9 Reasons Summers in Wyoming Beat Every Other State

An adult female goes for a swim at Granite Creek Hot Springs, a natural hot spring in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Fisheye view
© melissamn/Shutterstock.com

Written by Justin Zipprich

Updated: November 5, 2023

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Forget Florida, Wyoming is great for summers because of these 9 reasons!

States like Florida and Hawaii tend to steal most summer-time tourists, but there’s one state in America that you absolutely need to visit during your next family vacation: Wyoming. From amazing outdoor lakes and vibrant festivals to culinary delights, scenic drives, and awe-inspiring natural wonders, there’s awesome adventure around every corner. Here are nine reasons why summers in Wyoming beat every other state.

1. Great Beaches, Lakes, and Fishing

Schwabacher's Landing, Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Grand Teton mountains are seen at dawn reflected in the still water of the Snake River.

Wyoming is home to many amazing lakes, and you can spend hours soaking in the beauty.

©R K Sewell Photography/Shutterstock.com

The state of Wyoming is often synonymous with sparkling rivers and long lakes, and if that’s what you like, you won’t be disappointed. There’s so much natural splendor in this gorgeous state. If you love fishing, camping, boating, or just hanging out at the beach, then you’ll stay occupied for weeks.


There are countless lakes in Wyoming that you can use for swimming, fishing, tubing, or water skiing. Just about every county in Wyoming has a beach or lake you can visit. Some of the more noteworthy lakes in the state include:

  • Jackson Lake
  • Yellowstone Lake
  • Flaming Gorge Reservoir
  • Jenny Lake
  • Leigh Lake
  • Phelps Lake
  • Lake Alice
  • Lower Slide Lake
  • Taggart Lake

And that’s just a small list! Each of these lakes is surrounded by gorgeous trees and wildlife, and they’re especially beautiful during the summer season. 

Best Fishing Spots

If your real passion is fishing, check out some of the best fishing spots in the state, such as the Flaming Gorge Reservoir, where you can catch salmon and bass. Then check out the Gray Rocks Reservoir, which provides 20 miles of shoreline and an even larger variety of fish, including walleye, yellow perch, and tiger muskie. Don’t forget to also check out Big Horn Lake, which is over 70 miles long! The lake is also 70 feet deep, so you could catch some really interesting fish.

Best Beaches

Most people don’t realize how many amazing beaches are in Wyoming. There are several notable beaches, including Colter Bay, Glendo State Park, and Fremont Lake, which is the second-largest lake in the state. Head to Willow Lake for naturally sandy beaches and clear water. Float, swim, and sunbathe in peace.

Best Camping

Wyoming is also home to some of the most highly rated campgrounds in the country. Among them is the Norris Campground in Yellowstone National Park, where you can see incredible natural geysers and visit the Museum of the National Park Ranger. There are numerous campsites and RV hookups and a ton of amazing natural beauty to discover.

Mammoth Hot Springs Campground, also located in Yellowstone, contains a boiling river and a natural hot spring. There are plenty of camping spots and facilities available.

Finally, check out Tough Creek Campground. This site is located alongside the Wind River Canyon, and it’s surrounded by the Wind River Indian Reservation. You can leave your tent and go fishing or swimming, and there’s a place to put your boat in the water. Come to this campsite if you crave adventure!

2. Pleasant Weather

Blue sky with white fluffy clouds and sun reflection. Sunny background. Sun appear directly above Thailand. The afternoon summer sun shines on a beautiful sky with clouds. Hot weather, summer season.

Between June and September you can expect a mild temperature of 77 degrees in Wyoming.


Another reason to spend summers in Wyoming is due to the incredible weather. You may have heard about the winters, which are snowy and very cold. However, during the summer, it’s a different story. The “hot season” in Wyoming lasts for about three months and goes from the beginning of June to the middle of September. During that time, you can expect a calm and cool average of 77 degrees. If you go during July, you may experience temperatures of 85-90 degrees. 

Be cautious if you visit in August, as that is considered the wettest month, during which the daily chance of rain could be up 30%. However, you should consult the forecast before your visit and plan accordingly.

3. Vibrant Festivals and Events

bucking bronco at rodeo

Rodeos are just one of the reasons Wyoming is great to visit in the summer.

©Timothy S. Allen/Shutterstock.com

Once you’re done hanging out at the beach and going on your fishing expedition, you can check out the many festivals and summer events that make Wyoming so fun and unique. Check these events out online to get the most updated information about dates and other specifics.

Woodchoppers Jamboree & Rodeo – Start by checking out the colorful parade and then eating delicious pancakes and BBQ. The rodeo is also a ton of fun. Watch the horses and cowboys run and do tricks.

Chugwater Chili Cook Off – If you love chili, then you need to stop by this famous cook off, where you can try every kind of chili under the sun. There’s also an awesome car show and live entertainment.

