Travertine Terrace, Thermopolis Hot Spring - Wikipedia Commons
springs gave this central Wyoming town its name, and
provide a good reason to visit. Located in the Big Horn
Basin, Thermopolis is situated in an active geothermal
area, close to badlands under which lies a large oil
field. A huge spring gushes hot water, creating startling
travertine terraces. Dinosaurs have been unearthed in the
area since the 1800s., and the Wyoming Dinosaur Center
offers visitors a chance to have a Jurrasic advernture,
including digging for dinosaurs at a real dig
Springs State Park is where you'll find the most abundant
hot spring in the world—pouring out an amazing amount
of hot water and creating beautiful travertine terraces.
The area is rich in Native and pioneer history, and
offers a full range of recreational activities including
white water rafting, hiking, camping, fishing, boating,
and golfing. The Wind River Canyon, located four miles
south of town, offers one of the most scenic drives in
Springs State Park
spring pools, travertine terraces, flower gardens, and a
bison herd. All these are part of this state park in
Thermopolis. The highlight of the park is the great
spring, which feeds bath houses (including two commercial
water parks), and flows across the park creating travertine terraces before emptying into the Big
Horn River. This is the largest hot spring in the world,
and to get a proper overview of its scope, you should
walk on the "Swinging Bridge" which crosses the river to
give a full view of the terraces.
the park is the State Bath House -- the legacy of
an 1896 treaty between the state and the Shoshone and
Arapahoe, which gave public use of the springs to the
world. There is no fee to soak in the bath house, and you
can rent towels and bathing suits. Two commercial
operations are nearby (Star Plunge, and Hot Springs Water
Park), offering pools, hot tubs, water slides and food.
You'll also find a full-service Holiday Inn hotel inside
the park, as well as completely rebuilt Plaza Hotel
unusual park is also home to the state's central herd
of bison, which wanders over a pasture in the park.
During May and June, the herd is confined to the corral
area to protect pl;ant life on the pasture. The herd has
more than 20 buffalo,and roams freely over the rolling
hills. A driving tour leads around the herd's home. In
late fall and winter months, the bison receive extra food
which makes for close-up viewing.
park offers several picnic areas, and walks through the
extensive gardens. A boat ramp is located on the Big Horn
River, at the terrace. For more information, call the
park office at 307-864-2176.
privately owned center offers visitors an opportunity to
learn about dinosaur life, and also to take part in a dig
at the Warm Springs Ranch, about 12 miles from town. In
1995, the Wyoming Dinosaur Center was opened. It includes
a world-class museum with dinosaur fossils from around
the world. Visitors can tour the dig sites (about 15
minutes by private van into the mountains above
Thermopolis), and get a tour with the professionals
digging on the site. Or you can reserve a place and dig
on the hill with the professionals -- as an individual, a
family or a group. In addition the center holds special
kids' digs (ages 8-13) three or four times during the
summer. Kids actually get to dig with the professionals
on the hill during the two-day events. The kids' digs
have been named one of the top three events in the state
center is located at 110 Carter Ranch Road in Thermopolis, not far from the hot
springs, and includes a dinosaur museum, open 360 days a
year, including displays of dinosaur remains unearthed at
the dig sites. You'll see 12 full dinosaur skeletons on
display, and in the museum shop are fossils, gems, books,
and educational materials.
museum is open year-round except Thanksgiving, Christmas
Day, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day. Dig site tours in
winter are subject to weather conditions. Summer hours
are in effect from May 15 to October 15, when the museum
is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dig site hours are 9 am-4
pm (7 days a week, weather permitting). Dig for a Day is
operating (weather permitting. In winter the museum is
open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the Dig for a Day program
information and dig reservations, call 307-864-2997 or
south of Thermololis, closer to the town of Shoshoni,
this large park offers water recreation plus year-round
camping, fishing, and wildlife viewing. The 19,000 acre
reservoir holds the state record for walleye (17 pounds,
6 3/4 ounces, and anglers also catch good-ssized trout. A
marina is located at the north end of the reservoir,
providing bait, fuel, groceries, and docking.
points are on both sides of Highway 20, on the east side
of the reservoir, and also on Highway 26, on the south
side. Lying at an
elevation of 4,800 feet, the landscape is basically
sagebrush hill country. Most of the campgrounds and other
facilities are ojn the lake, but two campgrounds are
found below the dam along the Wind River. Picnic tables
and viewpoints are located in the Wind River
Rock State Petroglyph Site
amazing collection of native rock art is found 30 miles
snorthwestof Thermopolis, via an access road which leads
from Highway 120. Complete directions should be obtained
from the state park office in Hot Springs State Park.
Visitors must arrange entry to the site through the park
office or the State Bath House.
the site, Cottonwood Creek runs beside a cliff. On the
cliff are a series of petroglyphs -- representing at
least three styles of early Native art, including a style
related to early Hopi. This is a quiet and reflectful
place, bearing the mark of civilizations which were here
at least 2,000 years ago, and probably in much more
204 Highway 20 South, 307-864-5262 or toll-free at 888-865-5707
Located near the Big Horn River, this RV park
offers shaded sites, full hookups, showers, a
store, laundry, and swimming pool. Open March 15
to October 1.
of Youth RV
250 North Hwy. 20, 2 miles north of town on U.S. 20
With 64 trailer sites and four tenting sites,
this campground offers full hookups, showers,
laundry, dump station, store, and swimming
pool. Two hot mineral pools offer fine soaking.
The park also has indoor accommodations. On-site fishing is available, plus hiking,
propane, RV supplies, and group tours. Open from
March 1 to October 1.
State Park is located 20 miles south of Thermopolis (see
above), with camping, boating, waterskiing, and
fishing for trout and walleye. The park has more
than 200 sites. There's more information on camping in the park here.
143 Airport Road, at the golf course 307-864-9494
This restaurant has golf course views, and
serves good food, and you don't have to dress
up. The menu is that of a steakhouse: steaks, seafood, specialty meat meals (try the jagersnitzel platter) 3 Caesar salads, and sandwiches.
526 Broadway Street, Thermopolis, 307-864-3831
As with most Chinese restaurants you get a lot pof food for your money, and in this case, the food is very good. It doesn't look like much from the outside and the inside is "rustic oriental," but the food is good and plentiful. The main focus here is Szechuan.
530 Broadway Street, Thermopolis,
This is a dining area in the back of a health foods store. The food is as you would expect in this milieu: healthy soups, smoothies, fresh salads, and wraps of several kinds. The store itself is handy for pickup up picnic ingredients. This small quasi-restaurant got the top spot for restaurants in Thermopolis on Tripadvisor. The food is that good.