Where to See Wild Horses in Wyoming: Population and Popular Places

Grand Teton National Park with horses in the foreground USA
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Written by Erin Cafferty

Published: December 14, 2023

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The wild horses in Wyoming evoke the same untamed, pioneering spirit of the first settlers traveling west. It makes sense then that Wyoming is home to the second-largest population of wild horses in the United States, right behind Nevada. The state includes vast expanses of wilderness and wildlife, which are perfect for adventurous horse lovers who want to explore the land these wild horses have lived on for over 500 years. Ready to discover the best places to see the herds in their natural habitat? Let’s learn the brief history of how they came to live here and where to find them today.

What’s the History of Wild Horses in Wyoming?

Wild Mustang

Wild Spanish Mustangs are spotted all around the state of Wyoming.

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Wyoming’s wild horses have been living off the land since the 1500s. Herds roaming the state are descendants of Spanish Mustangs as well as saddle stock that escaped from nearby ranches. Over time, locals and organizations alike began to advocate for protecting the horses who live among the wide-open landscape of wild Wyoming. Now, the health and viability of both the herds and the land are top priorities.

Wyoming’s Wild Horse Population

Horse and Tetons

Herds of wild horses roam Wyoming and have since the 1500s.

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Wyoming is home to about 6,000 wild horses living across almost 5 million sprawling acres of federally protected land called Herd Management Areas (HMAs). However, no more than 3,725 wild horses should inhabit the HMAs in the state at a time. That means the land is currently host to double what it’s capable of sustaining. That’s why the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) conducts routine roundups to control the herd sizes.

Surprisingly, no wild burros exist in the state. There are enough wild horses that you might not even notice though!

Want to visit Wyoming and see the wild horses? We know some of the best places to go, starting with the most popular area where the wild horses like to gather.

1. McCullough Peaks

Wild Horse Mare and Her Foal in Sumemr in the Wyoming Desert

You can see wild mares and their foals in the McCullough Peaks HMA during the summer months.

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70 miles east of Yellowstone, wild horses live among the McCullough Peaks Herd Management Area in Cody, Wyoming. You can easily view them along both sides of the road, so be sure to keep your head on a swivel!

2. Pryor Mountain

Pryor Mountain Mustangs

Wild horses roam the Pryor Mountains outside Lovell, Wyoming thanks to the conservation efforts of the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center, the BLM, and NPS.

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The Mustangs of Pryor Mountain outside of Lovell County, Wyoming have lived there for almost 200 years. You can view them in the wild among the mountains or by booking a tour with the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center. This nonprofit organization co-manages the herds with the BLM and National Park Service (NPS). This is one of the easiest places to spot wild horses in Wyoming.

3. Pilot Butte

Wild Stallions Posturing

Herds of wild horses live in the Pilot Butte area that is located in Sweetwater County, Wyoming.

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The Pilot Butt Wild Horse Scenic Loop is 24 miles of gravel road offering a free self-guided tour of the wild horses in this area. As you travel through the Red Desert between Rock Springs, Rawlins, and Green River, keep an eye out for wild horses. May through October is the most popular time of year to come see them.

4. Fifteenmile

Wild Horses in Autumn in Wyoming

In the plateau region of Bighorn Basin, wild horses roam the Fifteenmile HMA year-round.

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If you want to adventure to see a wild horse in Wyoming, head to Fifteenmile HMAs’ 81,000 acres of protected land. In Bighorn Basin, the horses live among the canyons, hills, and badlands.

Fun fact: The first wild horse roundup conducted on federal land took place here in October of 1938.

5. Antelope Hills

The Continental Divide in Yellowstone National Park

The Continental Divide runs through the Antelope Hills HMA in Wyoming. This is a popular place to see wild horses.


If you visit Wyoming in the summer, you’re likely to see wild horses in the Granite Rocks Region of the Antelope Hills. The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail runs through this herd management area, so you may even spot the horses while hiking the trail.

6. Crooks Mountain

Wild Horses in the Wyoming Desert in Summer

The wild horses of Crooks Mountain forage on grass, sagebrush, and other native vegetation.

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If you’re up for an adventure, take a trip to see the wild horses that roam Crooks Mountain.

They live among the mountainous terrain and eat a diet of sagebrush, grass, woodland, and riparian vegetation. When you visit, it’s important to not feed the wild horses here since they can colic from ingesting foreign foods — even treats domesticated horses eat!

7. North Lander Herd Management Area Complex

A herd of horses are in a field with mountains in the background.

Many bands of wild horses in Wyoming live among the four BLM-managed HMAs within the North Lander Herd Management Area Complex.

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Alongside the Muskrat Basin-Rock Creek Mountains, wild horses can also be spotted among the Conant Creek, Rock Creek & Dishpan Butte HMAs. These areas recognize individual herds but there’s no separation between them. Leaving the gates open so the wild horses can roam freely between these four BLM-managed HMAs keeps them genetically and physically healthy. The vast land they live on makes them harder to spot, but well worth it if you do.

8. Green Mountain

Pinto in the Pasture

Wyoming’s wild horses are often seen grazing among the Conifer and Aspen forests of Green Mountain.