International Climbers Festival – Visitors who love climbing and adventure can check out this festival in the town of Lander, where you can enjoy all things rock climbing.

Cheyenne Frontier Days – Your family will love this celebration of the famous frontier days, from the cowboys and horses to the explosive rodeo action.

The Wyoming State Fair – If you love state fairs, then you can’t miss this one that happens every August in Wyoming. This fair has been going on since it started in 1905, and it’s never been more fun. There are rides, good food, clowns, and shows.

Green River River Festival – Families that love shrimp boils and rodeo fun should stop by the town of Green River and check out their festival. If you’re feeling athletic, then you can run in the marathon or 10k race. There’s also fireworks and a duck race!

4. Natural Wonders

Historic barn in front of the Grand Tetons in Moose, Wyoming

Wyoming is home to the Grand Teton Mountains which you must see in person to really believe!

©Matt Grimaldi/Shutterstock.com

There are several unforgettable natural wonders that you absolutely must visit during your summers in Wyoming. One of them is Yellowstone National Park where you can walk for months and see something new every day. From hot springs and waterfalls to incredible mountain ranges, there’s so much beauty to behold. Summer is the best time to see this amazing park in its sun-drenched glory.

Next, stop by Grand Teton National Park, to view the breathtaking mountains up-close. You’ll find that there’s nothing like going camping and hiking under the shadows of those impressive mountains.

Your summer won’t be complete without a visit to the Devil’s Tower National Park, America’s first national monument. This is a large single natural structure that was formed by a volcano, and it has many parallel cracks that are hard to imagine without seeing it in person. Don’t forget your camera!

Complete your summer vacation with a trip to the Red Desert in South Central Wyoming. There’s a lot of variety here, as a day of hiking can bring you past sandstone towers, sand dunes, and canyons. Plus, there’s a lot of incredible wildlife that you won’t see anywhere else.

5. Culinary Delights

New York Steak

If you are a meat lover, Wyoming has a lot of great options!

©JPphoto1992/iStock via Getty Images

You’ll be having so much fun during your summers in Wyoming that you’ll want to stop for a bite to eat to keep up your energy. Luckily, there are many culinary delights that you can enjoy during the warmer months in the state. 

To start, this is the best place to get the most mouthwatering prime rib in the country because the chefs here add the perfect amount of seasoning, and they cook it just right. And don’t forget about the ribs, seafood, and mashed potatoes. Wyoming is also the go-to state when it comes to chicken-fried steak that is cooked like a culinary masterpiece. The biscuits and gravy are also to die for.

If you’re a meat lover, then try the amazing buffalo steak, which is delicious and filling. Many restaurants in Wyoming also cook up elk and boar steaks. If your go-to is fish, try the local fresh trout.

When you’re packing a snack for your long hikes, stop by a deli to get some local jerky. Local spots offer varieties like boar, buffalo, and elk. Also, pack a few cowboy cookies made with brown sugar, oats, and chocolate. 

Wyoming Farmers Markets

Time your Wyoming trip just right, and you could visit during one of the many farmers markets that occur every summer. One of these is the Jackson Hole Farmers Market, which is open all summer from July 1st until September 30. There are many amazing local vendors selling delicious food and knick-knacks. Plus, the market is famous for giving back to the community, so when you buy something there, you’re helping the people of Wyoming. Additionally, there’s a vendor for just about every type of food or treat you can imagine.

The official Wyoming Farmers Market runs on from July 6th through October every year. This market brings many more exciting vendors selling treats and crafts. In addition to buying great food, you can also meet some of the locals and make new friends.

6. Family-Friendly Activities

There are tons of family-friendly activities in Wyoming, from museums to whitewater rafting.


The best part about Wyoming is that it’s truly a family-friendly destination, so summers will be unforgettable for adults and kids alike. From zoos to museums, there’s a ton to see and do. Here are some of the must-see attractions:

Lander Children’s Museum

This is a small but amazingly entertaining museum that teaches kids about a variety of subjects, from math to science to how to use their imaginations. There are tons of hands-on activities that can fill a whole afternoon.

Nicolaysen Art Museum

Visit this massive 25,000-square-foot art museum loaded with contemporary art and works from regional artists. There are even famous paintings by Picasso and Dali! The museum is open every day except Mondays, so plan accordingly. 

Wind River Canyon Whitewater Rafting

Add a little adventure into your itinerary by going rafting in the exciting falls around Thermopolis, Wyoming. This isn’t for the smallest kids, but it’s great fun for teens and parents who want to see this gorgeous state in a brand-new way.

Jumpin Jack’s Family Fun Center

Your kids can let off some steam at this 5,000-square-foot fun center that allows kids of all ages to run and jump. The center has seven awesome inflatable attractions, a private party room, and games.

Buffalo Bill Dam Visitor Center

Water fans will love to see the impressive Buffalo Bill Dam, which allows you to look down 325 feet into the Shoshone River. Don’t forget to take your camera for some amazing frame-worthy nature shots.

