National Scenic Byways and Other Recreational Drives

Wyoming
Gorp.com

Wyoming offers the scenic driver a spectacular choice of routes. Views range from snow-capped peaks and alpine plateaus to wide grassland vistas and the Teton Mountain skyline. The Beartooth Highway has been called the"most beautiful drive in America." Thousands of elk winter at the National Elk Refuge. Wyoming roads wind through a variety of beautiful National Forests.

Beartooth Highway

The Beartooth Highway follows U.S. Highway 212 for 60 miles in northwestern Wyoming and southwestern Montana on the Custer, Gallatin, and Shoshone National Forests. The route traverses 10,947-foot Beartooth Pass and features outstanding views of snowcapped peaks, glaciers, alpine lakes, and alpine plateaus. Charles Kuralt referred to the Beartooth Highway as "the most beautiful drive in America."

Big Horn Scenic Byway

The Big Horn Scenic Byway follow U.S. Highways 14, 14A, and 16 for 111 miles across the Bighorn Range on the Bighorn National Forest and feature three roads of distinct identity Highway 14 passes through Shell Canyon, a narrow rocky gorge, and offers panoramic views of 100 miles across the Sheridan Basin Highway 14A traverses mountainous country with views of distant forested slopes, rocky alpine tundra, and wide vistas of grasslands grazed by domestic cattle and sheep, as well as deer, elk, and moose. Highway 16 provides close-up views of lodgepole pine forests and spectacular views of the jagged peaks of the Cloud Peak Wilderness.

Chief Joseph Scenic Highway (Wyoming 296)

Drive along the Wild & Scenic Clarks Fork: A Gem of a River with Hiking, Kayaking and Fishing! The route starts from the Beartooth Scenic Highway (US212). It follows the river southeast, offering panoramic views

Cloud Peak Skyway

64 mile paved drive along US Route 16 up Ten Sleep Canyon, over Powder River Pass and down to Buffalo. The highway provides great views of the Cloud Peak Wilderness, Big Horn National Forest and the Big Horn Mountains. The drive up the canyon is spectacular, featuring limestone and dolomite cliffs. A parking area at the top of the 9,666 ft pass allows you to stretch your legs and enjoy the view of the Big Horn mountains.

Devils Tower National Monument

The centerpiece is a dramatic pillar rising out of Wyomings eastern lowlands in the Black Hills— but there's plenty on the table besides.

Grand Teton Park Drives

Three great drives can be found in the park. The Teton Park Road is a great drive that curves through Grand Teton National Park, skirting Jenny and Jackson lakes, with constant views of Tetons along the way. The Signal Mountain Summit Road is a 5-mile drive that starts one mile south of Signal Mountain Lodge and Campground. The road winds to the top of Signal Mountain, providing a panoramic view of the entire Teton Range. Jenny Lake Scenic Drive stars at North Jenny Lake and countinues southwest providing spectacular views of the Grand Teton, Teewinot and Mt. Owen ending near South Jenny Lake.

John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway

82 mile route that links West Thumb in Yellowstone with the South Entrance of Grand Teton National Park.

North Fork Scenic Byway

27.5 mile canyon drive near Cody in the Shoshone National Forest along the North Fork of the Shoshone River to the East entrance of Yellowstone National Park. Two lane paved highway with many scenic pullouts, interesting rock formations, great wildlife viewing (bears, elk, moose, mule deer, coyotes, bighorn sheep and mountain goats), a variety of hiking trails and numerous campgrounds. (Please note: this is bear country -- hikers and campers should take necessary precautions. See Hiking in Bear Country for more information.) The road is bordered on the north by the North Absorka Wilderness and on the south by the Washakie Wilderness. The highway is open year round. Note that the continuous of the highway into Yellowstone National Park is only open April to mid-November.

Red Gulch / Alkali Back Country Byway

53 mile route (mostly gravel) along the foothills of the Big Horn Mountains. The route provides plenty of solitude, great scenery and numerous hiking opportunities. Travelers should check with the BLM before attempting this drive. Conditions vary and may require a high clearance 4 wheel drive vehicle. The route starts north of Hyattville and ends at US 14 west of Shell.

Seminoe to Alcova Back Country Byway

73 mile route (both paved and gravel) traveling along the Norht Platte River passing the Seninoe Reservior, Pathfinder Reservoir and Alocva Reservior. This remote route is not open in winter.

Shoshone National Forest

The Shoshone's 1,528 miles of roads take visitors on journeys of magnificent discovery, from sagebrush flats to high mountain passes.

Snowy Range Highway

The Snowy Range Highway follows 29 miles of State Highway 130 through the Medicine Bow National Forest is southeastern Wyoming and features 12,000-foot Medicine Bow Peak, several campgrounds, and two winter sports areas.

Wyoming Centennial Scenic Byway

The Wyoming Centennial Scenic Byway offers travelers rich aesthetic, cultural, and historical experiences as they travel through a diversity of landscapes and ecosystems including the badlands west of Dubois and the scenic Snake River. Visitors have the opportunity to travel through the National Elk Refuge, where as many as 9,000 elk spend the winter; discover the importance of the area to early explorers, trappers, and loggers; and photograph the spectacular skyline of the Teton Mountain Range. Located in western Wyoming, the byway winds through the Shoshone and Bridger-Tetons National Forests.

Greater Yellowstone

On the road to Yellowstone—a survey of the area's sublime scenic drives.

Yellowstone National Park - Scenic Drives

10 driving routes that take you by the park's famous sites and provide the observant traveler a chance to spot some of the park's wildlife.


Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 7 Nov 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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