting, and shooting. With its vast wilderness and stunning landscapes, the Wind River Range is a paradise for outdoor adventurers.

5. Wyoming Range: A Hidden Gem

The Wyoming Range, located in the southwest part of Wyoming, is often overlooked but offers a unique and captivating beauty. This range stretches approximately 80 miles and is home to Wyoming Peak, the highest point at 11,383 feet. With its low crowds and secluded wilderness, the Wyoming Range is perfect for those seeking solitude and tranquility.

Hiking and wildlife spotting are popular activities in the summer months. The range offers remote hiking trails that showcase the stunning beauty of the Wyoming wilderness. Moose, antelope, elk, mule deer, bears, and other wildlife can often be spotted during hikes in the Wyoming Range.

Camping opportunities abound in the Wyoming Range, with campgrounds like Sacajewea Campground offering amenities such as water, toilets, and trash service.


Wyoming's mountain ranges are a treasure trove of natural beauty and outdoor adventure. From the rugged peaks of the Bighorns to the pristine wilderness of the Wind River Range, each range offers its own unique charm and activities. Whether you're an avid hiker, a rock climber, or simply seeking a peaceful camping experience, Wyoming's mountain ranges have something for everyone. Plan your visit and immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes and exhilarating adventures that await in these spectacular mountain ranges.

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