Spend a week this fall exploring Southeastern Wyoming

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This epic 8 day Itinerary covers the wonders of SE Wyoming

Epic outdoor adventure is waiting for you across Southeastern Wyoming. From breweries and steakhouses to museums and hiking trails, there’s a lot to explore. This 8-day, 7-night road trip itinerary, complete with suggestions for places to stay and where to eat, will put you on the right track for a beautiful adventure this fall. 

The best place to start is with a plan and ways to save money. This itinerary will plot your path west, starting in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Tab through the itinerary and watch the dynamic map display right where you’ll be headed. 

Before you pack the car, download two free savings passes, and purchase The Legendary Pass to be your introductory guides. Visit Cheyenne has gathered together deals from local favorites, including those in this itinerary, to help you dig into their not-so-sleepy little cow town.

Cheyenne (1/3)
Wyoming map

Prairies, Railroads, Ribs and Self-Pour Craft Beers

A train is coming around the tracks in front of the red and white stables building on the left, in Cheyenne Wyoming.

Train at Terry Bison Ranch

A herd of bison are roaming across grassland under a brillant blue sky with white clouds in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

The bison herd at Terry Bison Ranch

 A young boy gets a boost from grandma to look at a model train inside the Cheyenne Depot Museum in Wyoming.

Cheyenne Depot Museum

The metal and wood sign for Wyoming’s Rib and Chop House Entrance secured by iron on the red brick building in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Wyoming’s Rib & Chop House

Depending on which way you’re heading into town, we have bonus stops on the way. Travelers from the south should stop at the Terry Bison Ranch and ride America’s only private train that travels to the middle of the bison herd on this working ranch. Travelers from the east should stop at Laramie County’s first licensed distillery, Pine Bluffs Distilling. They make a wide selection of bourbon, whiskey, and vodka with grains grown right outside their front door. This is a perfect place to start your Daddy of the Malt Buy One Get One Free Passport.

As you arrive at Cheyenne, it’s time to find your accommodations. You’ll discover a wide array of hotels and motels, including some of your favorite brand-names, and some with a little more local flavor like the Little America Hotel and Resort located on a vast expanse of prairie and decorated in a high western style.

After you’re settled, the Cheyenne Street Railway Trolley is a great place to begin. You’ll get to know the town’s past and present while you hear tales of the unbridled railroad and stories of cowboys and cowgirls who shaped the community. Departing from the Historic Depot in the heart of downtown, this loop tour goes through Cheyenne's historic districts while stopping by several of Cheyenne's great attractions. 

Take a moment to catch your breath at the Accomplice Beer Company housed in the historic Cheyenne Train Depot. Sample a variety of beers brewed on premise while waiting for a kale salad, baby back ribs, chicken wings, or brewery sliders. 

Carry on to the Cheyenne Union Pacific Railroad Depot Museum located alongside the still-active tracks of the Union Pacific. America’s first transcontinental railroad is in the heart of Cheyenne’s central business district. Follow the story of the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, the Union Pacific Depot and the Railroad it is named after. 

Call it a day and opt for a generous dinner at Wyoming’s Rib & Chop House, home of premium steaks, fresh seafood, and award-winning baby back ribs, all served in a casual atmosphere. They have an extensive beer and wine list, and you can dine-in or take it to go.

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Cheyenne (2/3)
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Carriages, Missileers, Bison Sausage Pasta, and Pints

A cowboy is bucked riding a horse at a rodeo while a few cowboys look on in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Cheyenne Frontier Days

Two Black Tooth craft beer taps in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Black Tooth Brewing Co.

Two men listen to a guide inside the Quebec 01 Missile Alert Facility, surrounded by equipment in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

The Quebec 01 Missile Alert Facility

A beautifully set table in Cheyenne, Wyoming, at The Metropolitan Downtown restaurant, with a fancy steak dinner and a glass of whiskey in the foreground.

The Metropolitan Downtown

Continue exploring local lore at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum. A premier cultural and historical center, the museum features the most extensive collection of carriages west of the Mississippi and permanent exhibits on the history of Cheyenne Frontier Days, the world’s largest outdoor rodeo and celebration of Western Heritage.

Take a break at Black Tooth Brewing Company in their relaxing yet vivacious tasting room. Enjoy a fresh pint from a wide range of Black Tooth brews and opt for lunch from the food truck—from Thai food to Pierogis, you never know what you’ll find here.

Finish your history tour at The Quebec 01 Missile Alert Facility, the only accessible Peacekeeper Missile Alert Facility left in the world. Explore the history of the Cold War and delve into the daily lives of missileers, topside personnel, missile technology, the Cold War, and the deactivation of this missile system.