Wyoming Dinosaur Center

If your kids love dinosaurs, then bring them to see the largest fossil collection in the world. Wyoming was home to many different dinosaur species so there’s a great variety of bones on display.

Casper Planetarium

The universe is an awesome place to discover, and you can see the stars and planets like you’ve never seen them before at the Casper Planetarium. It provides a 360-degree viewing screen with animated graphics inside a 30-foot dome. It’s great fun for the whole family.

Tate Museum

Your kids can see even more dinosaur artifacts at the Tate Museum, which is famous for its 11,600-year-old mammoth skeleton. There are many other bones to discover, and they’re all shown in kid-friendly displays. This is a fun and affordable way to spend a rainy afternoon.

7. Cultural Heritage

The Heart Mountain Landslide

Heart Mountain is a landmark in Wyoming.

©Forest Service Northern Region / public domain – Original

While there’s a lot of fun to have during your summers in Wyoming, there’s also a lot to learn, especially as you discover the cultural heritage of the state. Visit a few cultural and historical sites during your trip.

Heart Mountain

This location was a Japanese American confinement camp during World War II, where more than 14,000 people were imprisoned. The location was closed for many years following the war. It reopened in 2011 as an Interpretive Center, teaching visitors of the horrors that occurred there.

Wind River Indian Reservation

Native American history is very important in Wyoming since numerous tribes lived in the state for many years. Today, you can bring your family to the two-million-acre reservation. Enjoy many cultural events, check out the cool military buildings, and buy locally made crafts.

Plains Indian Museum

You can continue to learn about the Native Americans who still call the land home by visiting this museum, where you can see real artifacts and clothing from over the years.

Rock Springs Historical Museum

Come to the museum in Rock Springs and learn how Wyoming has changed over the years. You can learn about the coal mining operations and see other artifacts of the mining boom.

8. Scenic Drives and Road Trips

Mammoth Hot Springs - Yellowstone National Park - Wyoming

There are many great road trips through Wyoming, including several through Yellowstone National Park.


If your idea of a perfect summer trip involves loading the family into the car and venturing out on the open road, then you’re in luck. Wyoming offers many noteworthy routes to awesome destinations. 

Beartooth Highway

Take US Highway 212, and you’ll drive past some of the best mountains in the state. This scenic trip will take you over 10,000 feet up as you drive through forests and mountain passes. If you only have time for one route, then make this the one.

Black Hills National Forest

Drive your car through the Black Hills National Forest, and it will take you past the famous Devil’s Tower. Plus, you’ll see other natural wonders and plush green scenery. Get out of the car, and you can hike or take your bike through the many exciting trails.

Grand Teton Loop

Hop on US 89, and you’ll find yourself on a route through Grand Teton National Park. Take your camera because you won’t see mountains like this anywhere else. You’ll also drive past breathtaking lakes, including Jenny Lake, which looks like something out of a painting. You may even see a wild moose along the ride!

Route Through Yellowstone National Park

There are routes that you can take through Yellowstone National Park that will bring you past mountains, forests, hot springs, and more. You can stop any time and get out to take pictures and take a hike. 

Pilot Butte Wild Horse Scenic Loop

When you’re driving down I-80, take a detour and travel down the Pilot Butte Wild Horse Scenic Loop. Be careful because you’re very likely to spot many wild horses in the fields along the side of the road. It’s a 1.5-mile drive that’s worth taking early in the morning.

9. Welcoming Atmosphere

In summer, Family reunion around a picnic table in a beautiful garden. All generations pose for the camera. Shot with flare

Wyoming has some of the friendlies people!

©Jack Frog/Shutterstock.com

Best of all, a trip to Wyoming will introduce you to some of the friendliest people and an incredibly welcoming atmosphere that you won’t find everywhere else in the country. The people here are hard workers, and they want to do everything they can to ensure that all visitors have the best time while enjoying their beautiful state. 

The people in Wyoming are very diverse, and they love everyone who crosses the border, so you’ll be welcomed with open arms. Wyoming is also the least densely populated state in the country, so if you just want to spend time with your family without being surrounded by crowds, then this is the place to go. There are no traffic jams here, so you can get where you’re going without a lot of fuss. Best of all, there’s a low cost of living, so your dollar can go further while you’re on vacation.


Wyoming is an amazing state, especially if you love to be outdoors and treasure the beauty of nature. It’s also a great state to visit if you’re on a budget, so it’s a no-brainer to come here during your next vacation. Take one trip to Wyoming, and you may never want to leave!

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About the Author

Justin Zipprich is a writer at A-Z Animals, where his primary focus is travel, state facts, pets, and mammals. Justin has been writing and editing animal content for over 7 years, though he holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Instructional Technology from Western Illinois University, which he earned in 2005. As a resident of Texas, he loves discovering local animals and spending time with his wife and two kids.

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