Buffalo Bill State Park, near Cody, features Shoshone Canyon and its views of Rattlesnake Mountain and Cedar Mountain. The north and south forks of the Shoshone River are divided by Sheep Mountain here. Visitors can enjoy hiking, boating, and fishing. For more information visit yellowstonecountry.org.
Hot Springs State Park, in Thermopolis, features the world’s largest mineral hot spring—Big Spring—and has many picnic spots and a playground. For more information visit thermopolis.com or call (877) 864-3192.
Sinks Canyon State Park, 6 miles southwest of Lander, is located in the foothills of the rugged Wind River Range. The park’s name comes from the Popo Agie River, which “sinks” into a limestone cavern and reappears down the road. Sinks Canyon is known as the “gateway to the Winds,” and offers great hiking, fishing, and rock climbing. For more information visit wind-river.org or call (800) 645-6233.
Boysen Reservoir State Park, in west-central Wyoming at the head of Wind River Canyon, is known for its unique geology and abundance of water sports, including fishing and boating.
Curt Gowdy State Park, between Laramie and Cheyenne, has abundant wildlife and two reservoirs for excellent fishing, plus 24 RV sites for camping. For more information visit cheyenne.org or call (800) 426-5009.
Edness K. Wilkins State Park, east of Casper, is a mecca for birdwatchers and walkers. A pathway allows day visitors access to this “outdoor classroom” that affords views of nearly 200 species of migratory and nesting birds. For more information visit casperwyoming.info or call (800) 852-1889.
Harriman State Park is the site of the old Railroad Ranch, where the Harrimans (of Union Pacific fame) spent their summers. The ranch sits in the middle of a 16,000-acre wildlife reserve, and Henrys Fork of the Snake River, famous for its fly-fishing, runs through it.
Henrys Lake State Park, near Macks Inn, is home to a high-mountain lake full of trophy trout. You can also camp, boat, or hike at this park. Open late May through late October.
Bear Lake State Park, south of Montpelier, boasts a turquoise lake 20 miles long that straddles the Idaho/Utah border. Swim, boat, camp, or cast a line. For more information visit visitidaho.org.
Willard Bay State Park is located along the Wasatch Front, near major metropolitan areas. The park attracts boaters, anglers, sunbathers, swimmers, and birdwatchers. For more information visit topofutah.org or call (800) 952-8824.
Featuring panoramic mountain vistas, plunging river canyons, towering sand dunes, and ancient cliff dwellings, Colorado’s five national and many state parks are places of wonder. For more information visit colorado.com