Treat yourself to an exceptional dinner at The Metropolitan Downtown. The Met serves innovative twists on comfortable classics, such as Italian bison sausage pasta, Thai kale, and arugula salad, and grilled cheese with a cup of spicy tomato bisque. 

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Cheyenne + Laramie
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Moose, Picnics, and Honest Abe

A cheese burger on a plate from the Bunkhouse Bar & Grill in Cheyenne, Wyoming, with lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion on the side, and french fries.

Lunch at the Bunkhouse Bar & Grill

The sun is rising over the grasslands and trees in the Vedauwoo Recreation Area, Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming.

Sunrise in Vedauwoo

Stunning view of the Sherman granite rocks and pine trees found in Vedauwoo Recreation Area, Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming.

Scenic view of Vedauwoo

A close up of the head on the 13-foot sculpture of the 16th US President at the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Monument, Laramie, Wyoming.

Abe Lincoln Memorial Monument

Pack up your hotel and head for Laramie down Hwy. 210, known as Happy Jack Road. This scenic route is sure to dazzle with the fall foliage ablaze in color. Stop at the Bunkhouse Bar and Grill on your way to fuel up on American favorites like country fried steak or bunkhouse ribeye, or grab some sandwiches to go for a picnic at Curt Gowdy State Park. While you’re here, explore the hiking trails amongst the golden aspens. Keep your camera ready for pronghorn antelope and mule deer, not to mention the breathtaking autumn scenery. 

From there, take the gravel road to Vedauwoo (pronounced Vee-Duh-Voo) to see gravity-defying ancient rock formations as high as 500 feet. These enormous Sherman granite rocks offer breathtaking views from the top of these formations. You may even have the opportunity to see a moose while hiking in the area. From here, head toward I-80 to stop at the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Monument to snap a selfie with the 13-foot sculpture of the 16th president of the United States on your way to Laramie.

Laramie offers many places to stay, including charming bed and breakfasts like the Mad Carpenter Inn with hand-sculpted ceilings and handcrafted trim or a dude ranch like the Vee Bar Guest Ranch. Rancher or trapper cabins are also available at Albany Lodge tucked into a canyon at the base of the Snowy Mountains.

After a long day, it’s time to indulge in a decadent dinner. The Altitude Chophouse & Brewery offers creative food selections and craft beers in one place. Try the cedar plank salmon, blackened pork medallions, or a brew burger with award-winning microbrews or a glass of wine.

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Laramie (2/3)
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Murals, Dinosaurs, Prisons, and Wine

A woman jumps in front of a huge mural of colorful geometric shapes with Laramie spelled out in large black  letters, in Laramie, Wyoming.

Laramie Mural Project

The curved stone entrance sign to the University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming.

University of Wyoming

The Wyoming Territorial Prison under a clear blue sky, the building reflected in the water in the foreground. An old timey car is parked out front, and the wooden walls wrap toward the back.

Wyoming Territorial Prison

The two story, quaint Mountain View Historic Hotel and Cafe, Centennial, Wyoming.

Mountain View Historic Hotel & Cafe

Spend the day exploring downtown. Follow a map of the Laramie Mural Project to immerse yourself in Laramie culture through art. Drop in and out of shops that strike your fancy to find one-of-a-kind souvenirs of your western adventure. 

Make a stop at the UW campus and visit the University of Wyoming Geology Museum to view dinosaur bones before making your way to the Wyoming Territorial Prison Historic Site. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the prison was built in 1872, housing violent and desperate outlaws (including the notorious Butch Cassidy) for 30 years.

End your last day in Laramie at Cask: 307 for tapas and wine on tap. Don’t overindulge! You’ll be heading down Hwy 130 bright and early to Centennial, Wyoming, to check into the Mountain View Historic Hotel & Café in Snowy Range. 

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Laramie (3/3)
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National Forests, Waterfalls, Famous Lodging, and B&Bs

The wide open road leading to Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming.

Medicine Bow National Forest

A man with a camera over his shoulder stands on the rocks, looking down at the mountains and lakes of Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming.

View of Medicine Bow

The mountains rising above Lake Marie, are reflected in the water below.

Lake Marie

Two men smile and enjoy a glass of whiskey on a wooden porch at Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga, Wyoming.

Brush Creek Ranch

Wake up refreshed, pack a picnic lunch, and explore Medicine Bow National Forest. You’ll want to wander around to take pictures of the gorgeous fall colors of the willow, cottonwood, and aspen that envelop you. Keep a keen eye out for wildlife like beaver, moose, deer, and elk. 

