Wind River Visitors Council: Visit authentic Wyoming on driving tour

Uncover all the best of Wyoming in one road trip. The Circle the Continental Divide driving loop encompasses classic Wyoming wildlife, breathtaking mountain views, millions of acres of sagebrush interrupted only by stark red rock formations and prolific pronghorns. Dive into cowboy life, unrivaled mountains access, Oregon Trail and gold rush history and Native American culture, and emerge with a renewed spirit and a fresh story.
This loop itinerary was rated a “Best of the Road” trip by road map publisher Rand McNally. After hitting Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, this route dives into authentic Wyoming in Wind River Country with wide-open spaces, rich culture and history.
From Yellowstone and Grand Teton, Highway 287/26 takes you south for a short detour to Jackson, then over the majestic Togwogtee (pronounced TOE-guh-tee) Pass, on the Centennial Scenic Byway. Keep an eye out for wildlife, and make a few stops to stretch your legs and hike through the pristine Shoshone National Forest to find waterfalls without crossing paths with another person.
Just 26 scenic miles from the southern entrance to Grand Teton and Yellowstone parks, you’ll enter Wind River Country. Stop in Dubois, for homemade pie and a picture with one of two giant jackalopes in town. Western and outdoor gear stores line wooden sidewalks. Dubois is home to the National Bighorn Sheep Interpretive Center, the largest wintering herd of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, ancient Sheepeater Indian petroglyphs and weekly swing-dance gatherings and rodeos adored by locals and dude ranch guests.
Continue south through the Wind River Indian Reservation—the only Indian reservation in Wyoming—and join hands with dancers for a song or two at biweekly dance events. Visit historical and cultural sites of national significance, such as Crowheart Butte and Fort Washakie, and learn the stories of the native people who call this place home.
Further along Highway 26, you’ll find the outdoor town of Lander, where you can climb world famous rock or perhaps try to explain the disappearing river of Sinks Canyon State Park.
Depart Lander on Highway 287/28 for historic South Pass City and Atlantic City to pan gold.
Return to Lander, then head to Riverton, Wyoming’s Rendezvous City, on Highway 789. If you time your travels right, you’ll be invited to participate in one of many annual gatherings and festivals like the 1838 Mountain Man Rendezvous, Riverton Rendezvous week or the Fremont County Fair before you hit the road again. From here, you’ll to travel to Shoshoni, through Wind River Canyon Scenic Byway, to complete your loop into Cody, then back to the national parks and Jackson. ♦

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