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Southeast of Jeffrey City, Wyoming stands Green Mountain. At the top, you’ll often find wild horses grazing during the summer and fall. Conifer forests and Aspen-filled woods cover this HMA, which is a beautiful backdrop to the stunning horses you can see here.

9. Adobe Town

Killpecker Sand DUnes in WY

The dunes of Wyoming are home to wild horses in the Adobe Town HMA.

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Encompassing a vast array of badlands, buttes, escarpments, and dunes in central Wyoming is the Adobe Town HMA. Nearly 2,000 horses were caught in a roundup here in 2021, so don’t make this your first stop if you want to see wild horses. There are other places where you’re more likely to spot them, but it could still be worth a shot.

Another fun fact: The most famous wild horse, Desert Dust, who inspired — and eventually led to the passage of — the Wild Horse Protection Act of 1959 came from Adobe Town.

10. Lost Creek

Wild Horses in the Wyoming Desert in Autumn

Lost Creek horses include a mix of Spanish Mustang bloodlines and domesticated horses that escaped from nearby ranches.

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While the wild horses of Wyoming are descendants of Spanish Mustangs that came out west with the Conquistadors, that’s not the only bloodline present in the Lost Creek horses. Domestic saddle stock that escaped from the surrounding ranches co-mingled with the wild horses here, resulting in mixed ancestry. You can see the animals here across the desert landscape or along the lakes and streams running through this area.

11. Stewart Creek

Spanish Mustang Appaloosa Yearling

If you want to see an Appaloosa in the wild, visit Steward Creek HMA in Wyoming.

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If you love Appaloosas, make sure you take a trip to Stewart Creek HMA in Wyoming. This area is home to a plethora of this unique breed! Just like Antelope Hills, the Continental Divide runs through the eastern section of this area. You might get lucky and spot a wild horse on the trail!

12. Divide Basin

Wild Horse in the Red Desert Wyoming

The Divide Basin is located within Wyoming’s Red Desert, which is a popular place to see the state’s wild horses.

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Encompassing nearly 779,000 acres of public and private land, the Divide Basin HMA is home to over 500 of Wyoming’s wild horses. The landscape consists of rolling hills, streams, and slopes. Talk about a perfect backdrop to see the horses in their natural habitat!

13. Salt Wells

Halflinger horse runs through the sagebrush.

Many Palomino wild horses roam across the sagebrush in Wyoming.

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A fan of Palomino or Sorrel horses? You can find a majority of the wild horses in the Salt Wells with this coloring! There are also herds of Curly horses here as well. Unlike many of the other herd management areas in Wyoming, this 1.7 million acre area is unfenced besides portions along Interstate 80. You might see horses from your car as you drive toward Titsworth Gap, so keep your eyes peeled.

14. Little Colorado

Horses and Tetons

The Grand Tetons make a spectacular backdrop to view Wyoming’s wild horses, especially if you visit the Little Colorado HMA.

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One of the easiest HMAs to locate wild horses in Wyoming is Little Colorado. The wide-open landscape dotted with rolling hills makes viewing the horses who live here both accessible and exciting. Other common wildlife sightings include Greater Sage-Grouse, antelope, and mule deer.

15. White Mountain

Wild Horse Scenic Loop

Over one-third of the wild horses in Wyoming live in Rock Springs, which you can see from the White Mountain HMA.

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Overlooking Rock Springs, White Mountain HMA is a plateau populated by hundreds of wild horses. Like Salt Wells, this area is only fenced along sections of Interstate 80 and Highway 191 traveling North. You can spot the horses at the top of the mountain as well as in the landscape along the roads winding through this area.

16. Rock Springs

Wild Horses

Wild horses often graze on the bluffs overlooking Rock Springs, Wyoming.

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If you only have one chance to visit the wild horses in Wyoming, a trip to the Rock Springs Wild Horse Holding Facility is a must. This facility is open year-round. and holds approximately 800 horses at a time. While you don’t see them in their natural habitat, you are guaranteed a sighting!

However, you don’t have to travel far to see horses in the wild. 2,500 of these 6,000 wild horses in Wyoming inhabit the Rock Springs District. You might get lucky and see one of the herds as you drive around the area.

17. Wind River Wild Horse Sanctuary

Aerial view of red cliffs, ranch, green fields, and mountains at sunset

This is an aerial view of Lander, Wyoming where the Wind River Wild Horse Sanctuary is located.

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Located on the Wind River Native American Reservation, this wild horse sanctuary is one-of-a-kind. It’s open to the public Monday through Saturday for ATV tours and walk-ins who want to catch a glimpse of the 130 Mustang horses who live here. This sanctuary in Lander, Wyoming is managed in collaboration with the BLM.

We hope you get the chance to visit one (or all!) of these popular places to see wild horses in Wyoming. It’s a spectacular sight you’re sure to never forget.

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About the Author

Erin Cafferty is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on horses, mountains, and parks. Erin holds a Master’s Degree from Radford University, which she earned in 2018. A resident of Virginia, Erin enjoys hiking with her dog, visiting local farmer's markets, and reading while her cat lays on her lap.

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