Next head west on 130 to the Mirror Lake picnic area for lunch, where you might see moose and elk. Make a stop at Lake Marie for the perfect photos with the falls, its wide pond and small wooden footbridge before descending into the Platte Valley. On your way out of Medicine Bow National Forest, you’ll travel through the small community of Ryan Park, passing by the famous Brush Creek Ranch lodge and spa, a favorite for celebrities visiting Wyoming. 

Continue toward Riverside and Encampment, turning south on Hwy 230. At the T to Riverside and Encampment, continue south to check into your new accommodations. You’ll find many western-inspired lodging to choose from like the Cottonwood Cabins in Riverside or Platt’s Rustic Mountain Lodge and B&B in Encampment.

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Carbon County (1/3)
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Ghost Towns, Hot Springs, Whiskey, and Aged Prime Rib

The brown and yellow National Park sign in front of the Continental Divide at Battle Pass with three big red tractors in the background framed by tall pines.

The Continental Divide at Battle Pass

Teepees sit poolside at Saratoga Hot Springs Resort, Saratoga, Wyoming.

Saratoga Hot Springs Resort

Guests arrive outside the Historic Hotel Wolf brick building and gather on the porch in Saratoga, Wyoming.

Historic Hotel Wolf

A woman swims in the Hobo Hot Springs, Saratoga, Wyoming.

Hobo Hot Springs

Highway 70, known as Battle Pass, is aflame in fall colors and ideal for a morning drive. Make sure to tour the Ghost Town of Battle where you’ll find a ruin, rest stop, and Continental Divide Trail. From here, head back to the Grand Encampment Museum and explore the rich collection of over a dozen historical buildings filled with artifacts representing the timber, mining, and agricultural history of the Encampment valley at the turn of the 20th century. Famished, you’ll want a hearty lunch at The DiVide in Encampment offering steaks, burgers, pizza, Italian fare, a salad bar, and more. 

Head back north along Hwy. 230 to Hwy. 130 to Saratoga. Saratoga has many delightful places to stay. Consider soaking away your cares in the healing waters of Saratoga’s natural mineral hot springs teepee-covered pools and 70’ hot pool at Saratoga Hot Springs Resort. History buffs will want to stay at the historic Hotel Wolf. This establishment first opened on New Year’s Eve in 1893 and is within walking distance to shopping and free natural hot springs.

After your great outdoor adventures, it’s time for a relaxing soak at the Hobo Hot Springs. The pool is free and open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit Wyoming’s third oldest brewery, Snowy Mountain Brewery, and sample the lovingly crafted batches of beer made with water from the Snowy Range and the Sierra Madre Range. Whiskey fans will want to sample the unique whiskey selection at Firewater Public House. Dine like a cattle baron at the Hotel Wolf Restaurant, offering a wide selection of aged prime rib and hand-cut steaks. Kick back in their old-time saloon, complete with swinging doors and a pool table before retiring to your room.

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Carbon County (2/3)
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Downtown Art Tours, Shopping, Pizza, and Beer

View of shops on award-winning downtown Main Street in Rawlins, Wyoming.

Main Street, Downtown Rawlins

A corridor of yellowing trees in fall in Rawlins Washington Park, Rawlins, Wyoming, and the leaf debris that covers the ground in the park.

Rawlins Washington Park

Rawlins Depot Park

Rawlins Depot Park

Patio of Shogunz Pizzeria & Bar

Patio of Shogunz Pizzeria & Bar

Journey on to Rawlins and check into the hotel before exploring the award-winning downtown Main Street. You’ll find a variety of educational walking tours, including the Art Tour featuring 12 murals highlighting the history and natural beauty of south-central Wyoming. Weave in and out of the shops as you find treasures to remind you of your Wyoming vacation. For dinner, make it easy and grab a few slices of your favorite pie at Shogunz Pizzeria & Bar

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Carbon County (3/3)
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Wyoming Frontier Prison Walking Tour and Gift Shop

A woman approaches the three story, stone Wyoming Frontier Prison in Rawlins, Wyoming.

Wyoming Frontier Prison

The three story, stone Wyoming Frontier Prison in Rawlins, Wyoming.

Wyoming Frontier Prison

The three story, stone Wyoming Frontier Prison in Rawlins, Wyoming at night.

Wyoming Frontier Prison

Before heading home, you must visit The Wyoming Frontier Prison, offering guided tours, a new exhibit on the current Wyoming State Penitentiary, and the prison museum. Browse through the Old Pen Gift Shop and stroll the City of Rawlins walking path that leads to the old prison cemetery.

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What a road trip!