It’s no secret that Wyoming is… rugged. With a population density of approximately five people per square mile, Wyoming is the least populated state in the country. In other words, there is plenty of outdoor space to enjoy!
Two of the most well-known areas of Wyoming are Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. However, if you’re in the Cheyenne area, you don’t have to go all the way across the state to enjoy some great camping and great scenery. Here are five awesome places to camp in southeast Wyoming:
Curt Gowdy State Park
Curt Gowdy has it all: camping, hiking, fishing, horse trails, and stunning scenery to boot. This beautiful state park, located in the foothills of the Laramie Mountains, is only about 30 minutes west of Cheyenne, just off of Highway 210. I’m going next weekend!
Overnight camping is $10 per night for residents, $17 for non-residents.
1319 Happy Jack Rd, Cheyenne, WY 82009
Vedauwoo (pronounced vee-da-voo) is rustic camping at its finest. Nestled in stunning granite outcrops in the Snowy Range (part of Medicine Bow National Forest), Vedauwoo is ideal for hiking and rock climbing. Known to the Arapaho Indians as “Land of the Earthborn Spirit”, the area is stunning to behold. One of my favorites, by far!
Vedauwoo is located just east of I-80 between Cheyenne and Laramie. Camp fees are $10 per night, non-reservable.
Hawk Springs State Recreation Area
A bit more of a drive, Hawk Springs is a gorgeous reservoir located about an hour north of Cheyenne up Highway 85. It offers camping, hiking, fishing, boating, and is known for its bird watching. The area also offers historic sites that can be accessed for a nominal fee. Overnight camping is $10 for residents, $17 for non-residents; daily fees for historic sites are $2 for residents, $4 for non-residents.
PO Box 836-2334, Guernsey, WY 82214
Local Game Warden- (307) 532-2433
Guernsey State Park
Guernsey State Park is located within the same park system as Hawk Springs. It surrounds Guernsey Reservoir, and offers a huge campground with both primitive and hookup sites; hiking; fishing; boating; swimming; yurt rentals; a visitor center and museum; and much more! The park sits on part of the Oregon Trail, and remnants of the trails can still be seen!
Overnight camping is $10 for residents, $17 for non-residents. Historical site fees are $2 for residents, $4 for non-residents.
PO Box 429, Guernsey, WY 82214
Office- (307) 836-2334
Museum- (307) 836-2900
Hot Springs State Park
I have not been to this one yet, but I’m dying to go! Hot Springs State Park is the farthest drive on this list, but well worth it. It is located just north of Thermopolis, about 4.5 hours north of Cheyenne. While it is not a traditional campground, the area has so much to offer that I couldn’t exclude it. The colorful mineral terraces of the hot springs are a sight to behold; there is a free therapeutic bathhouse; lots of hiking trails; fishing; and a few boat docks.
Hot Springs is a day use park, but there is plenty of camping in the surrounding area. No park fees, but donations are welcomed.
The best part though, and the reason I just had to include this park? Legend Rock State Petroglyph Site! Located practically next door to Hot Spring State Park, this historic site is world-renowned. It has over 92 prehistoric petroglyph panels and over 300 petroglyph figures. It has been a sacred site for Native Americans for thousands of years. And there is no fee to see this piece of history!
538 N Park St, Thermopolis, WY 82443
So there you have it, my top five places to camp/visit in southeastern Wyoming. So get outside and play!